Work in Sports
The greatest night
Chamberlain's 100-point night in 1962 still the best ever
Posted: Thursday October 14, 1999 07:05 PM
The following is The Associated Press story filed March 2, 1962, the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.
HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) -- Wilt Chamberlain set a National Basketball Association scoring record of 100 points tonight as the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knickerbockers, 169-147. The combined score was an association record, too.
Chamberlain toppled many records with his awesome display. The 7-foot-1-inch Warrior center set a league record for field goals (36), free throws (28 of 32), most points for a quarter (31), and most points for a half (59).
The 316 points by the two teams surpassed the record of 312 made in Boston's victory over Minneapolis on Feb. 27, 1959, at Boston. The Celtics set a single-team record in that game, when they beat the Lakers, 173-139.
The crowd of 4,124 shrieked, "Give it to Wilt, give it to Wilt," as the Philadelphian scored again and again on his fallaway shots.
The Warriors realized early that Chamberlain was hot. So they fed him the ball repeatedly. The Knicks tried to stall and then tried to mob Chamberlain with defense in an effort to slow his scoring.
In the final period, Darrall Imhoff, who had been assigned to guard Chamberlain most of the night, fouled out.
When Wilt hit 100, a few seconds before the end, the fans swarmed onto the court. The game was held up until they were removed.
The Warriors seemed determined to run away with the game, scrambling to a 19-3 advantage. However, with Richie Guerin hitting, the Knicks drew closer, and it was 79-68 at the half. But Guerin, with 39 points, Cleveland Buckner (33), and Willie Naulls (31) couldn't overcome the lift given the Warriors by Wilt Chamberlain, who had 25 rebounds.
Chamberlain's effort broke the league scoring record of 78 points, a mark he had set earlier this season.
The recognized collegiate scoring record also is 100 set by Frank Seivy for Furman against Newberry in 1954. Seivy now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Two over-100 efforts by Paul Arizin of Villanova and Bevo Francis of Rio Grande (Ohio) College are not recognized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association because they were made against junior-college teams.
Among the records set tonight was one by the Knickerbockers. Their 147 points was the most ever scored by a losing team, topping the previous mark of 139 by Minneapolis against Boston in 1959.
Wilt said, "I wasn't even thinking of hitting 100 but after putting in nine straight free throws I was thinking about a foul-shooting record. It was my greatest game."
He credited his teammates with helping him set the record.
"It would have been impossible to score this many if they hadn't kept feeding me," he said.