BASKETBALL—NBA: Philadelphia and Boston rounded out the week at 3-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern semifinals against New York and Detroit, while, in the West, San Francisco led division champion St. Louis 3-2 and Los Angeles won its semifinal against Chicago 4-1. With the playoff series tied 1-1, PHILADELPHIA came from behind to win the third game 138-132 in double overtime over the Knicks despite Cazzie Russell's 40 points, but the Knicks grabbed the fourth game 107-98 behind Walt Bellamy (28 points) and Dick Barnett (27). The 76ers moved ahead, however, by whacking New York 123-105 as Hal Greer scored 38 points. BOSTON, with a 46-point second quarter, defeated Detroit 123-116 in the first game of their series. The Celtics lost the next two games, 126-116 and 109-98, and were well on their way to losing again when they scored 80 points in the second half to win 135-110. The Celtics romped in the second half again in the fifth game, scoring 61 points after trailing by one at half time, and won 110-96. With the series tied at one game apiece, SAN FRANCISCO stunned St. Louis with back-to-back victories—124-109 as Jeff Mullins tossed in 33 points and 108-107 when Mullins, who scored 35 points, hit on a 15-foot jump shot with six seconds to play. The fifth game went to the Hawks 129-103 as Mullins was held to only 12 points. With Jerry West totaling 142 points and Elgin Baylor 151, LOS ANGELES won two games—109-10 land 111-106—dropped one 104-98 as the Bulls' Flynn Robinson scored 41 points and then won the last two 93-87 and 122-99.
ABA: In the Eastern semifinals, champion PITTSBURGH swept its best-of-five series with third-place Indiana to move into the finals against second-place MINNESOTA, which beat fourth-place Kentucky three games to two. ABA scoring leader Connie Hawkins led the Pipers with 88 points against the Pacers as Pittsburgh won easily 146-127, 121-108 and 133-114. The Muskies had a tougher time in their series with the Colonels for the two teams alternated victories, each winning on its home court. Minnesota took the first game 115-102 as Mel Daniels tossed in a team record of 44 points, Kentucky won the second 100-95, Minnesota the third 116-107 on Daniels' 31 points, Kentucky the fourth 94-86 and Minnesota the final game 114-108 as Irv Inniger scored 33 points. In the Western semifinals, second-place DALLAS swept its series with fourth-place Houston on the high scoring of the Beasley brothers (Charlie totaled 62 points and John 81), winning 111-110, 115-97 and 116-97. The Mavericks' Willie Somerset tossed in 42 points in the first game and 40 in the second but was held to only nine in the third. In the other Western semifinal, champion NEW ORLEANS was tied 2-2 with third-place Denver, winning 130-104, 105-93 and losing 105-98, 108-100.
BOXING—RAUL ROJAS of Los Angeles won a unanimous decision over Enrique Higgins of Colombia in a 15-round WBA featherweight championship-elimination bout in Los Angeles (page 87).
FENCING—TODD MAKLER, a Penn senior, won the saber title at the NCAA championships at Wayne State University for the second straight year. Cornell senior DONALD SIEJA gained the épée title and GERARD ESPONDA, a San Francisco University senior (and his school's only entry) took the foil as COLUMBIA won the team title by five points over runner-up NYU.
April 8, 1968
GOLF—TONY JACKLIN, 23, became the first Englishman in 48 years to win a PGA tournament when he totaled 273 to take the 72-hole, $100,000 Jacksonville Open by two strokes over five other golfers.
Mickey Wright shot a 54-hole total of 215 to win the LPGA $12,500 Palm Beach County Open by four strokes over Ruth Jessen and Carol Mann.
HOCKEY—NHL: The 5½-month regular season ended (page 37) with East Division champion MONTREAL (42-22-10) winning its third straight game and then dropping its last three in a row. NEW YORK (39-23-12), with four consecutive victories, came in second, only four points behind the Canadiens for the Rangers' best finish in 10 years. Third-place BOSTON (37-27-10), six points farther behind, dropped three of its last four games, while slumping CHICAGO (32-26-16) lost five in a row before tying the Red Wings 5-5. TORONTO (33-31-10) lost to the Rangers 4-2 and then won four in a row to come in fifth, four points behind the Black Hawks, and last-place DETROIT (27-35-12) won three, tied one. PHILADELPHIA (31-32-11) gained the West Division title by losing three of four games as LOS ANGELES (31-33-10) dropped two, tied one to finish second, one point out. ST. LOUIS (27-31-16), with three wins and a loss, gained third place, two points behind the Kings, while MINNESOTA (27-32-15) finished fourth, one point farther back, after a 1-2-1 week. PITTSBURGH (27-34-13) won four, tied one and last-place OAKLAND (15-42-17) tied one, lost one. STAN MIKITA of the Black Hawks gained the league scoring title with 87 points, the Hawks' BOBBY HULL slapped in the most goals (44) and PHIL ESPOSITO of the Bruins had the most assists (49).
HORSE RACING—FORWARD PASS ($7.20) won the $134,000 Florida Derby by 2¾ lengths over Iron Ruler, while ALLEY FIGHTER ($4.80) won the $147,100 Santa Anita Derby by two lengths over Don B. (page 24).
At Aintree, England, RED ALLIGATOR, a 100-to-7 shot, was the first of only 17 horses to finish the Grand National Steeplechase out of a 45-horse field. Red Alligator, owned by John Manners, a farmer and butcher in northeast England, finished 20 lengths ahead of runner-up Moidore's Token.
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH of Timmonsville, S.C., driving a 1968 Mercury, won the Atlanta 500, his second 500-mile stock-car victory in the past four weeks, with an average speed of 125.37, defeating Lee Roy Yarbrough, who was runner-up to Cale in the Daytona 500.
ROWING—CAMBRIDGE broke Oxford's three-year winning streak in the 114th four-mile 370-yard Thames race with a 3½-length victory, giving Cambridge its 62nd victory in the series.
SKIING—NANCY GREENE of Canada clinched at least a tie for her second consecutive World Cup when she won the women's giant slalom at her home course near Rossland, B.C., while France's JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY won his second straight men's World Cup when he took the men's slalom.
SWIMMING—CHARLES HICKCOX won three individual medals to lead INDIANA to the NCAA Championship team title at Dartmouth (page 28).
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As Athletic Director at the University of Miami, Football Coach CHARLIE TATE, 57, to succeed retiring Andy Gustafson. Tate will retain his Hurricane coaching duties.
MOVED: From Anaheim, Calif. to Los Angeles, the ABA AMIGOS, who also changed their name to the Stars.
SIGNED: By the last-place San Diego Rockets of the NBA, the University of Houston's ELVIN HAYES, 22, college basketball's Player of the Year, for a reported $440,000 for four years.
SIGNED: Professional contracts in the National Tennis League, by two-time Wimbledon Champion ROY EMERSON, 31, BILLIE JEAN KING, 24, ROSEMARY CASALS, 19, MRS. ANN HAYDON JONES, 29, of England and FRANCOISE DURR, 25, of France. Mrs. King is the U.S. and Wimbledon champion. Miss Casals is fifth ranked in the U.S., Mrs. Jones was runner-up at both Wimbledon and Forest Hills in 1967 and Miss Durr is France's No. 1 player.
RESIGNED: TEX WINTER, 46, basketball coach at Kansas State (262-117 record for 15 years and eight conference championships, including this season), to take over as head coach at the University of Washington. COTTON FITZSIMMONS, 36, Winter's assistant, will be the new Wildcat coach.
SOLD: By the Chicago White Sox to the Los Angeles Dodgers for some $65,000, Outfielder ROCKY COLAVITO, 34, who averaged 33 home runs and 99 RBIs in 11 AL seasons until last year, when he had only eight homers and 50 RBIs as a part-timer with the Indians and the Sox.
DIED: ELEANORA SEARS, 86, the Boston socialite who won over 240 trophies in squash, tennis and equestrian events in an era when most women participated in sports only as spectators; in Palm Beach, Fla. Miss Sears became the first women's national squash racquets champion in 1928, was national doubles champion in tennis four times and her horses won numerous blue ribbons in New York's National Horse Show. She drove an automobile in 1905, flew an airplane five years later, walked the 47 miles from Providence to Boston in 9:53:00 and was the first woman to swim the 4½ miles from Bailey's Beach to Easton's Beach in Newport. Miss Sears also excelled in sailing, golf and shooting and even participated in baseball, football and boxing.