Kobe Bryant and 6 Players with the Best Chance To Surpass Wilt Chamberlain's 100
The 49th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game just recently passed.
The closest any player has come to that total since was Kobe Bryant, when he scored 81 points in 2006.
While Chamberlain's 100-point performance will be difficult to match, there are a handful of NBA players who have the skill-set to challenge that mark.
Kobe Bryant and the following five players can put up triple digits if everything happens to go right for them on a given night.
In today's game, it's challenging to put up 50 points in a game, let alone 100. The defense has gotten much better since Chamberlain's time, and most teams usually have more than one scoring option on the floor at all times.
While a 100-point game in this era would be incredible, it's probably a long shot. However, it's fun to ponder nonetheless.
6. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
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Though he's getting up there in age, Dirk Nowitzki continues to perform at a high level night in and night out.
He's averaged 23.0 points per game this season for the Dallas Mavericks.
Nowitzki has a deadly mid-range jumper that he knocks down with regularity. He also shoots the three-ball well and has an 87.5 free-throw percentage.
Despite these intangibles, Nowitzki's career-high is only 53 points, which he set in 2004. That's just over halfway to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game.
Nowitzki isn't afraid to attempt a ton of shots per game, so on a night where he is consistently knocking down jumpers and picking up points at the free-throw line, he may be able to challenge the record.
5. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
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One of the only factors that is standing in the way of Carmelo Anthony scoring 100 points is his own teammate—Amar'e Stoudemire.
Stoudemire is tied for second in the NBA with 26.3 points per game, while Anthony checks in at fourth with 25.3 points per game.
Anthony can score in the paint, behind the arc and from the free-throw line.
On a night when Stoudemire is having a poor game and the balls bounce the right way for the Knicks, Anthony has the potential to put up 100 points, though his career-high is only 50.
4. LeBron James, Miami Heat
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LeBron James of the Miami Heat has all the tools and more to put up a 100-point game.
However, like Carmelo Anthony, James is privileged to play with superstars. Dwyane Wade has averaged 25.6 points per game, while Chris Bosh has added 18.1. However, things haven't been working out so great for the new big three lately in Miami.
James is tied for second in the NBA with 26.3 points per game. His career-high is 56 points, which occurred against the Toronto Raptors in 2005.
James probably had a better shot as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was the main scoring option and was encouraged to take the majority of the shots.
He still could put up a 100-point game if he shoots lights out from downtown and makes all his free throws. He would have to get off to a hot start so that his teammates will constantly feed him the ball.
3. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
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Though his career-high is only 42 points—which he set earlier this season—Derrick Rose could be the sleeper pick to score 100 points in a game.
He's averaged 24.6 points this season for the Chicago Bulls.
He shoots the ball well from three-point land and from the free-throw line. However, his greatest asset is his ability to find the open seam and drive to the hoop, where he cashes in on easy layups.
He's become the focal point of Chicago's offense. With big men Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer pulling down rebounds all game, these two can give Rose more opportunities to score.
Rose is still only 22, so he could have a special night somewhere down the road.
2. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
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Is there anything Kevin Durant can't do on a basketball court?
He has emerged as the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder, setting his career-high in points this season with 47.
Durant is the NBA's leading scorer this season, averaging 28.1 points per game.
He has developed a strong connection with his point guard, Russell Westbrook, who constantly finds Durant for the open shot.
Durant can shoot three-pointers, mid-range jumpers, score in the paint and rack up at the free-throw line.
Like Rose, Durant is only 22—and with a little luck, he could be the favorite to follow in Wilt Chamberlain's footsteps.
1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
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Despite his age, Kobe Bryant has the competitive edge and killer instinct to always be included at the top of a list such as this.
Just look at his performance in the All-Star Game. He led all scorers with 37 points en route to winning the MVP, although it was an exhibition game.
Bryant is fifth in the NBA with 25.1 points per game.
He's never been afraid to jack up shot after shot, so on a night when he's feeling it, he could knock down 100.
His career-high of 81 points has been the closest any player has come to matching Wilt Chamberlain's record.
Bryant's window to challenge the mark is dwindling, but once again, he can never be counted out of the conversation.