BASKETBALL—NBA: PHILADELPHIA'S (35-3) winning streak reached nine games as the 76ers defeated the Royals 134-118, the Celtics 113-108 and the Pistons 137-113, to increase their Eastern Division lead to 6½ games. The victory over the Royals was Philadelphia's 30th consecutive home-game win (14 last season) and broke a 16-year-old NBA mark set by the old Minneapolis Lakers. In beating the Celtics at home two nights later Wilt Chamberlain scored 24 points, pulled down 32 rebounds and made nine assists while holding Bill Russell to 11 points. Second-place BOSTON (27-8) won its three other games, all from Western Division teams—121-106 over the Lakers, 112-110 over the Hawks and 110-106 over the Bulls. NEW YORK (19-19), the second hottest team in the league, took four in a row and increased its third-place lead over CINCINNATI (13-21), loser of four of five, to four games. Last-place BALTIMORE (8-31) dropped five games to run its latest losing streak to eight. The league's leading scorer, Rick Barry—despite an injured ankle—tossed in 50 points as SAN FRAN-CISCO (24-13) defeated the Royals 124-112, but his 32 points the next night were not enough to stave off a 120-111 defeat by the Hawks. With Barry finally resting his ankle, the Warriors nonetheless won their next two games and increased their Western Division lead to 6½ games. ST. LOUIS (15-19), in second place, won two of three; DETROIT (15-22) dropped three of four; CHICAGO (15-25) took one of three, and LOS ANGELES (13-23) fell back into the cellar with three losses in four games. The Lakers' lone win—125-114 over the Royals as Elgin Baylor scored 40 points and Jerry West 35—broke a five-game losing streak.
BILLIARDS—LUTHER LASSITER of Elizabeth City. N.C. successfully defended his world pocket billiard championship when he beat Cicero Murphy of Brooklyn 1,500-1,435 in their 10-game match in Queens, N.Y. (page 18).
CHESS—BOBBY FISCHER of Brooklyn, the 23-year-old defending champion, clinched the U.S. chess title for the eighth time in nine years when he defeated Samuel Reshevsky of Spring Valley, N.Y. in the 10th round of the tournament in New-York City. Fischer earned a total of 8½ points of a possible 10 to finish 1½ points ahead of his nearest opponent. Larry Evans of Las Vegas.
HOCKEY—NHL: First-place NEW YORK (17-9-6) moved four points ahead of the runner-up Black Hawks as the Rangers won three of four, to boost their record in the last 17 games to 12 victories, two ties and only three losses. In the Rangers' three wins, Donnie Marshall scored a goal with only 33 seconds left to play to beat the Canadiens 4-3; Bernie Geoffrion shot his fifth goal in three games to beat the Hawks 1-0 (it was Ed Giacomin's fourth shutout and his second over high-scoring Chicago); and Rod Gilbert, the league's leading goal-getter, slapped two more in to beat the Red Wings 4-2. After the loss to the Rangers. CHICAGO (16-8-4) defeated them 3-2 two nights later on Bobby Hull's goal, with less than four minutes remaining. Forty-two-year-old Johnny Bower, who has been in and out of the lineup because of a back injury, returned to the nets for TORONTO (13-9-7) and led the Maple Leafs to 3-0 and 4-2 victories over the Bruins, breaking a three-game losing streak. Three days later, however, Bower broke a bone in his right hand during practice and returned to the bench for at least three weeks. Fourth-place MONTREAL (13-12-3), the NHL champions last season, had a 1-1-1 week, with its lone victory a 4-0 shutout over the Red Wings by Charlie Hodge, while BOSTON (7-17-7) held a three-point lead over the last place Red Wings by lying two and losing two. Hapless DETROIT (8-19-3) lost two games and tied the Bruins 4-4.
SWIMMING—CATIE BALL, the 14-year-old blonde from Jacksonville who set a new 200-meter breaststroke world record last year, tied the women's 100-meter breaststroke world mark, held by Russia's Galina Prozumenschikova, with a 1:15.7 at an international meet in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
TENNIS—AUSTRALIA retained the Davis Cup for the third straight year by defeating India, which was making its first appearance ever in a Challenge Round, 4-1 in Melbourne (page 50).
TRACK & FIELD—Los Angeles' BOB SEAGREN broke his own world indoor pole-vault record by one-quarter of an inch when he soared 17 feet 1 inch on his first try at the Knights of Columbus Games in Saskatoon, Sask.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: Coach of the Year by the Football Writers' Association of America. TOM CAHILL, 47, the West Point freshman football coach who succeeded Paul Dietzel as head coach last spring and led Army to its best season since 1958. The Cadets' 8-2 record included a 20-7 win over Navy.
HIRED: HOMER RICE, 39, an assistant football coach at the University of Oklahoma, as head football coach at the University of Cincinnati; BOB WARD, 39, line coach at Army, as head coach at the University of Maryland; BOYD CONVERSE, 34, coach at Kilgore (Texas) Junior College for three years, as head coach at Wichita University; and JACK SWARTHOUT, 41, head football coach and athletic director at Olympia (Wash.) High School and a former assistant to Texas' Darrell Royal, as head coach at the University of Montana.
HIRED: As commissioner of the new 12-city North American Soccer League, DICK WALSH, 41, a vice-president of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the past six years. "We intend to bring soccer to a major league status in North America," said Walsh after signing a five-year contract as commissioner.
SIGNED: By DENNIS RALSTON, 24, of Bakers-field, Calif., the top-ranking tennis player in the U.S. for the past three seasons, a two-year professional contract. "I really have no regrets," said Ralston, "except that I would like to have won at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. But I have a family now [a 9-month-old daughter], and I've got to start making some money." Ralston, the first player since Don Budge (1936-1938) to be ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for three straight years, won 18 U.S. amateur senior titles, nine junior championships and was a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team seven times.
SIGNED: By SANDY KOUFAX, 31, the Los Angeles Dodger pitcher who retired in November because of an arthritic condition in his left elbow, a $1 million contract ($100,000 a year for 10 years) with NBC as a radio and TV sports announcer.
TRADED: By the Atlanta Braves, 15-year-veteran Third Baseman EDDIE MATHEWS, 35, and two other players to the Houston Astros for Pitcher BOB BRUCE, 33, and Outfielder DAVE NICHOLSON, 27.
DIED: FRANKIE GENARO, 65, former world flyweight champion; in New York. Genaro, who rarely weighed more than 112 pounds, won the New York state and national amateur titles in 1919 and the Olympic flyweight title at Antwerp in 1920 before turning pro. In his 14 years as a pro (1920-1934), Genaro gained the National Boxing Association's world title in 1928 by beating Frenchy Belanger in Toronto, but lost the championship to Spider Pladner in Paris in March 1929. He regained the title from Pladner in April of that year and held it until October 1931. Genaro's world-championship status never was recognized by the New York State Athletic Commission.