If he had scored 99 points or 101 points, Wilt Chamberlain would still hold the NBA record for the most points in a game. But when he scored 100 points in leading the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 victory over New York on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa., Chamberlain actually reached the perfect score.
There is no video of that historic performance 50 years ago, creating a certain mythology and majesty to a moment that is now immortalized by a photo of Chamberlain holding a piece of paper on which game statistician Harvey Pollack scribbled “100.”
His accomplishment won’t be duplicated, primarily because the game will never see a player who dominated and intimidated the way the 7-foot-1, 260-pound Chamberlain did. Kobe Bryant came closest to matching the feat with 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006, but Chamberlain owns six of the 10 games of 70 or more points in NBA history. The pace of the game, defensive schemes and scouting have limited the potential for Chamberlainesque scoring outbursts. There have been just 12 60-point games in the past 20 years, and just three 50-point games in the past two seasons. The perfect score will stand.
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