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.

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

OAKLAND -- The Warriors-Clippers rivalry, dead for a couple years, was buried 50 points deep Thursday night.

There were, and may always be, occasional fits of temper in which both players and officials will be tested. That surely was the case during the Warriors’ 123-113 victory over LA at Oracle Arena.

But scoring 50 points in 12 minutes, as the Warriors did in the third quarter, is a rather emphatic statement that serves as its own embellishment. It sent the Clippers back home, unable to muster even a half-hearted comeback.

“That was incredible,” Kevin Durant said of third-quarter scoring frenzy.

“That’s a lot of points,” Klay Thompson said. “It’s that the most we’ve had all season?”

Well, yes, it is. The Warriors’ previous high for points in a quarter was 45, also against the Clippers, on Jan. 28.

So this was astonishing even to the Warriors, the highest-scoring team in the NBA for three seasons running. This is the Warriors’ fourth 50-point quarter in franchise history and their first since March 1989. They made nine 3-pointers, tying a franchise record for triples in a quarter.

Fifties are rare, period; the last one by any team in the NBA was on March 25, 2014, when the Lakers dropped 51 in a quarter against the Knicks.

“I had no idea we scored that much,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 20 in the quarter -- 17 in the final 3:37 before halftime. “Obviously, coming back from 12 down to having a double-digit lead, it all started with the defensive end and finding transition.”

The scoring breakdown: Curry scored 20, Durant 15, Thompson 5, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia 4 each and JaVale McGee 2. The Warriors shot 73.9 percent (17-of-23) in the quarter.

“It all started from our defense, getting rebounds and getting out in transition,” Durant said.

The Warriors forced five LA turnovers in the quarter, off which they scored 11 points. Trailing by 12 at the half, they led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.

The Warriors have defeated the Clippers 10 consecutive times overall. They’ve beaten them 11 straight times at Oracle Arena. The average margin of victory in four games this season is 21.5 points.

This was a matter of how the Warriors responded to the threat posed by LA in the first half.

“I’m not sure what needed to happen,” Draymond Green said. “But I know we took that quarter over. And it was pretty spectacular.”

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

This will come as a sharp blow to Warrior fans who like things the way they are, but they probably can no longer use Scott Foster as an alibi for failure, or a stalking horse for rage.
 
Well, I mean they can, but let’s be honest here – the evidence just doesn’t support it any more.
 
Foster, who no matter what you say is one of the elite officials in the league, has also been cast as a bête noire by all things Golden State. Either he’s imperious, or he’s standoffish, or he makes himself too conspicuous – they’re all standard complaints made of all officials who aren’t otherwise branded as just plain terrible.
 
Only Foster isn’t terrible, given the fact that he has worked a series of NBA Finals, and that remains the gold standard for officiating.
 
But the Warriors bang their heads against the backboard when he works their games, and were on the verge of doing that again Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Foster called third quarter technicals on Andre Iguodala and the Warrior bench, and J.T. Orr called one on Draymond Green, all in the space of 6:34. The Warriors were unhinged, the fans were unhinged, innocent bystanders were being hit with flying hinges throughout the arena.
 
And in that stretch, the Warriors outscored the Clippers, 26-15, en route to a 50-point quarter (the first in two seasons and the third since the turn of the millennium) and another harsh slapdown of what used to be known as the Warriors-Clippers Cavalcade Of Hate, this time 123-113.
 
It isn’t that any more, not close. Truth is, the Warriors have won 10 consecutive games against the Clips, but probably never quite at decisively as this. At the game’s most lopsided stretch, Golden State outscored Los Angeles, 72-33, in a shade over 17 minutes.
 
Because that’s what they do.
 
Only this time, the comeback was not fueled by the existence of the Clippers, who had outplayed them pretty convincingly for the first 22 minutes and change, but with the officials, who as we have said before irk the hell out of them when their number includes Foster.
 
Who, again, is one of the game’s best officials. I think it’s a personality clash, to be frank, in which both sides can take some blame.
 
Truth is, though, when a team can go for 50 in a quarter and still have time to engage in a feud with the officials, it is making a kinky little statement about what they can do when enraged, and how difficult it is to stop them when they have a serious mad-on.
 
Yes, it is probably stretching a point to make this case, especially when the Warriors make 17 of 23 shots (9 of 15 from three) and assist on 13 of the 17 field goals. It is probably minimizing Stephen Curry’s 20-point quarter and his four assists, or Kevin Durant’s 15 and five rebounds, or David West imposing his body between Green and the officials to keep him from getting T’d up again for the second successive game.
 
But we have already established that rivalries are dying at their feet left and right. In the last three years the Clippers have gone from the Warriors’ arch-enemies to a team that has finished an aggregate 44 games behind the Dubs in the standings, making whatever animosity they can still stir 

Against the Clips a curio of a much earlier time. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come and gone, and even the Durant-Russell Westbrook has lost its last bit of elasticity.
 
Oh, there is still Cleveland, but that cannot be resumed for another 14 weeks at the earliest.
 
The Warriors, in short, have run out of opponents, and given that they will manufacture a foe when one does not otherwise exist, Scott Foster may have to serve for the time being, even if he is nothing but an intermittent prop to amuse the customers when the game cannot provide.
 
Though you’d have to think the third quarter Thursday makes that pretty thin oatmeal. The Warriors ate an entire game in 12 minutes, including the officials. They seemed like they got their fill.