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76ers Come Back To Beat Warriors as Costello Makes Killer Play

Dec. 26, 1963 - Larry Costello (right), a 6-1 pipsqueak in a game of giants, caught the San Francisco Warrior defense completely by surprise and drove the lane for a “killer” three-point play with 45 seconds left to give the 76ers an improbable, uphill 118-112 victory tonight at Philadelphia’s Convention Hall. The 4,114 fans had twice given up the 76ers for dead after they had fallen behind badly in the first two quarters, but Hal Greer put the Philadelphians back in business practically by himself early in the fourth quarter and Costello delivered the death blow. Wilt Chamberlain got 49 points, including the two free throws that pulled the Warriors within 113-112 with 56 seconds left, at which point 76er Al Bianchi called the big play. “Give it to Costello,” Bianchi suggested. “Guy Rodgers has five fouls and won’t guard him too closely.” So, it was a Costello vs. Rodgers battle as Costello faked to his right then cut left and past Rodgers for the big two points. When Rodgers fouled, Costello made the third point for a 116-112 lead, which Chet Walker put completely out of reach with a dunk shot with 10 seconds left. There would have been no comeback without Greer, however. The slick-shooting 76er guard hit 4 straight and 5 of his first 6 to start the fourth quarter. Of the home team’s 34 points in the final quarter, he sank 16, finishing with 31 for the evening. In other 76ers news, center Johnny Kerr can tie the NBA all-time consecutive game record tomorrow night at the Hershey Arena when the 76ers oppose the Detroit Pistons in the nightcap of a twin bill. Kerr is scheduled to play in his 706th straight game, a streak that started in 1954-55, when he entered the league, and which has remained unbroken. The current record-holder is Philadelphia head coach Dolph Schayes, who set his streak between 1952 and 1961.

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