BASKETBALL—NBA: BOSTON (14-5) held its lead in the Eastern Division by winning two games from San Diego and dropping one each to Seattle and the Bullets, while PHILADELPHIA (14-6), half a game behind, also split four games. Third-place DETROIT (12-9) won three, lost three; and NEW YORK (10-11) split four, defeating the Bulls 125-123 when Walt Bellamy sank a layup with two seconds remaining of the second overtime, and edging Seattle 111-110 when Cazzie Russell made a technical foul shot with 1:27 to go. With Oscar Robertson scoring 40 points, CINCINNATI (9-10) beat the Knicks 123-122, then tied the club's single-game scoring mark with a 153-133 rout of Seattle before losing to the Pistons. Last-place BALTIMORE (8-10) lost to the Bulls and upset the Celtics 126-118. ST. LOUIS (18-4) edged the 76ers 115-113 and San Diego 110-109, but the Hawks' Western Division lead slipped to 2½ games as SAN FRANCISCO (16-7) extended its winning streak to six with four victories, including two over LOS ANGELES (10-9), which won only one of four games. SEATTLE (6-16) beat the Pistons 132-130 in overtime when Bud Olsen tipped in a rebound at the buzzer, defeated the Lakers 137-132 on Rookie Bob Rule's 47 points and upset the Celtics 133-106 after taking a 44-point half-time lead. The Sonics' brief winning streak ended, however, with losses to the Royals and the Knicks. CHICAGO (5-17) won three of five, while SAN DIEGO (4-21) lost six games.
ABA: INDIANA's (14-5) lead in the Eastern Division dwindled to half a game when the Pacers split two games as MINNESOTA (13-5) won three of lour, making the Muskies' record 12-2 the past four weeks. Third-place PITTSBURGH (11-9) won only one of five games, and NEW JERSEY (8-8) took three straight. Jim Ligon ended a five-game losing streak for last-place KENTUCKY (5-13) by making two free throws in the final 16 seconds for a 103-102 victory over Pittsburgh. But the Colonels dropped their next three games, even though Gene Rhodes replaced Johnny Givens as coach. NEW ORLEANS (12-5) boosted its Western Division lead to three games with a 3-1 mark for the week, while DALLAS (8-7) moved into second place with three wins in four games. DENVER (9-10), after losing four straight games, beat Pittsburgh 119-99, and OAKLAND (9-11) took three or four. ANAHEIM (6-14) dropped three of four games, and HOUSTON (4-12) won two, lost three.
BOATING—The California team of MIKE REAGAN, BILL COOPER and RUDY RAMOS piloted their 20-foot trimotor Rayson Craft to victory in the $27,750 Lake Havasu City (Ariz.) Outboard World Championships (page 96).
FOOTBALL—NFL: GREEN BAY (8-2-1) won the Central Division title by edging second-place Chicago (5-6) 17-13. In the Capitol Division DALLAS (8-3) just about clinched the title with a 46-21 victory over fading St. Louis (5-5-1) as Bob Hayes caught two TD passes and scored another touchdown on a 69-yard punt return. Washington's (4-5-2) Sonny Jurgensen completed 32 of 50 passes for 373 yards and three touchdowns, but Century Division leader CLEVELAND (7-4) beat the Redskins 42-37 when Leroy Kelly ran for 163 yards and two TDs, Johnny Brewer rumbled 70 yards for a TD with an intercepted pass and rookie Carl Ward scooted 104 yards for a TD with a kickoff return. Second-place NEW YORK (6-5), a game behind the Browns, walloped Philadelphia (5-6) 44-7, rolling up 34 points in the first half (page 26). Lou Michaels' four field goals paced Coastal Division leader BALTIMORE (9-0-2) to a 26-9 win over San Francisco (5-6), while second-place LOS ANGELES (8-1-2) remained a game behind with a 31-7 victory over Detroit (3-6-2). In games among the last-place teams in the four divisions, MINNESOTA (3-6-2) defeated Pittsburgh (2-8-1) 41-27, while NEW ORLEANS (2-9) came from behind to beat Atlanta (1-9-1) 27-24 when Kent Kramer caught a seven-yard TD pass from Bill Kilmer with 54 seconds to go.
AFL: Western Division leader OAKLAND (9-1) intercepted four passes and ran two back for touchdowns to defeat third-place Kansas City (6-5) 44-22. SAN DIEGO (8-1-1), a half game behind the Raiders, trailed last-place Denver (2-10) by 10 points early in the last quarter. But Les Duncan blocked a field-goal attempt and ran 72 yards for a touchdown, and, with 2:33 remaining, Dick Post scored a TD three plays after a recovered fumble as the Chargers nailed the Broncos 24-20. In the East second-place HOUSTON (6-3-1) moved within a game of idle NEW YORK (7-2-1) by beating Boston (3-8-1) 27-6, while MIAMI (2-8) broke an eight-game losing streak when rookie Bob Griese threw a 31-yard touchdown pass with a minute remaining to beat Buffalo (3-8) 17-14.
HANDBALL—First place at the World Four-Wall Championships in Toronto ended in a draw between CANADA and the U.S. as Toronto's JOEY MAHER defeated New York's Carl Obert 21-9, 21-9 for the singles title, while two other Obert brothers, Ruby and Oscar, beat Mickey Unroth and Harry Teperman of Toronto 21-12, 21-20 in the doubles.
HARNESS RACING—Billy Haughton drove CARLISLE ($2.60) to a three-length victory over Polaris in the 1-mile $84,622.50 Hilltop Trot for 4-year-olds at Yonkers.
HOCKEY—NHL: BOSTON (11-5-2) climbed into a tie with TORONTO (11-7-2) for the Eastern Division lead by taking three of four games, while the Leafs won two of three. DETROIT (9-7-3) dropped to third, three points behind, after tying Chicago 2-2 and losing two other games, and MONTREAL (8-8-4) split its four games—beating St. Louis 3-1 on three third-period goals and shutting out the Black Hawks 7-0 as Ralph Backstrom scored three goals and assisted on two others. Slumping NEW YORK (8-7-3) won only one of three games and fell into a lie for last place with CHICAGO (7-8-5), which was 2-1-1 for the week. The Black Hawks' unbeaten string reached nine when they walloped the Rangers 7-1 as Bobby Hull scored his 21st hat trick in 11 seasons. After the streak was broken by the Canadiens, the Hawks defeated Minnesota 4-1 on Stan Mikita's hat trick. LOS ANGELES (10-6-3) remained a point ahead in the Western Division with three straight victories, including a 4-2 win over the Canadiens on Lowell MacDonald's hat trick, while PHILADELPHIA (9-5-4) ran its unbeaten streak to five with two victories over St. Louis and a 4-2 win over the Red Wings. PITTSBURGH (8-9-3), in third place three points out, won its third game in a row—4-1 over the Bruins—before losing to L.A. and tying Oakland, while MINNESOTA (5-8-4) lost three games: OAKLAND (4-12-5) dropped one, tied one: and last place ST. LOUIS (4-12-2), despite a new coach (Scotty Bowman), lost three more games to extend its consecutive losses to six.
HORSE RACING—Hasty House Farm's 7-year-old NIARKOS ($29.40) took the 1‚Öù-mile $58,300 Gallant Fox Handicap at Aqueduct by four lengths over Quicken Tree, while third-place finisher, Bol 'n Jac, was 22 lengths back.
MOTOR SPORTS—A.J. FOYT gained an unprecedented fifth USAC national title when he finished fifth to winner DAN GURNEY in the Rex Mays 300-mile race for Indianapolis-type cars in Riverside, Calif.
TRACK & FIELD—KEN MOORE of the Oregon Track Club beat Joe Lynch of the Santa Monica (Calif.) AA by nearly four yards to win the National AAU men's 10,000-meter cross-country championships in Chicago, while Mrs. VICKI FOTTZ of the Falcon Track Club of Seattle defeated her teammate, Linda Mayfield, by three seconds to take the AAU women's two-mile cross-country title in Albuquerque.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As Rookie of the Year in the National League by the BBWAA, New York's right-handed Pitcher TOM SEAVER, 23, who, with a 16-13 record, set a club mark for wins, complete games (18), strikeouts (170) and ERA (2.76); and, in the American League, Minnesota's Second Baseman ROD CAREW, 22, who batted .292, with 22 doubles, seven triples, eight homers and 51 RBIs.
NAMED: As Horse of the Year by The Morning Telegraph and Daily Racing Form, Mrs. Edith W. Bancroft's 3-year-old colt DAMASCUS, who won 12 of 16 starts and set an alltime single-season money-earning record of $817,941; as 2-year-old filly, QUEEN OF THE STAGE; 2-year-old colt or gelding and division champion. VITRIOLIC; 3-year-old filly, FURL SAIL; handicap filly or mare, STRAIGHT DEAL; grass horse, FORT MARCY; sprinter, DR. FAGER; and jumper, QUICK PITCH. Damascus also gained 3-year-old and handicap honors.