BASKETBALL—NBA: BOSTON (31-14) split four games but clung to its half-game Eastern Division lead over CINCINNATI (31-15), which split two. The Royals beat the Lakers 119-108 to climb within one percentage point of the Celtics and then lost a big game to Boston 113-96. It broke an eight-game winning streak and kept the Royals from taking over first place. PHILADELPHIA (30-17) took four straight and moved within two games of the Celtics, while lowly NEW YORK (14-32) fumbled through four more losses to make it seven in a row and 14 defeats in the Knicks' last 16 games. In the West LOS ANGELES (28-24) had its lead cut to three games as the Lakers lost to the Royals, Bullets and Warriors. Second-place BALTIMORE (25-27) lost to the 76ers 128-117, but edged the Lakers 123-121 when Johnny Kerr tossed in a basket with one second to play. Then, two days after the Bullets dropped a game to the Celtics for the sixth straight time this season, 129-89, they whacked Boston 132-107. SAN FRANCISCO (22-27), a game and a half behind the Bullets, defeated the Lakers 120-109 as Nate Thurmond scored a career-high 36 points, while ST. LOUIS (21-28) took three from the Knicks, beat the Pistons and lost to the 76ers. DETROIT (15-33), though trailing by 20 at the half, defeated the Celtics 116-115, and then lost two of its next three games.
GOLF—DON MASSENGALE, 28, of Jacksboro, Texas, won his first tournament on the PGA tour when he scored a two-under-par 70 in the final round to take the $104,500 Bing Crosby at Pebble Beach with a 283 total (page 40).
Mrs. Nancy Roth Syms of Hollywood, Fla. sank a 50-foot putt on the 35th hole to defeat Barbara McIntire, two-time U.S. Amateur champion, 2 and 1 in the Helen Lee Doherty Women's Amateur in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The victory was Mrs. Syms's third in the Doherty.
HOCKEY—NHL: DETROIT (23-12-5), with three straight victories that ran its unbeaten streak to nine in a row, skated past the slumping Canadiens and Black Hawks into the lead for the first time this season. The high-flying Red Wings took two from the Canadiens, 5-2 and 3-0 (Roger Crozier's seventh shutout), and walloped the Rangers 5-1 to take a four-point lead over CHICAGO (21-14-5) and MONTREAL (21-13-5), who dropped into a tie for second after a disastrous week in which both teams lost two and tied each other 3-3. The Hawks' losing streak had reached four before Bobby Hull salvaged the tie with the Canadiens with his 38th goal of the season in the third period. NEW YORK (9-23-8) dropped all three games it played and almost skidded into the cellar as BOSTON (10-26-4) won three straight and crept within two points of the Rangers.
HORSE RACING—John Galbreath's 3-year-old colt GRAUSTARK ($2.40), ridden by Braulio Baeza, extended his victory string to four when he won the Grenada Purse, a $6,000 six-furlong allowance race at Hialeah (page 45). Later in the week IMPRESSIVE ($16.40), owned by Ogden Phipps, upset favored Gunflint, who finished third, in the $33,300 Hibiscus Stakes. Needle Him came in second, 2¾ lengths back.
MOTOR SPORTS—PAULI TOIVONEN and ERIK MIKANDER of Finland, driving a Citroen DS21, were named winners of the Monte Carlo rally when Finland's Timo Makinen and Britain's Paul Easter, who came in first, and the next four finishers were disqualified for having illegal lighting systems. Rally officials rejected an appeal by the ousted Mini-Cooper and Ford Cortina drivers, but BMC representatives said they would take their case to the International Automobile Federation. "Although it has always been my aim to win a Monte," said Toivonen, "there is no joy in doing it this way."
Dan Gurney of Costa Mesa, Calif. won his fourth straight Riverside 500 for stock cars when he drove his 1966 Ford to a new record average of 97.94 mph. Dave Pearson of Spartanburg, S.C. finished second, one minute, 12 seconds behind.
SKIING—KARL SCHRANZ of Austria took his second combined title in two weekends with a win in the downhill (2:16.63) and a fifth place in the slalom at the Hahnenkamm Skiing Festival in Kitzb√ºhel, Austria. France's JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY won the slalom in 1:54.23, edging his countryman, Jules Melquiond, by less than one-half second. America's Billy Kidd, who finished third in the downhill, caught a ski on a pole during his second slalom run and fell, spraining his right ankle. Said Kidd, as the spectators cheered him anyhow, "I would rather not take a spill anyplace, but the Austrians sure make it pleasant."
The Austrians also triumphed earlier in the week when TRAUDL HECHER won the overall title at the women's Silver Jug meet in Bad Gastein, Austria. Miss Hecher defeated her teammate, Christl Haas, in winning the downhill (2:36.4) and took third place in the slalom. Canada's NANCY GREENE finished first in the slalom with a two-run aggregate time of 87.88 seconds.
TRACK & FIELD—JIM GRELLE of Portland, Ore. came from behind on the last lap of the mile to defeat Kenya's Kipchoge Keino with a 4:00.9 at the Los Angeles Invitational, but a little later KEINO, astonishingly, took the two-mile in 8:42.6 (page 18). Pentti Nikula's 3-year-old indoor pole vault record (16 feet 8¾ inches) was smashed by JOHN PENNEL of Los Angeles with a vault of 16 feet 9½ inches. ART WALKER of the Southern California Striders broke the hop, step and jump mark with a leap of 53 feet 8½ inches, adding 7¼ inches to the old mark, and the University of Nebraska's CHARLIE GREENE equaled the 60-yard-dash record of 5.9, set by Bob Hayes in 1964. GAYLE HOPKINS of Pasadena, Calif. edged Britain's Olympic Champion, Lynn Davies, for first in the broad jump with a leap of 25 feet 3½ inches to Davies' 25 feet 1¼ inches, while JOHN RAMBO of Long Beach, Calif. won the high jump (7 feet 2).
Southern University's WILLIE DAVENPORT, GEORGE ANDERSON and THERON LEWIS dominated the short races at the NAIA Championships in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium. Davenport won the 60-yard high hurdles in 7.1, while Anderson took the 60-yard dash in six seconds flat and Lewis the 440-yard in 48.9. The Southern relay team, anchored by Lewis, added the fastest mile relay (3:15) ever run on a 12-lap track in the U.S. to give SOUTHERN the team title with 87 points. Britain's JOHN WHETTON again beat teammate Alan Simpson as he finished the open-division mile in 4:07.4 and Southern Illinois' GEORGE WOODS won the shotput with a mark of 61 feet 2¾ inches. JANELL SMITH of Fredonia, Kans. was a double winner, taking the 440-yard dash in 57.9 and the 60-yard in 7.0, and RICHMOND FLOWERS of Tennessee, son of Alabama's attorney general, won the open high hurdles (7.2) and the 60-yard dash (6.2).
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: To baseball's Hall of Fame by a record vote (282 of a possible 302), former Boston Outfielder TED WILLIAMS, 47, who batted .344 in 19 seasons with the Red Sox and was baseball's last .400 hitter (1941).
AWARDED: By the North American Yacht Racing Union to Yachting Writer LEONARD FOWLE, the Nathanael Greene Herreshoff trophy, for his influence in the development of intercollegiate yachting and "myriad contributions to sailing."
HIRED: As head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, BILL AUSTIN, 37, ex-New York Giant guard (1949-50 and 1953-57) and former line coach at Green Bay (1959-64) and Los Angeles (1965).
RETIRING: Austria's EDITH ZIMMERMANN, 24, the 1964 Olympic downhill silver medalist, to marry construction executive Heinz Rhomberg.
FIRED: HUGH (Bones) TAYLOR as head coach of the Houston Oilers after an apparent disagreement with Quarterback George Blanda. Taylor, who had just signed a three-year contract, was hired last year and coached Houston to a 4-10 season.
DIED: Minor league baseball executive (for nearly half a century) FRANK DUDLEY LAWRENCE, 74, in Portsmouth, Va.
DIED: LESLIE M. O'CONNOR, 77, special assistant to Baseball Commissioner K. M. Landis for 23 years, in Tokyo. O'Connor was appointed by Landis in 1921 and served until 1944, when he became pro tem commissioner at Landis' death. In 1945 O'Connor joined the White Sox as general manager and left after three years to become legal counsel and later president of the Pacific Coast League (1955-59).