By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game. Hopefully they’re inspired, and produce some points of their own.
On March 2nd, 1962, Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors. The current Sixers on the other hand, haven’t scored 100 points as a team since January 23rd, a span of 19 games. They closed out their Wednesday night loss to the Thunder by missing 11 of 12 shots, with only one field goal made in the final five minutes of the game, spoiling a generally fantastic effort against one of the best offensive teams in the league.
The Warriors may be just what the Sixers need to get themselves back on track on the offensive end. Golden State is one of just four teams in the NBA giving up more than 100 points per game. They’re also the fifth worst team in the league in defensive efficiency. They’re even worse on the road, going just 5-9, giving up 101.6 points, and scoring just 96.
They’re led in scoring by Monta Ellis, who by his standards isn’t having a great season. He’s shooting the worst percentage of his career overall and from three-point range, but is still a tough assignment and a threat have a huge game. Generally when Ellis scores, he takes a lot of shots to do it. Scoring 24 points in a win over the Hawks, but taking 27 shots to get there. As long as the Sixers keep his efficiency low, the points themselves will hurt them less It will be a rivalry renewed, as Ellis and the Sixers Lou Williams faced off in high school.
Ellis is once again the subject of trade rumors, most recently linked to a deal involving the Orlando Magic. Last year, Ellis was rumored to be part of a trade involving Andre Iguodala, that would bring him to the Sixers.
To win this one, the Sixers will have to take advantage of the Warriors lackluster defense, because they’ll most likely have to score more than usual to win tonight. Golden State is fifth in the NBA in scoring, at over 99 points per game. Of the Sixers 21 wins, they’ve held their opponents to 90 points or less 20 times. The Warriors have scored fewer than 90 points just five times this season.
Tonight’s game is the second meeting between the teams this season. The Sixers won the first one convincingly, beating the Warriors 107-79 on New Year’s Eve.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been out of action with a sprained foot, but has targeted tonight for his return. The Sixers will continue to be without Spencer Hawes, who the Sixers look to get back in the lineup on March 12th against the Utah Jazz.
In addition to tonight’s Wilt Chamberlain anniversary celebration, all fans attending will receive a 2″x2″ piece of the court that the 100 point game was played on. Tickets are still available at sixers.com. The game can be heard live at 8pm on 94WIP. WIP will also air a special at 6pm honoring Chamberlain’s feat, hosted by Rob Ellis and featuring appearances by Sonny Hill, and Bill Campbell. They will play audio highlights from Campbell’s call of the game.