It is arguably the single-greatest performance in American sports and the Philadelphia 76ers will pay tribute to it tonight versus the Golden State Warriors at Wells Fargo Center.
On this day 50 years ago in Hershey, PA, Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain etched his name in the record books with 100 points to lead his Philadelphia Warriors over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. Chamberlain's epic performance will be celebrated by friends, former teammates and others connected to the historic night Friday in the City of Brotherly Love.
Chamberlain, who starred at Overbrook High School in Philly and passed away in 1999, established a record that may never be broken. Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant came close with an 81-point barrage back in 2006. Chamberlain, a former Harlem Globetrotter, started his professional career with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors before playing for the 76ers and Lakers.
The Sixers are commemorating Chamberlain's 100 points and haven't scored 100 points themselves in the last 19 games -- the longest streak below the century mark since a 25-game drought from Nov. 15, 2003-Jan. 5, 2004. They have also missed the win column in eight of the last 11 games and suffered a 92-88 setback versus the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday in the opener of a three-game homestand.
Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday had 18 points apiece, while Thaddeus Young added 16 points and nine rebounds in the setback for the 76ers, who halted a season-long five-game losing streak in Tuesday's rout of Detroit. The Sixers are winless in four straight as the host and fell to 13-7 at home. They still lead the Atlantic Division by three games over New York and Boston.
"We're growing, we're learning," said Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins. "It's frustrating but we're going to keep fighting and hopefully we're going to find a way to start winning some of these games."
Philly is playing five of six games in its own backyard and will also welcome Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls to town on Sunday.
Golden State has won three of four games since a three-game slide and is coming off an 85-82 win at Atlanta on Wednesday. David Lee scored 22 points, including the go-ahead layup inside the final minute, and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who received a game-high 24 points from Monta Ellis -- the subject of trade rumors lately.
"I thought we did a great job defensively of competing tonight," said Lee. "We had some tough matchups and we held guys to low shooting percentages. That's what we got to do."
Dominic McGuire pulled down 15 rebounds for a Golden State squad that played without point guard Stephen Curry for the majority of the past two games. Curry is currently bothered by a strained tendon in his right foot and is listed as questionable for Friday.
The Warriors are 2-1 on a six-game road trip and 5-9 as the visitor. They will also make stops in Toronto and Washington on the trek. Lee has scored 20-plus points in seven of the last eight games, averaging 21.8 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists during that span.
Golden State dropped a 107-79 decision to Philadelphia in Oakland back on Dec. 31 this season and has lost four of the past five meetings between the two teams. It is winless in three straight trips to Wells Fargo Center.