Today in Philly Sports History: Chuck Goes for 40 and 20, 1988

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By the 1988-1989 season, with all remnants of the '83 championship team dispersed but for point guard Mo Cheeks (soon to be traded to San Antonio), the Sixers' were clearly now Sir Charles's team. He was playing like a franchise player, too, averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and nearly two steals a game. One of the best performances of his career--and which no doubt helped earn him the SI cover pictured above--came that season, when Portland arrived at the Spectrum on November 30th, 1988. Chuck went off for 41 points (on 13 of 16 shooting) and 22 rebounds, and added in five dimes and six steals.

The Sixers also got a sizable contribution from sharpshooter Hersey Hawkins, who chipped in 28 on his lonesome, as well as six rebounds, four dimes and four steals. But the story of the game was Barkley, as he led Philly to a 114-106 victory, moving the team to 10-5 for the season--impressive for a bunch who had missed the playoffs entirely the previous season. Barkley's performance that day is rated by BasketballReference.com as having a Game Score of 49.6, higher than any achieved by Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson in the same season.

Despite Charles Barkley's herculean efforts that season, the Sixers fell in the first round of the 1989 playoffs to the New York Knicks in three games. It was one of the many post-season frustrations Barkley would face as a 76er before finally making the finals as a member of the Phoenix Suns in 1993.

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