The 76ers needed nine players to score to beat the Warriors — and top The Big Dipper.
Lou Williams scored 25 points, and Elton Brand had 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead Philadelphia to a 105-83 victory over Golden State on Friday in the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.
The Sixers topped 100 points for the first time in 20 games on the night they paid tribute to the record Chamberlain set for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962, at the Hershey Sports Arena.
”All right, so we got more than a hundred. We beat Wilt,” said Brand, laughing.
The Sixers gave fans pieces of the court and honored Chamberlain’s sisters and former teammates during a halftime ceremony.
On that memorable night, Chamberlain scored 41 points by halftime and 69 points through three quarters. The Sixers had 50 points at the break and 75 points through three on Friday.
Chamberlain’s single-game scoring record — yet again — was never in jeopardy. David Lee had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Golden State, and Monta Ellis scored 20 points. Stephen Curry (foot) sat out.
”We have to be on all the time,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. ”We have to be aggressive. We have to play with force.”
Few ever played with the force of Chamberlain
Chamberlain’s feat was recognized with interview clips, audio from the record-breaking fourth quarter, and a mounted ”2×2” piece of hardwood from the game court the Sixers recently purchased from the owners in Hershey, Pa. They donated part of the court to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Chamberlain died in 1999.
He played all 48 minutes in Philadelphia’s 169-147 win over the Knicks. He shot 36 of 63 from the floor and an un-Wilt like 28 of 32 from the free-throw line.
When the Sixers made their 37th basket Friday in the fourth quarter, it gave them 92 points. The Sixers shot 33 of 82 from the floor and made 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.
”It was an honor to play on the anniversary,” Brand said.
The Sixers made their push to match Chamberlain in the fourth when Jrue Holiday and Williams hit 3s midway through the quarter to build an 85-67 lead. Nearly 18,500 fans were rocking, helping the Sixers — and the atmosphere — match their early-season fast start when they won 12 of 14 at home.
The Sixers had dropped five of six home games.
”We weren’t playing like a team that lost a few home games in a row,” Brand said. ”We were playing like, ‘Hey, we can turn it off and turn it on any time we want.’ We know we can’t. We’ve lost some really tight games.”
Andre Iguodala had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers. Thaddeus Young scored 16 points.
”They got what they wanted trading buckets,” Warriors forward Dorell Wright said. ”We are never going to win like that. If one guy can go off and really start to score, they can do whatever they want.”
Brand had his second straight double-double after missing a pair of games with a strained right thumb. With center Spencer Hawes out with a strained Achilles’, Brand realized he needed to become a more reliable scoring option down low. He had eight points and eight rebounds in the third quarter as the Sixers stretched the lead to double digits.
”Elton Brand had a brilliant third quarter,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said.
With only their second win in eight games in hand, the crowd turned their attention down the stretch to the 100-point mark. In Hershey, Chamberlain’s point total was announced to the fans after each bucket late in the game. Fans on this night chanted ”100 for Wilt!”
Young’s jumper bounced high off the rim and through to make it 99-79. Iguodala swished an 18-footer with 1:22 left for 101 points and the crowd erupted as if the shot were a playoff winner.
Of course, 100 points also meant free McDonald’s for everyone in the crowd.
Fifty years ago, the crowd went wild for The Big Dipper. In 2012, it’s Big Macs.
The point total was about the lone moment of suspense in a game the Sixers controlled for the final 24 minutes.
”We didn’t think about it until we hit 99 and the crowd got a little antsy,” Williams said.
Notes: Warriors owner Joe Lacob joined members of Sixers ownership from a halftime ceremony. … The Sixers had not scored 100 points in the last 19 games, their longest streak since a 25-game drought in the 2003-04 season. … Only 4,124 attended the 1962 game. … The Warriors moved to San Francisco in 1962 and the Syracuse Nationals moved the Philadelphia. Chamberlain followed the Warriors to California until he was traded to the Sixers in 1965.