Basketball History Wilt Chamberlain Gets 100 Points Part 1

About Wilt Chamberlain breaking 100 points in an NBA game, history and first hand account of the basketball event.


Wilt Chamberlain's Big Night (1962)

An average team in the National Basketball Association will frequently score 100 or more points in a game. But only once in the history of the NBA has one player scored 100 points in a single game. The man to accomplish this extraordinary feat was Wilt Chamberlain, then of the Philadelphia Warriors, in a game against the New York Knicks on Mar.3, 1962, in Hershey, Pa. One of the first of the "big men" who now dominate the NBA, the 7 ft. 2 in. Chamberlain was in his third pro season at the time and already struggling with the labels that were to follow him throughout his career--uncoachable, not a team player, can't make free throws, can't win the big ones (as if he were solely responsible for his team's performance). His critics, of whom there were many, cited his 100-point game as an example of his excess and his narrow abilities. There may be some sort of muddled logic here, but it is immediately undone by the sheer immensity of the accomplishment.

The morning of game day, Wilt was stumbling back to his hotel for a few hours' sleep after an all-night visit to a lady friend in New York. But he was sidetracked by a pinball game that his teammates were playing. In a portent of things to come, he scored a phenomenal 2,040 (the doorman, who had been there for 15 years, told them the highest he'd ever seen was 1,800) and won a dinner for two from his incredulous teammates.

At game time, Wilt was in at center for the Warriors. Coach Al McGuire had ordered a running game--sort of a jab against the Knicks, who had said they were planning to run Wilt ragged. Run he did, from the opening tip-off. At the end of the first quarter, he had amassed 31 points, an NBA record. He added 28 in the second period for a halftime record of 59. His old game high of 78, also an NBA record, went by the boards in the fourth quarter. He scored his 99th and 100th points in the final minute of the game, which the Warriors won, 169-147. The total for both teams of 316 broke an earlier record of 312 set in 1958.

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