A day after the 49th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain totaling 100 points in a game, we look back to the single highest-scoring performance ever.
Wilt Chamberlain is a name almost everyone who follows the league knows. He is a prolific scorer and was a mammoth on the boards. In his 14 year NBA career, he averaged 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds per game. In his rookie season itself, Wilt averaged a mind-blowing 37.6 points and 27.0 rebounds per game.
Two years later, Wilt’s averages went up to 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game. In the current day league, a player is celebrated for scoring 50 in a single contest. Back in the 1961-62 season, if Wilt scored 50, he was under his season average!
Everything that fell in place for Wilt Chamberlain to record a 100-point game
Back in 1962, the Warriors were scheduled to play the New York Knicks. Chamberlain was set to match up against the 6’10 center Phil Jordan. However, just before the game, Jordan became unavailable mysteriously.
The Knicks’ office claimed it was the flu, but his teammates believed otherwise. The news from inside the locker-room was that it was a case of a bad hangover.
Darrall Imhoff, the backup center started against Chamberlain, but could not handle Wilt’s size in the post. He only could play 20 minutes due to foul troubles, which left the rookie Cleveland Buckner against Wilt for the rest of the game.
Wilt Chamberlain’s top-scoring games
100 PTS, 25 REB
78 PTS, 43 REB
73 PTS, 36 REB
73 PTS, 14 REB
72 PTS, 18 REB
70 PTS, 18 REBpic.twitter.com/aV3wCH1rIQ
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 2, 2021
Chamberlain took full advantage of this, as he scored 100 points on 36-of-63 shooting. He made 28 out of his 32 free throws, which was unusual as Wilt was a 51.1% free-throw shooter.
Wilt’s teammates saw that he had a chance to reach the 100 point milestone, so they started feeding him the ball in the 4th quarter. They would leave open shots and keep passing him the ball. They started fouling the Knicks, to get possession back faster, to help Wilt shoot more shots. This resulted in Wilt attempting 21 shots in the final quarter alone.
Having such teammates, and the opponent center out was lucky for Chamberlain. He made a record that hasn’t been broken in 59 years and doesn’t look like it would get broken anytime soon.