This Day in Laker History: December 8th

AP File Photo

Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.

DECEMBER 8, 1961
LA LAKERS 151 – PHILADELPHIA WARRIORS 147 (3 OT)
CHAMBERLAIN SETS SCORING MARK IN HISTORIC DUEL, BAYLOR’S LAKERS ESCAPE PHILLY WITH VICTORY

It’s easy for us to look at our era of basketball as the best. Our athletes are in better physical shape than their predecessors, they’re more mechanically sound, and they break down slower. However, there are some performances that keep you grounded as an NBA fan, ones that let you know that players from a prior era could keep up or possibly best some of the stars of today. 50 years ago today was one of those performances. Between Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain and the Lakers’ Elgin Baylor, the two would shatter NBA records and play as giants amongst men in the triple-overtime performance. Chamberlain’s 78 points? That broke an NBA record of 71 points set by Elgin Baylor the previous year. Baylor’s 63 points? Just the third best scoring performance of his career. Chamberlain’s 43 rebounds? Only one man since Chamberlain has broken that mark and his last name was Russell. Baylor’s 31 rebounds and seven assists? Baylor stands as the only man in NBA history to put up a 60-10-5 line on two separate occasions. Chamberlain’s 62 field goal attempts? Nearly an entire team’s worth in 2011 (the Dallas Mavericks only attempted 67 field goals in their Game 1 win against the Lakers in last year’s NBA Playoffs).

Despite Wilt and four of his teammates reaching double figures in scoring, Baylor and the Lakers would leave Philadelphia victorious. Lost in the epic duel between Chamberlain and Baylor would be a triple-double from Laker guard Jerry West, who would score 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the 151-147 victory over the Warriors. The win would move the Lakers to 20-7, extending their win streak on the season to five straight games.

Fact of the Night: No two single players on opposing teams have combined to score more points in an NBA game than Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain during their 151-147 triple-overtime game.

ALSO ON THIS DATE – DECEMBER 8, 2000 -SHAQ GOES o-11 ON FREE THROWS – SETS NBA RECORD FOR FUTILITY

In a 103-95 loss to the Seattle Supersonics, Laker center Shaquille O’Neal would miss all 11 of his free throw attempts to set an NBA record for most free throws attempted without a basket.

James Cypert is a news and feature writer for LakerNation.com. When he's not perfecting his ill-advised Kareem-style sky-hook, you can find him on Laker Nation or follow him on Twitter.