BASKETBALL—BOSTON (25-5) continued to dominate the East, but there were some small signs of solace for the rest of the league. In a 131-114 win over Baltimore the Celtics had to come from behind in the last quarter on John Havlicek's 16 points (43 for the game), and then, in an easy 133-111 defeat of New York, Bill Russell pulled a leg muscle. Without him the team barely limped by New York 143-140 and two nights later lost to the Knicks 127-117. With Russell back in the lineup the Celtics ran away from LA 126-110 (eight players scored 10 or more points), lost their fourth game to the Royals (97-87) and squeezed by the Hawks 107-100. Even with Boston slowing down slightly, CINCINNATI stayed 4½ games behind in second place. The Royals, however, made their best showing of the season by winning seven of eight games. Their only loss was by two points (108-106) to Baltimore in the last minute. PHILADELPHIA started to win (three straight) after dropping three out of four. The last game of the streak was John Kerr's 707th in a row, which set a new NBA record (his coach, Dolph Schayes, held the old mark). Last-place NEW YORK managed to drop nine straight games (longest streak in the NBA this season) before surprising the Celtics. After that it was lose one (134-126 to LA), win one (111-107 over the Hawks) and lose one (105-99 to the Royals). In the Western Division LOS ANGELES opened up its largest lead (2½ games) by winning four of six games while second-place ST. LOUIS was losing five of seven. During their streak, the steady Lakers took three in a row for the fifth time this season by defeating the 76ers twice and the Knicks once (Jerry West scored 36 of his 47 points in the second half as LA came from behind to win 134-126). SAN FRANCISCO moved to within a game of the slumping Hawks with four victories in six games, but up-and-down BALTIMORE dropped further behind when it lost three straight and then alternately won and lost its next six. DETROIT defeated the Knicks 107-103, but that was all. The Pistons' next five games were losses, and they fell deeper (12½ GB) into the cellar.
BOXING—In a 10-round nontitle fight in Pittsburgh, Middleweight RUBIN (Hurricane) CARTER (SI, Oct. 14) lived up to his nickname: He slugged Welterweight Champion Emile Griffith, the favorite, so fast, so hard and so incessantly that it was all over by a TKO at 2:13 of the first round.
Agile Cuban LUIS RODRIGUEZ, who lost the welterweight title to Griffith just last June, won a 10-round unanimous decision over Wilbert (Skeeter) McClure, a middleweight, in Miami Beach. "He is one fast cat," Skeeter conceded afterwards.
FOOTBALL—NFL: CHICAGO won its first championship in 17 years by coming from behind to defeat New York 14-10 (seepage 10).
January 6, 1964
AFL: In a playoff to decide the Eastern Division championship BOSTON smothered Buffalo 26-8 on two Babe Parilli TD passes to Larry Garron and four Gino Cappelletti field goals. SAN DIEGO took the Western title by crushing Denver 58-20 while second-place OAKLAND squeezed by Houston 52-49 for its eighth straight victory. KANSAS CITY, which started to win too late, shut out New York 48-0 and finished third in the West.
COLLEGE: For three periods, favored BAYLOR trailed Louisiana State 7-0 in Houston's Bluebonnet Bowl game, but Don Trull finally took charge and threw two TD passes to James Ingram to beat LSU 14-7. A week later Trull threw another TD pass, this time 25 yards to Willie Brown of Southern California for the West's only score in San Francisco's Shrine game. The East had only one score, too—a 10-yard run by Michigan State's Sherman Lewis in the final period—and the game ended 6-6. In the first quarter of Miami's North-South game, Jack Concannon of Boston College ran nine yards for a North TD and passed 26 yards to Cloyd Webb of Iowa for another. Then Miami's George Mira started throwing for the SOUTH and produced two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions to lead his team to a 23-14 win (altogether he had 27 completions in 42 attempts for 366 yards). MISSISSIPPI STATE quickly went ahead of North Carolina State 13-0 in the first quarter of the Liberty Bowl game in frigid (15°) Philadelphia and hung on to win 16-12. Georgia Quarterback Larry Rakestraw's second TD pass to Mallon Faircloth of Tennessee won the Blue-Gray game in Montgomery, Ala. for the GRAYS 21-14, and in Jacksonville NORTH CAROLINA crushed Air Force 35-0 in the Gator Bowl.
HARNESS RACING—Driver BILLY HAUGHTON of Glen Head, N.Y. earned $790,086 in 1963 to become the leading money winner for the ninth time (he was champion from 1952-1959). Stanley Dancer, the leader for the past two years, was runner-up.
HOCKEY—CHICAGO'S lead was temporarily sliced in half (from eight points to four) when it dropped two straight games (to Boston 2-1 and Montreal 3-2) for the second time this season. But the Black Hawks halted their worst slump (four losses and a tie in five games) by winning three of their next four as Glenn Hall shut out Toronto 2-0 (his fifth) and held Boston and Montreal to one goal apiece. High-scoring MONTREAL, five points behind in second place, went on its best streak when it won four (averaged 5½ goals a game) and tied one while losing only once. Johnny Bower, the league's oldest player at 39, scored his first two shutouts of the season (2-0 over both Detroit and Boston) as TORONTO took three and tied one in six games. DETROIT'S 21-year-old rookie goalie, Roger Crozier, filling in for the injured Terry Sawchuk, shut out the Bruins 3-0 (he won two and tied two in his previous four starts) before losing his first NHL game. He then gave up nine goals in his next two (a loss and a win), and Sawchuk quickly returned to the nets and allowed only two goals in two games (one win and a tie). NEW YORK climbed a point out of the cellar when it defeated the Black Hawks 4-2 and tied both the Maple Leafs and the Red Wings 1-1, while losing only two. Last-place BOSTON beat Chicago for the second time in a row and then promptly dropped five straight (the Bruins were shut out twice and scored only one goal in each of the other three losses).
HORSE RACING—WILLIE SHOEMAKER rode his 4,780th winner at Santa Anita to pass Eddie Arcaro's lifetime mark and become the third winningest jockey in the world. Quite possibly he will surpass second-ranked Sir Gordon Richards of England who retired with 4,870 winners, but he needs nearly 1,000 victories to catch up with Johnny Long-den, who is still active.
MOTOR SPORTS—Scotland's JIM CLARK became the first driver to win seven Grand Prix races in one year when he pushed his Lotus-Climax an average of 95.10 mph to victory in the 207-mile South African Grand Prix in East London, South Africa. He held the lead all the way and finished less than a minute ahead of Dan Gurney and Graham Hill.
TENNIS—For the first time since 1958 the U.S. DAVIS CUP TEAM (Dennis Ralston and Chuck McKinley) won the Challenge Round, 3-2, over Australia in Adelaide (see page 18).
TRACK & FIELD—The indoor season opened with the San Francisco Examiner Holiday Invitational meet, and a U.S. record quickly fell when Toronto's BILL CROTHERS ran 880 yards in 1:50.2, bettering by 1/10 of a second Arnie Sowell's 1957 mark. ULIS WILLIAMS of Arizona State took the 440 in 50.5 as Adolph Plummer, the outdoor world-record holder, finished second and PHIL SHINNICK of Washington broad-jumped 25 feet 6½ inches, half an inch farther than Ralph Boston. As expected, HAYES JONES won the 60-yard high hurdles (his 49th successive indoor victory), HERB CARPER the 60-yard dash, BRUCE KIDD the two-mile run, KEITH FORMAN the mile, PARRY O'BRIEN the shotput and JOHN THOMAS the high jump. The most stunning performance of the meet, however, was given by a 17-year-old Spokane schoolboy, GERRY LINDGREN, who won a two-mile race in nine flat, slicing 23.5 seconds off the national high school indoor record.
Australia's RON CLARKE broke two world records in one race in Melbourne. He covered 10,000 meters in 28:15.6, cutting 2.6 seconds off the mark set by Russia's Pyotr Bolotnikov; and on the way he established a new time of 27:17.6 for six miles, bettering by 26.2 seconds the record held by Hungary's Sàndor Iharos.
MILEPOSTS—RETIRED: WILLIAM SOL CUTCHINS, 62, one of earliest members of Cassius Clay's "millionaires' syndicate," as president of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Louisville.
DIED: SIR JACK HOBBS, Britain's finest cricket batsman, less than a week after his 81st birthday in Sussex, England (see page 8).
DIED: GEORGE WAGNER, 48, who as Gorgeous George made a fortune entertaining the country as a wrestler and clown in the early days of TV, of a heart attack in Los Angeles.
DIED: GEORGE WILSON, 63, an All-America halfback at Washington in 1925, of a heart attack while working on a dock in San Francisco.