He scored 16 points in the primary half. But at the same time as the Lakers built an enormous lead within the third quarter, Abdul-Jabbar resisted forcing shots and consistently passed out of traps. A 12-footer along the baseline gave him 18 points for the sport. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, the sport was so out of reach that Frank Layden, the coach of the Jazz, began removing his key players to preserve them for the playoffs.
But Abdul-Jabbar was so near the record that he re-entered the sport, and he tied Chamberlain when James Worthy passed to him for a dunk. The following assist needed to belong to Johnson, and when Johnson passed out of trouble to Bob McAdoo, one among the Lakers’ reserves, his teammates shouted at McAdoo to pass it back to Johnson.
“Magic almost ran up and grabbed it,” Scott said, laughing on the memory.
Bob Hansen, a first-year guard for the Jazz that season, was guarding Johnson and made the unconventional decision to provide him just a little space to make an entry pass to Abdul-Jabbar on the suitable block.
“Didn’t want to actually get in the best way of history,” Hansen said.
Hansen’s teammates had other ideas. Eaton and Green tried to double-team the 7-2 Abdul-Jabbar, but he took one dribble, pivoted to his right, then spun to his left to rise for a sky hook over Eaton, who had been dreading such a moment. Chick Hearn, the longtime play-by-play announcer for the Lakers, rejoiced when the ball splashed through the ring.
“The brand new king of scoring has ascended his throne,” Hearn said on the published as Abdul-Jabbar’s teammates embraced him. “This man has completed something that I don’t consider — and I mean this sincerely — I don’t think it will ever occur again.”
As reporters, photographers and dignitaries swarmed Abdul-Jabbar, Hansen waded through the mass of humanity with the ball in his hands. He found Abdul-Jabbar near midcourt.
“I said: ‘Here you go, big fella, here’s the ball. Do you would like the ball?’ He was like: ‘Yeah! Thanks, little man,’” said Hansen, who’s 6-6. “And he patted me on the top.”