Wilt's record safe with evolved NBA coaching

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Wilt's record safe with evolved NBA coaching

Fifty one years ago, Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game.

He did it at Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, PA, and his performance helped the Warriors beat the New York Knickerbockers that night 169-147. Chamberlain's 100-point game is considered one of the greatest achievements in all of sport and many believe it is a record that will never be broken. But could it happen?

[RELATED: Honoring 'The Stilt's' record]

Former Warrior Tom Meschery, who was on the court that night Chamberlain scored 100 points, said it could, but then again, probably not.

"Possibly," Meschery said last year about Chamberlain's record being eclipsed. "If you just let LeBron (James) go and said OK, that's it, all you get to do is score. But I don't think (opposing) coaches would allow that anymore. The coaches would stop it. At some point it would be destructive and it wouldn't help the team. So, I doubt very seriously they'd (coaches) allow it."

On the night Chamberlain scored 100 points, he went 36-for-63 from the field and 28-for-32 from the foul line. Those 28 free throws were key for Chamberlain. He knocked down 87.5 percent of his foul shots that game, but he was only a 51-percenter from the line over the course of his career.

His quantity of free throws might suggest the Knicks were employing the Hack-A-Wilt strategy, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, what the Knicks tried to do for much of the fourth period of that game was to foul everybody but Chamberlain.

"It was a scramble on their part to foul anybody except Wilt after a certain point," Meschery said. "They were just trying to get the game over with as quickly as possible without Wilt scoring 100. So they were willing to put anybody on the line. I always thought the most comical part of that game was how frantic the Knicks were trying to foul everybody. Looked like a bunch of rats running around, scurrying around trying to foul somebody except Wilt."

Meschery actually believes there is something far more impressive about Chamberlain than his 100-point game. And that was the fact that Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points that season. The closest anyone has come to Chamberlain's record was when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. Bryant had 55 points in the second half of that game and overall went 28-for-46 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range. He also went 18-for-20 from the line.

Over the years, plenty of NBA players have put up big numbers. David Thompson scored 73 points one night, Elgin Baylor 71, David Robinson 71, Michael Jordan 69, Pete Maravich 68 and even Tracy McGrady had 62 once. But 100 seems out of the question.

One thing that worked in Chamberlain's favor that night was the Knicks never used the strategy of a double-team. According to Warriors ambassador and legend Al Attles, who was on the court with Chamberlain that game, double-teaming was not a big part of basketball back then.

"I don't think anyone is physically able to do that (score 100 points now)," said Attles. "Plus, the other reason I don't think it will happen is I don't think other coaches would allow it. The only other team that had a man play in front of Wilt and a man play in back of Wilt was Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics. If you talk to any of the Knickerbockers, I don't think many teams had an organized double-team back then other than the Celtics. To get 100 points in a game, that was unheard of. Again, when you were around Wilt Chamberlain and saw what he did on a nightly basis, nothing was beyond his reach. Would he score 100 points today? I don't think so. Because if you double-team someone -- like the Celtics used to do with (Bill) Russell and (Jim) Loscutoff -- what do you do? You pass the ball to someone else because someone else is open. So I don't think it will happen."

Another reason why both men believe it is unlikely to be matched is because Chamberlain's coach, Frank McGuire, had incentive to keep Chamberlain in the entire game. Months earlier, McGuire had predicted that one day Chamberlain would accomplish the feat of scoring 100.

Attles and Meschery also made a point of saying Chamberlain wanted out of that game, and had asked to come out after the game had been decided. But Attles said McGuire wouldn't acknowledge the request.

So, will it ever happen again -- an NBA player scoring 100 points? Attles thinks there's one way it's possible. If they start giving four points for baskets, five points for baskets if you shoot it beyond a certain point, he said. (Or) if you throw it the length of the court and it goes in you get 10 points or whatever. But to get 100 points in a game, were talking about Wilt Chamberlain here. Were talking about Wilt Chamberlain.

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn -- Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 Thursday night to take the series 4-2.

The Spurs now have beaten Memphis four of the five playoff series between these teams, and this was San Antonio's second straight win over the Grizzlies in the first round.

Tony Parker added 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points off the bench for the Spurs. San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-28, with 16 of those offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points.

Their semifinal with Houston will start Monday night in San Antonio.

Mike Conley scored 26 points, leading the five Memphis starters in double digits. Marc Gasol added 18, Zach Randolph 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Vince Carter had 12 points.

The Grizzlies fell to 3-10 in elimination games, losing six straight.

This was a taut game with 16 ties and nine lead changes, especially with four ties in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs took control after the Grizzlies went up 88-81 on three free throws from Conley with 6:29 left. Then Leonard scored eight straight for San Antonio, starting a 22-8 run to finish the game.

Even with Conley and Gasol a combined 2 of 10 in the first quarter, the Grizzlies trailed only 24-22 after Conley knocked down a 3 at the end of the quarter for his first bucket of the game. Conley hit another 3 for the final shot in the second quarter, putting Memphis up 50-45. The team that led at halftime won each of the first five games.

Parker hit his first six shots before finally missing his seventh with 29 seconds left in the first half.

The Grizzlies took their biggest lead at 57-47 on a 3-pointer by James Ennis III. That gave Memphis as many made 3s (9 of 17) as the Spurs had attempted (3 of 9) at that point. Randolph's layup with 7:19 left matched that 10-point lead at 63-53.

Then the Spurs went on a 13-3 run over a 4-minute span to erase that lead on Aldridge's three-point play at 67-66. Aldridge finished with nine points in helping the Spurs lead 75-74 at the end of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Spurs: They improved to 36-15 with a chance to clinch a series under coach Gregg Popovich, who took over in the 1996-97 season. ... Manu Ginobili converted a four-point play with 1:31 left in the third, putting the Spurs up 73-69. ... The Spurs wound up tying the Grizzlies' reserves with 16 points thanks to Mills.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies set a franchise record hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half, topping the previous mark of seven in the second half May 1, 2005, against Phoenix. ... Conley has 20 or more points in five straight playoff games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

FREE THROW WATCH

Memphis coach David Fizdale earned a $30,000 fine from the NBA for his "Take that for data" rant about the free throw discrepancy in Game 2. Well, Leonard was 9 of 10 at the free throw line through three quarters compared to the Grizzlies' 7 of 8. The Spurs were 18 of 20 through three quarters. The Spurs finished 22 of 25 compared to 20 of 24 for Memphis.

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Steve Kerr did not coach in Game 3 or Game 4 against the Blazers and is out indefinitely.

On Thursday, Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke with Jim Rome about Kerr's situation.

“What he’s going through right now is not a product of stress, it’s not a product of coaching, it’s more a physical issue that will be solved," Myers started. "When it will be solved, no one can say. But it is solvable, it’s fixable and like I said, he’s going to coach, but right now he just can’t.

"There’s some things that need to be corrected. But I think he’ll get back. I’m very very confident he will be back coaching, I just can’t say when.”

Kerr was not at practice on Wednesday and is consulting with specialists at Stanford this week.

Kerr is finishing up Year 3 of the five-year deal he signed back in May 2014.

"I think this guy is going to coach for a long time, because he thoroughly enjoys it," Myers said. "He really loves the game, and he is a great teacher. And you’ve had him on, I’m sure you’ve met him and talked to him. It’s one thing to know the game, but he has the ability to communicate it and our players clearly respond.

"So I can see that’s why a question you’d ask I totally get it and other people have asked but no I think he’s going to be in this game for a long time, we just have to get him back healthy now.”

The Warriors' next practice and media availability is on Friday.

The next series against the Jazz or Clippers will start on either Sunday or Tuesday.