The Philadelphia 76ers finally paid Wilt Chamberlain the tribute he has long deserved.
Then they outlasted the Orlando Magic 99-91.In a 45-minute pre-game ceremony Monday night, the 76ers retired the No. 13 worn by Chamberlain during his 14-year career, about half of which was spent with the 76ers or the Philadelphia Warriors.
"It's been a long time coming but good things come to those who wait," said Chamberlain, who retired after the 1973 season. "I am the recipient right now of all those good things."
Chamberlain had rebuffed many attempts to retire his number, then agreed last year to attend ceremonies in his honor.
"I have no animosity," Chamberlain said. "People think I hold some grudge against the 76ers but no way."
Chamberlain left the 76ers for the Los Angeles Lakers on bitter terms, feeling the team had reneged on a promise to let him purchase part of the franchise.
Any bad feelings were not evident Monday night, as Chamberlain seemed to appreciate his native city's need to pay him tribute.
Chamberlain still holds more NBA records than anyone can remembers, including most points in a game, 100, and most career rebounds, 23.924.
He played in 1,045 regular-season and 160 playoff games in his career and never fouled out and in the 1961-62 season, when he averaged 50.4 points per game, he played every minute of every game.
"When I think of Wilt Chamberlain as a player, I like to think of the year I led the league in assists," he said. "And I still averaged about 25 points and 24 rebounds per game and helped the team lead the league in victories. That's what it's all about."
In that 1967-68 season, Chamberlain averaged 8.2 assists, 24.3 points and 23.8 rebounds. Philadelphia had a 62-20 record and was upset in the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Chamberlain was traded to the Lakers after that season.
After the ceremony, the 76ers handed the Magic its fourth straight loss in an unsightly game.
Charles Barkley had 24 points and Hersey Hawkins added 21 for the 76ers and Dennis Scott led the Magic with 22 points but hit only 8-of-33 shots from the field.
Orlando shot 40.4 percent from the game while Philadelphia had 42.9 percent accuracy.
Bulls 121, Nuggets 108
At Chicago, Michael Jordan scored 31 points - 15 in the third quarter - and the Bulls won their eighth straight overall and their 24th straight at home. The Bulls are 29-3 at Chicago Stadium this season. The Nuggets lost their third straight and have lost 11 in a row on the road. Scottie Pippen added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls. Michael Adams led the Nuggets with 17 points and 10 assists, but was guilty of 10 turnovers.
Mavericks 104, Kings 86
Rolando Blackman's 31 points helped Dallas extend the Kings' road losing streak to an NBA record-tying 28 games. Sacramento's streak for concecutive road losses in the same season ties the New Orleans Jazz in 1974-75 and the 1989-90 New Jersey Nets. The Kings play in San Antonio Tuesday night. Sacramento Coach Dick Motta was ejected with three minutes remaining in the first half. Derek Harper added 18 for Dallas and James Donaldson had 17. The Kings were led by Lionel Simmons with 19 and Atoine Carr and Duane Causwell with 14 each.
Suns 111, Pacers 103
Tom Chambers scored 21 points and Phoenix went on a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter. Jeff Hornacek had 20 points and Dan Majerle and Kevin Johnson each added 19 for the Suns. Johnson added 15 assists. Reggie Miller and Detlef Schrempf scored 20 points apiece for Indiana. Xavier McDaniel added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Suns.