2. Wilt Chamberlain: Los Angeles Lakers at San Francisco Warriors, March 31, 1969
- Box score: 22 points, 28 rebounds, 5 assists
The fact that Wilt Chamberlain casually grabbed 28 rebounds and it was not even that out of the ordinary for him is quite remarkable. He might not be the greatest player of all-time, but in terms of how good someone was compared to their peers at the time, there is nobody better than Wilt.
But why is this game ranking second? Sure, he had 28 boards, but he only scored 22 points and five assists. Granted, not all of the statistics were tracked back in the 1960s.
The reason why this ranks so high is that it was in the NBA Playoffs. This was not an ordinary NBA game in January or February, this was a playoff game with stakes. Really high stakes, in fact, as the Lakers were down 0-2 in the series and Wilt’s performance propelled them to a huge win.
The Lakers were on the brink of elimination in a five-game series and Wilt’s performance kickstarted a tremendous comeback that led to the team making the NBA Finals (albeit losing). The Lakers won the next two games to come back and win the series three games to two. This game was the most impressive of the series for Wilt.
The Los Angeles Lakers may have missed out on prime 100-point Wilt Chamberlain, but they still got a monster of a man who was instrumental in the Lakers winning the only championship of the Jerry West era three years later.