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Warriors Top Celtics as Chamberlain Shines

Jan. 7, 1964 - Everything Bill Russell did tonight Wilt Chamberlain did better. The big man of the Warriors put away 35 points to Russell’s 28 as he powered the San Franciscans to a 92-89 victory over the world champion Boston Celtics before a small but appreciative Cow Palace gathering of 5,276. The two teams were locked in a 68-68 knot after three quarters, and then things went haywire. First, the Warriors ran a 10-point string for 78-68, with Chamberlain accounting for nine points. Then the Celtics notched 11 points in succession to assume a 79-78 lead. But before Red Auerbach’s crew knew what hit it, San Francisco had carved out an 87-79 advantage.

The man who put the finishing touch on the Warriors’ 19th triumph in 37 games was rookie Nate Thurmond, a key factor all the way. He tallied eight of the Warriors’ next 11 points as Alex Hannum’s troops carved out an 89-81 lead, and there wasn’t much the Celtics could do after that. Chamberlain grabbed a total of 32 rebounds and, as a team, the Warriors commanded the boards by a 73-65 margin, and that isn’t customary when you are playing Bill Russell — who collared 28 rebounds — and company. Neither team hit a high percentage of floor shots — 40.9% for the Warriors and 37.2% for the Celtics — but that was largely the result of outstanding defensive play rather than poor marksmanship. It was the Celtics’ third straight defeat.



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