BASKETBALL—NBA: BALTIMORE (28-8), after a nine-game win streak, lost to Philadelphia but widened its Eastern lead by winning its other two games. Against Milwaukee the Bullets got 86 points in the first half of their 136-122 win to set a Civic Center scoring record for one half. PHILADELPHIA'S (25-10) win over Baltimore not only stopped a streak but was the 76ers' 14th win in a row over the Bullets. The men from Philly split their four games. BOSTON (22-11) divided two, beating Milwaukee 139-106, the Celtics' fifth straight over the Bucks. Oscar Robertson of CINCINNATI (21-14) scored 13 of his 23 points in the last period for the Royals' only win in three games, 103-98 over Chicago. NEW YORK (23-17) won all three of its games, two of them on last-ditch jump shots: Cazzie Russell beat Philadelphia 110-109 with five seconds left, and Dick Barnett's 15-footer with 1:12 to go beat San Diego 111-109. DETROIT (13-21) took two of three, including a 131-102 coaster over SanFrancisco. In that one, four Pistons got over 18 points with Eddie Miles tops at 27. MILWAUKEE (10-28) lost three straight after winning its first, 127-116, over Phoenix, Fred Hetzel hitting his season high of 31. Jerry West of LOS ANGELES (26-11) sank a onehander with 10 seconds left to beat Detroit 95-94. Earlier in the game West became the eighth NBA player ever to score 16,000 career points. The Lakers won three of four to hold a wide lead in the West. ATLANTA (21-15) won its ninth straight, 110-97 over the Celtics. Elvin Hayes of SAN DIEGO (16-21) scored 40 points in a 136-126 win over the Suns, but the Rockets lost two others. Bill Turner of SAN FRANCISCO (16-22) sank five free throws in the last three minutes to beat Phoenix 119-118 and had a career high of 28 points. The Warriors split two others. CHICAGO (15-23) ended a three-game losing streak and won two straight. A 104-96 win over Cincinnati was the first in four attempts this season. At the bottom of the Westboth SEATTLE (13-27) and PHOENIX (8-29) were winless.
ABA: MINNESOTA (20-9) held a big Eastern lead, winning two of three. In a 129-118 win over second-place Kentucky, Art Heyman scored 26 and Connie Hawkins 25. KENTUCKY (13-16) lost both its games and was 242 percentage points behind. MIAMI (12-17) won twice, beating Houston 111-108 as Don Freeman sank 14 foul shots in 16 attempts and totaled 42 points. INDIANA (13-19) split two games. Fred Lewis sank a 15-foot jumper with two seconds remaining to beat the Pipers 134-133. NEW YORK (10-19) lost three straight and dropped to the Eastern cellar. OAKLAND (27-4) held an eight-game lead in the West. The Oaks won all three games, Rick Barry getting 44 in the first and 37 in the second before leaving with a knee injury in the last quarter. Wayne Hightower of DENVER (18-11) scored 28 in his team's 127-112 win over the Stars. The Rockets won two others without a loss. Third-place DALLAS (13-11) split two. Austin (Red) Robbins of NEW ORLEANS (14-16) sank a jumper with two seconds leftto down Houston 107-106, and the Bucs won two of their remaining three. LOS ANGELES (11-15) lost both its games, and HOUSTON (6-20), with the worst record in the ABA, lost four straight.
FOOTBALL—PRO: BALTIMORE easily won the NFL championship, routing Cleveland 34-0 before 80,628 (page 10). NEW YORK's 27-23 defeat of defending champion Oakland for the AFL championship was a very different story. The outcome wasn't decided until the final seconds of the game (page 16). In games leading up to the championships, CLEVELAND downed Dallas 31-20 to win the NFL Eastern championship, and Baltimore took a 24-14 thriller from Minnesota for the Western crown. The Browns won with a defense that intercepted four passes, Leroy Kelly's rushing and Bill Nelsen's passing. Kelly ran for two TDs and gained 87 yards on 20 carries; Nelsen threw one TD pass and completed 13 of 25 for 203 yards. Don Cockroft kicked four extra points and a field goal. Five minutes of play in the third quarter clinched the Colt win over Minnesota. Ahead only 7-0 entering the second half, Baltimore began pressuring Viking Quarterback Joe Kapp, forcing a punt. Colt Quarterback Earl Morrall, NFL MostValuable Player, completed a TD pass to John Mackey. On the next series the Baltimore defense forced Kapp to fumble, and Linebacker Mike Curtis recovered and ran 60 yards for another score to make it 21-0. Morrall hit Willie Richardson six times and completed 13 of 22 attempts for 280 yards. In the AFL, OAKLAND overwhelmed Kansas City 41-6 to win the Western Division title and the right to meet New York. OAKLAND Quarterback Daryle Lamonica wasn't too successful against the Jets, but a week earlier against Kansas City he threw five TD passes in the 41-6 win. Fred Biletnikoff caught three of them and also caught four other passes for a total of 180 yards. Warren Wells caught the other two TD passes. Lamonica completed 19 of 39 pass attempts for 347 yards. To complement Lamonica's passing, the Raider defense intercepted four Len Dawson passes, and rookie Charlie Smith got 72 important yards rushing in the second half. Smith set up Lamonica's fifth TD pass and one of GeorgeBlanda's two field goals.
January 6, 1969
COLLEGE: Quarterback Terry McMillan ran for three TDs and led a new MISSOURI power-I offense for a 35-10 Gator Bowl victory over Alabama. The GRAY intercepted four passes, one leading to a TD, and Dicky Lyons of Kentucky scored twice to down the Blue 28-7 in the Blue-Gray game. The underdog WEST beat the East 18-7 in the Shrine game. Oklahoma State's Ronnie Johnson ran for one TD and passed for another. AUBURN intercepted eight passes in a 34-10 Sun Bowl victory over Arizona. RICHMOND, powered by Buster O'Brien's passing to Walker Gillette, beat Mid-American Conference champion Ohio University, 49-42, in the Tangerine Bowl. Dick Berlinski of Michigan State kicked a field goal, and the NORTH beat the South 3-0 in the Shrine game at Miami.
HOCKEY—NHL: MONTREAL (19-7-7) took two of three and held a wispy, one-point East Division lead. BOSTON (19-8-6) was right behind, losing once but getting two-goal performances by Phil Esposito and Derek Sanderson in a 7-5 win over Montreal and by Ken Hodge in a 6-2 win over St. Louis. Paul Henderson of TORONTO (17-10-6) scored two goals in a 4-3 win over Chicago, but the Maple Leafs lost their other three to remain in third. NEW YORK (18-14-3) beat Oakland 3-1 on Reggie Fleming's fourth goal in as many games. The Rangers also tied, won another and lost. CHICAGO (18-13-2) won two of three, getting two goals and an assist from Pit Martin in a 5-2 win over Minnesota, the Black Hawks' fourth straight over the North Stars. Brothers Frank and Pete Mahovlich scored for DETROIT (14-14-5) in a 3-2 win over Toronto, but the Red Wings then lost and tied and stayed in last place. ST. LOUIS (15-10-9) is the only West Division team with more wins than losses. The Blues got a 2-0 shutoutfrom Glenn Hall at Minnesota, then beat Pittsburgh 3-2 for their 11th straight home game without a loss, before losing to the Bruins, 6-2. OAKLAND (12-19-5) was 10 points behind in second place, a spread only two points less than that between the first and last place teams in the-East. The Seals won three of four, with Bill Hicke starring in two wins as his last-period 18-footer beat Philadelphia 2-1 and his two goals and an assist beat the Bruins 3-1. LOS ANGELES (12-15-4) won and tied. PHILADELPHIA (9-18-7) was winless, losing once and tying twice. MINNESOTA (9-20-6), with a chance to move up, lost twice and tied twice. PITTSBURGH (7-21-6) lost three times but beat Detroit 6-3, Keith McCreary getting two goals.
TENNIS—With singles victories by Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner and a doubles win by Stan Smith and Bob Lutz, the U.S. took the Davis Cup from Australia for the first time in five years (page 20).
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As the National Football League's Most Valuable Player, EARL MORRALL, Baltimore Colts quarterback, who completed 182 of 317 passes for 2,909 yards and 26 TDs, was the league's leading passer and led his team to the NFL championship. New York Jets Quarterback JOE NAMATH was named Most Valuable Player in the American Football League. During the Jets' AFL championship season Namath completed 49.2% of his passes for 3,147 yards and 15 TDs. Detroit Flanker EARL McCULLOUCH, who had 40 pass receptions for 680 yards, was selected offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL. The AFL offensive Rookie of the Year was rushing champion PAUL ROBINSON, Cincinnati halfback who ran for 1,023 yards, becoming the first AFL rookie ever to reach the 1,000 mark.
FIRED: GEORGE ALLEN, 46, head coach of the Los Angeles Rams for three winning seasons (10-3-1 in 1968), because of what Rams President Dan Reeves termed a "personality conflict between us." Reeves concluded: "It is probably more my fault than his [page 22]"
DIED: BENNY BENGOUGH, 70, catcher with the New York Yankee teams of Babe Ruth's time and later a coach of four major league teams; of a heart attack in New York. Bengough became first-string catcher in 1925 on the same day that Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp at first base.