BASKETBALL—ABA: In a week of sparse action all around the league first-place PITTSBURGH (44-21) increased its Eastern Division lead to three games with four straight wins. Two of the victories were over the second-place Muskies—120-115 and 110-102—as Connie Hawkins totaled 105 points and took over the ABA scoring lead from the Americans' Levern Tart, the leader the past 16 weeks. MINNESOTA (42-25) won its other two games and held a 10-game lead over third-place NEW JERSEY (31-34), which lost to Denver 110-108. INDIANA (32-35) restored Jim Rayl to the starting lineup for the first time in a month and he scored 33 points in a 123-110 win over Denver, while KENTUCKY (27-36), with Darrel Carrier tossing in 43 points, beat Indiana 134-129. In the Western Division, NEW ORLEANS (40-25) saw its lead slip to three games when the Bucs split two and runner-up DALLAS (35-26) won two of three, including a wild 148-130 victory over Oakland that set an ABA team scoring record. DENVER (37-29) dropped three of five and HOUSTON (24-41) won three of four, while OAKLAND (21-39) lost all four games it played but stayed two games ahead of last-place ANAHEIM (21-43) when the Amigos dropped two.
NBA: PHILADELPHIA (50-17) won two games and lost one—to the lowly Rockets, of all teams. The loss was only the third for the 76ers in their last 19 games. In a 138-117 victory over Detroit, Wilt Chamberlain had 32 rebounds, 12 assists and 31 points—which gave him a career total of 25,022 points, making him the first ever to pass 25,000. Ironically, Wilt, whose lifetime foul-shooting percentage (.522) is one of the worst in NBA history, passed the magic mark with a successful foul shot. BOSTON (45-22) dropped three of five and fell five games behind the 76ers. NEW YORK (35-33) won its only two games for the Knicks' eighth victory in their last 10. What's more, the Knicks went over the .500 mark for the first time in nine years so late in the season when they beat the Warriors in overtime 115-112 before 19,500 at the new Garden. It was the largest crowd ever to see an NBA game. Fourth-place CINCINNATI (31-38) won its fourth straight game, beating the Celtics 107-100, but then lost Oscar Robertson again with an injury, and the Royals dropped their next four games. BALTIMORE (31-38) moved out of the cellar and climbed within half a game of the Royals by winning four of five and eight of its last 11. Once again rookie Earl Monroe was NBA high scorer for the week with 49 points against DETROIT (30-38), which lost four of five. In the West, ST. LOUIS's (48-22) lead widened to seven games despite splitting four games. LOS ANGELES (39-27) was the new tenant in second place as the Lakers won two to make it six victories in their last eight games. Three straight losses followed by two wins dropped SAN FRANCISCO (41-29) to third place, while fourth-place CHICAGO (24-44) won three in a row before losing to the Knicks. SEATTLE (20-48) won one, lost three, and SAN DIEGO (15-53) finally broke its 17-game losing streak with the 111-106 upset of the 76ers.
GOLF—GEORGE KNUDSON of Toronto became the first golfer to win back-to-back tournaments on the PGA tour in two years when he took the $100,000 Tucson Open with a 72-hole score of 273, finishing one stroke ahead of runners-up Frank Beard and Frank Boynton.
HARNESS RACING—Stanley Dancer drove CARDIGAN BAY ($3.20), the 12-year-old New Zealand gelding, to a length and a half win over another Kiwi pacer, Great Credit, in the $25,000 Valley Forge Pace at Roosevelt Raceway. The victory increased Cardigan Bay's lifetime winnings to $917,571, only $5,045 below alltime harness leader Bret Hanover.
March 4, 1968
HOCKEY—NHL: East leader MONTREAL (34-16-9) won two games before its eight-game winning streak was snapped by the Rangers (page 18). CHICAGO (28-18-14), seven points behind in second place, won two and tied one, beating the Red Wings 7-1 on hat tricks by Stan Mikita and Kenny Wharram (each also had two assists) and the Seals 1-0 in the last three minutes on Bobby Hull's 41st goal. NEW YORK (28-19-11) beat the Flyers 3-1, lost to the Canadiens 7-2 at home and then whacked the Canadiens 6-1 in Montreal as Rod Gilbert scored four goals. The loss to the Canadiens broke the Rangers' eight-game unbeaten streak. BOSTON (28-22-10) split four, with its two wins coming in dramatic fashion. Glen Sather scored with 1:54 left to beat the Kings 6-5 and John Bucyk scored with one second remaining to beat the Wings 3-2. TORONTO (24-24-9) broke a seven-game losing streak when rookie Jim McKenny scored his first NHL goal of the season in the third period to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 win over the Bruins. DETROIT (21-28-10) also recovered from a skid—eight games without a victory—by defeating the North Stars 3-1. The Red Wings had lost their first two games in the week, making their record 15 defeats in their last 23 games. Western leader PHILADELPHIA (26-23-9) lost to the Rangers 3-1, tied the Penguins 1-1 on a second-period goal by Andre Lacroix, who was playing his first NHL game, and walloped the North Stars 7-3 as Leon Roche-fort had a hat trick and Lacroix scored another goal and made three assists. MINNESOTA (23-26-10) remained five points behind in second place with one victory, two defeats, while LOS ANGELES (24-28-6) lost one and tied one. ST. LOUIS (21-25-11) split two games, PITTSBURGH (20-28-10) tied one, lost one and last-place OAKLAND (14-34-11) split two.
HORSE RACING—FORWARD PASS ($36.40), Don Brumfield up, won the $30,250 1‚⅛-mile Everglades Stakes at Hialeah by a head over Wise Exchange (page 46).
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH of Timmonsville, S.C. won the Daytona 500 stock-car race by less than one second over Lee Roy Yarbrough (page 44).
SKIING—The U.S. girls fared well in the first post-Olympic meet as KIKI CUTTER of Bend, Ore. won the slalom in Oslo and came in third in the giant slalom, followed by three other Americans—Judy Nagel, Wendy Allen and Suzy Chaffee—who placed fourth, seventh and eighth. Miss Allen also finished third in the slalom. NANCY GREENE of Canada won the combined title in the Arlberg Kandahar at Chamonix a day earlier, taking both the downhill and the slalom.
At the men's Arlberg Kandahar races, BERNARD ORCEL of France finished first in the World Cup downhill, REINHART TRITSCHER of Austria won the slalom, and GUY PERILLAT of France took the combined title with a third in the downhill and fourth in slalom. In the World Cup events in Oslo, WERNER BLEINER of Austria won the giant slalom, while PATRICK RUSSEL of France took the slalom. Switzerland's DUMENG GIOVANOLI finished second in both races.
SPEED SKATING—FRED ANTON MAIER of Norway won the 5,000-and 10,000-meter events at the world championships in G√∂teborg, Sweden to gain the overall title with a world-record low of 176,340 points. Norway's Magne Thomassen, who won the 1,500-meter race, finished second in the overall, followed by Ard Schenk of Norway.
SWIMMING—JOSE FIOLO, Brazil's 17-year-old Pan-American Games champion, broke the world 100-meter breaststroke record in Rio de Janeiro with a 1:06.4 clocking, .3 second faster than the mark set by Vladimir Kosinsky at Leningrad last November.
TENNIS—Wimbledon champion BILLIE JEAN KING of Berkeley, Calif. gained her third straight National women's indoor title by defeating Rosemary Casals 6-3, 9-7 in the finals in Winchester, Mass.
TRACK & FIELD—The LOS ANGELES MERCURETTES set an 880-yard sprint medley relay record of 1:45.1 at the AAU indoor championships in Oakland (page 20).
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As head basketball coach at Penn State for next season, JOHN BACH, 43, who has coached at Fordham for the past 18 years and has a lifetime record of 259-193 with three games remaining in the current season.
RETIRED: ERNIE CALVERLEY, 45, as head basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island, to devote full time to his duties as assistant athletic director. Calverley, the MVP in the 1946 NIT when he led the Rams to the finals, where they lost to Kentucky by a point, has a 153-124 record—with two games to go—in his 11 years as coach of his alma mater.
DIED: GEORGE HACKENSCHMIDT, 89, "The Russian Lion" of wrestling fame who once was called the strongest man in the world; in a hospital at Dulwich, England. Born in Estonia, Hackenschmidt was the world heavyweight wrestling champion for many years and is best remembered for his epic bouts with Frank Gotch in 1908 and 1911.