BASKETBALL—BOSTON lost its third game in a row (to the Pistons 115-113) for only the second time this season, and its Eastern Division lead dipped to a half game. But the Celtics won their next five games while CINCINNATI was dropping two out of five, and suddenly 2½ games separated the two contenders. The Royals' losses were back to back—first time in five weeks—followed by three victories, including a 117-114 win over the 76ers in which 6-foot-7½-inch Jerry Lucas pulled down 40 rebounds, most in the NBA this season. PHILADELPHIA beat the Pistons 130-122 for its only win in five games, and NEW YORK lost all three of its games. SAN FRANCISCO moved to a comfortable 3½-game lead in the West by winning four out of five while second-place ST. LOUIS split four. Third-place LOS ANGELES played its best ball in five weeks as it won three out of four (its only loss was in overtime to the Hawks, 115-114). BALTIMORE stumbled through three winless games, but DETROIT managed to take two out of five.

BOXING—Louisville's CASSIUS CLAY won the world heavyweight championship by a TKO when Sonny Liston failed to answer the bell at the beginning of the seventh round of their title fight in Miami Beach (see page 20).

World Featherweight Champion SUGAR RAMOS of Mexico City retained his title with a sixth-round TKO victory over Japan's Mitsunori Seki in Tokyo.

Third-ranking Middleweight RUBIN (Hurricane) CARTER won an easy 10-round decision over James Ellis of Louisville in Madison Square Garden.

FIELD TRIALS—WAR STORM, a powerful pointer owned by Bethea McCall of Birmingham, defeated 39 other dogs in a grueling 10-day test to win the National Bird Dog Championship in Grand Junction, Tenn.

FIGURE SKATING—Olympic gold medalists SJOUKJE DIJKSTRA of Holland and MANFRED SCHNELLDORFER of Germany easily took the ladies' and men's titles at the world championships in Dortmund. Germany, but MARIKA KILIUS and HANS-J√úRGEN BA√úMLER of Germany reversed the order of the Olympic pairs event by defeating Russia's titlists Ludmilla and Oleg Protopopov.

GOLF—Despite gusty winds, ART WALL JR. stroked a one-under-par 71 in the final round to win the $13,000 Bogotà (Colombia) International Open, his second victory in three Caribbean tournaments this season.

HOCKEY—MONTREAL moved into the lead when it defeated the Maple Leafs 1-0 and the Rangers 4-0 on Charlie Hodge's sixth and seventh shutouts (most in the league) while CHICAGO was splitting two games. Then the Black Hawks edged the Canadiens 4-3 as Ken Wharram scored three goals, including the winning point with less than three minutes remaining, and the two teams were once again tied for first place. TORONTO took only one (4-1 over the Black Hawks) out of three while DETROIT lost two games and tied another for its worst record in eight weeks. The Red Wings, however, remained securely in fourth place, just five points behind the Maple Leafs and an overwhelming 10 ahead of NEW YORK, which won, lost and tied in three games. BOSTON dropped another game to equal its longest losing streak (six) and then surprised everyone with two straight wins.

HORSE RACING—George Pope Jr.'s HILL RISE ($4.80), with Don Pierce aboard, took the lead in the stretch and won the $132,400 Santa Anita Derby with six lengths to spare (see page 16).

Carteret ($9.80), a French-bred 6-year-old owned by Hasty House Farm and ridden by Ray Broussard, came from behind to capture the $98,400 Hialeah Turf Cup Handicap by 3½ lengths over Royal Ascot.

SKIING—JOHN BALFANZ of Minneapolis took the national jumping championship with leaps of 235 and 231 feet on 75-meter Suicide Hill in Ishpeming, Mich. Defending champion Gene Kotlarek of Duluth, Minn. was runner-up.

Christian Pravda, 37, swept through a 54-gate course with ease to win the slalom title and $1,200 at the world professional championships in Heavenly Valley, Calif. ERNST HINTERSEER of Austria also earned $1,200 by taking the giant slalom championship.

SWIMMING—At the Australian championships in Sydney, indomitable DAWN FRASER (SI, Feb. 17) lowered her own world record in the 100-meter freestyle by .6 second with a 58.9, won the 200-and 400-meter freestyles and broke 60 seconds in the 100 again with a 59.6 while swimming a leg for the winning 400-meter relay team. In other events KEVIN BERRY set a world mark of 2:06.9 in the 200-meter butterfly, and BOB WINDLE clocked the second-best 1,500-meter freestyle time in history with 17:09.4.

TRACK & FIELD—Loyola's TOM O'HARA stole the show at the New York Knights of Columbus meet at Madison Square Garden as he won the Columbian Mile in 3:58.5 and, on the way, set a world indoor record of 3:43.6 for 1,500 meters, bettering by three seconds the 1961 mark held by Hungary's Istvàn Rózsav√∂lgyi. BRUCE KIDD edged Australian Ron Clarke in the two-mile (8:39), and his fellow Torontonian, BILL CROTHERS, breezed to an easy victory in the Casey 600 (1:09.7). In the field events GARY GUBNER put the shot 62 feet 8¼ inches to beat Parry O'Brien for the second straight week, JOHN UELSES cleared 16 feet ¼ inch to win the pole vault and JOHN THOMAS took the high jump with a leap of 7 feet 1 inch. The NCAA indoor championships were divided into two regional meets, and the Western division in Portland, Ore. was highlighted by the performance of HARRY JEROME, who had been out of competition for 15 months with a knee injury. He showed his fitness by taking the 60-yard dash in six seconds flat to help OREGON take the meet. MARYLAND STATE ran away with the team title in the NCAA Eastern division in Louisville as its mile relay team of Robert Brown (48.5), Harley Morris (47.8), Ed Skinner (48.1) and Earl Rogers (47.3) sped to a new world record of 3:11.7, bettering by half a second the mark set by Texas Southern last season on the same track. Still more world indoor records fell at other meets: Yale's WENDELL MOTTLEY ran the world's fastest 600 yards (1:09.2) at the Heptagonal Championships in Ithaca, N.Y., trimming .1 second off George Kerr's 3-year-old mark, and in Baltimore at the All-Eastern invitational games HAYES JONES, running his last race of the indoor season, improved his own record in the 60-yard high hurdles with a 6.8 clocking.

MILEPOSTS—SIGNED: JOE KUHARICH, 46, supervisor of officials for the NFL, as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Previously he had coached the University of San Francisco(1948-1951), the Chicago Cardinals (1952), the Washington Redskins (1954-1958) and his alma mater, Notre Dame (1959-1962). "I got the itch to get back into coaching," he said. "It was tough watching the films every week and realizing that none of the teams was yours."

DIED: F. AMBROSE CLARK, 83, the colorful sportsman who pioneered steeplechasing in America and could be seen many afternoons driving coach-and-four down busy Jericho Turnpike on Long Island; at his Old Westbury, N.Y. home.

DIED: GUS LESNEVICH, 49, former world light heavyweight champion, of a heart attack in Cliffside Park, N.J. He gained the title in 1941 and, after four years' service in the Coast Guard (1942-1945), successfully defended it three times before losing it in 1948 to British Empire Champion Freddie Mills. The following year he was knocked out by Ezzard Charles in a heavyweight title fight and promptly retired.

DIED: TIMOTHY MAYER, 26, of Dalton, Pa., a promising Grand Prix driver and nephew of Pennsylvania's Governor William Scranton, when his auto went out of control during a time trial and crashed near Launceston, Tasmania (Australia). He was to have driven with New Zealand's Bruce McLaren for the British Cooper team in an international race the next day.