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Pistons Beat Warriors as Wilt Plays Peacemaker

Mar. 5, 1963 - Powerful Wilt Chamberlain played the role of peacemaker like a barroom bouncer tonight, throwing two players to the floor during a wild fight as Detroit defeated San Francisco, 111-109, in the opener of an NBA doubleheader at Madison Square Garden. Players from both the Pistons and Warriors agreed that the powerful Chamberlain helped break up the brawl, which was triggered near the end of the third period when Al Attles of the Warriors tangled with Bob Ferry of the Pistons. Attles threw Ferry over his head and jumped on him, then other players from both sides joined in. Chamberlain waded in, tossing Bailey Howell of the Piston two-thirds of the way across the court and dumping 7-footer Walt Dukes of Detroit into a group of fans near the sidelines. After a couple minutes of action, order was restored by special police. Attles was ejected. “I thought Wilt was fighting, but then I realized he broke it up,” said rookie Dave DeBusschere in the Pistons’ dressing room. Assistant coach Earl Lloyd of the Pistons said: “That Chamberlain is real strong. I couldn’t begin to get Attles off Ferry, but Wilt just picked Attles up and almost took my arm with him.” Chamberlain gave this account of his participation: “I shoved Howell out of the way and then broke up that thing between Dukes and Wayne Hightower. I had to get to my boy Al before he killed Ferry.” Attles, who is a close friend of Chamberlain’s, asserted he was not to blame for the fight.


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