BASKETBALL—NBA: NEW YORK (42-21) won all five of its games during the week to extend its streaks: 21 straight wins at Madison Square Garden, nine wins in a row, 26 wins out of the last 30 games. The Knicks are now only two games behind division-leading BALTIMORE (41-16), which dropped one of four, losing to New York 106-100. The Bullets also suffered a personnel loss when All-Star Forward Gus Johnson tore knee ligaments, putting him out for the season. PHILADELPHIA (38-18) clung precariously to second—a mere .012 ahead of the Knicks—with a 3-1 record. BOSTON (34-23) also came up with a major injury, to indispensable Bill Russell, and in the Celtics' case the lame were halted—no wins in four games, to make it five straight defeats. Russell was out for the week with badly strained ligaments. CINCINNATI (31-27), which was 3 and 2, took part in the first game of the big Astrodome doubleheader (41, 163 paid, for an NBA record), Oscar Robertson scoring 37 in a 125-114 victory over DETROIT (24-36). MILWAUKEE (16-42) broke a seven-game losing streak with a 107-98 win at the Bulls' expense. However, the Bucks predictably dropped their other two games. In the West, SAN DIEGO (26-33), behind Elvin Hayes, moved into third place, beating the Celtics in the second Astrodome game for a 3-2 week. SAN FRANCISCO (25-32) fell to fourth with a win and two losses. Otherwise, all was in order. LOS ANGELES (39-20) held first, although winning only one of four, ATLANTA (37-23) crept closer, losing one of four, and CHICAGO (24-37), SEATTLE (22-39) and PHOENIX (13-45) kept in step.
ABA: The league with the red-white-and-blue ball, the three-point field goal and one wild crowd of 211 has dreamed up a couple of rule changes for teams which are deemed out of title contention: 1) they can use zone defenses, 2) one-shot fouls, except those against a shooter, will result in an inbound play. The league's least gimmicky asset, Rick Barry of the Oakland Oaks, was injured again, this time with a pinched nerve. Barry scored 41 points in an overtime win against Kentucky before being carried off. The OAKS (40-6) and MINNESOTA (27-23) maintained their divisional leads in a week that saw no changes in the standings.
BOATING—FRANK ZAGARINO of Coral Gables, Fla. won the Bacardi Cup for Star-class sailboats on Biscayne Bay, winning three of five races, including the final race, despite the fact that he eased up after five legs, unaware that a sixth had been added for the last day of competition.
BOXING—BUSTER MATHIS, who can hit some, gained a lopsided decision over George Chuvalo, who can be hit a lot, in a bloody 12-round heavyweight fight at Madison Square Garden. In a companion 10-rounder EMILE GRIFFITH won a decision from Andy Heilman of Fargo, N. Dak., a last-minute replacement for ailing Doyle Baird.
February 17, 1969
DOG SHOWS—HENDRAWEN'S NIBELUNG of CHARAVIGNE, a German shepherd owned by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin White of Reading, Berkshire, England, was selected from among 7,768 entries as the supreme champion at Cruft's, in London, the world's largest dog show.
GOLF—BILLY CASPER won the 90-hole Bob Hope Desert Classic with a final-round 66, for a 345 total, at Palm Springs, Calif.
HOCKEY—East Division leader BOSTON (32-9-11) suffered its only loss of the week to St. Louis, 3-1, as the Blues broke the Bruins' 18-game unbeaten streak. Bobby Orr sat out the week with an injured knee, but Phil Esposito continued to lead the NHL in scoring with 85 points, already a Bruin record. MONTREAL (31-15-7) won three and lost only one to stay in second, while NEW YORK (29-20-4) won its seventh straight game at home, Goalie Ed Giacomin blanking St. Louis for his fifth shutout of the season. DETROIT (26-20-8), led by 40-year-old Gordie Howe, ousted CHICAGO (25-23-5) from fourth. Howe scored his 716th goal in a hat trick against the Black Hawks, who, despite the unwiring of Bobby Hull's jaw, lost four of four as well as Bobby's brother Dennis for at least 10 days. In the West, ST. LOUIS (27-16-11) splitting four games, maintained an 18-point lead over second-place OAKLAND (27-27-7), which won its only two. LOS ANGELES (19-25-6) won two, lost one to hold third, and the fight for fourth-fifth-sixth got a little closer as PHILADELPHIA (12-28-13) dropped three, MINNESOTA (12-32-9) won, lost and tied and PITTSBURGH (11-34-8) offset its win over the Rangers with two losses.
SKIING—Despite the fact that Austrians KARL SCHRANZ and GERTRUD GABL didn't win any events, they still led those actively participating for World Cup points. Frenchmen won the two slalom events run in Sweden and, as a result, are tied for second place in the standings: JEAN-NOEL AUGERT took the giant slalom and the combined, and PATRICK RUSSEL won the slalom. A Swiss, JOS MINSCH, won the downhill at the Olympic Tofana run in Italy in a course-record 2:17.53. The American girls finally made a showing, JUDY and CATHY NAGEL of Enumclaw, Wash, finishing one-two in the slalom and Marilyn Cochran of Vermont losing out by .2 to MICHELE JACOT of France in the giant slalom.
TENNIS—Top-seeded RODLAVER beat Tony Roche, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4, to take the $30,000 Philadelphia International Indoor Open (page 55).
TRACK AND FIELD—Five indoor meets in 48 hours produced one new world record, one tied world record—which was tied twice—and an American record. BOB SEAGREN broke the world indoor mark by¼" with a 17'6" vault at the Los Angeles Times Games. WILLIE DAVENPORT tied the world record of 6.8 in the 60-yard high hurdles on successive nights in the Fort Worth Coaches' Games and at L.A., boosting his winning streak to 10. Another double winner was RON JOURDAN of Florida, who jumped 7', at both the Madison Square Garden Invitational and the All-Eastern Games in Baltimore. Jourdan now has seven straight wins at 7' or over. GEORGE YOUNG raced to his 15th consecutive victory in the two-mile run at Los Angeles, where Australia's RALPH DOUBELL ran the second-fastest indoor 1,000 ever (2:06.3), only .3 off Peter Snell's world mark. Meanwhile, back in Texas, TOM VON RUDEN set an indoor American record of 2:07.7 in the 1,000, and in New York LARRY JAMES of Villanova ran a 47.1 anchor leg in a mile relay, the fastest split on the new Garden's slow track. In the Michigan State Relays, JIM RYUN won in his first appearance since the Olympics—and his wedding—with a 4:06.2 mile (page 52), and Michigan State junior BILL WEHR WEIN ran a 1:09 600. However, he will not be credited with tying Martin McGrady's indoor record since the East Lansing track is unacceptable, being dirt.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: BOWIE KUHN, 42, to a one-year, $100,000 contract as commissioner of baseball. Kuhn, a member of the law firm that represents the National League, knows baseball inside out: as a boy he worked in the scoreboard at Griffith Stadium. Kuhn insists a commissioner should be seen at games, but says, "the important thing is that Denny McLain and Bob Gibson be household words, not Bowie Kuhn" (page 16).
NAMED: JOHN MADDEN, 33, as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. A Raider assistant last year, Madden reputedly is the youngest head coach in modern pro football history. "I thought when the opportunity came to coach it would be with a losing club," said Madden. "It's a great honor to be the youngest coach of a team that's a winner."
NAMED: To pro football's Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, GREASY NEALE, who coached the Philadelphia Eagles to NFL championships in 1948-1949; San Francisco Defensive Tackle LEO NOMELLINI, who played in 174 consecutive games and 10 Pro Bowls; Running Back JOE (The Jet) PERRY of San Francisco and Baltimore, who gained almost 10,000 yards during 16 seasons; ERNIE STAUTNER, nine-time All-Pro defensive lineman for Pittsburgh; and Tackle TURK EDWARDS, who played with Boston and Washington from 1932 until 1940.
SIGNED: By TOM OKKER, 24, of The Netherlands, a four-year contract for an estimated $250,000 with World Championship Tennis. Okker, a finalist at Forest Hills and quarterfinalist at Wimbledon last year, was a registered player, meaning he could accept either prize money or expenses in open tournaments, keeping his amateur status.
RESIGNED: LARRY GLASS, 33, in his sixth year as head basketball coach at Northwestern, effective at the end of the season. The Wildcats, thought to have one of the better teams in the Big Ten, so far have stumbled to a 10-and-7 record.
DIED: MARTY SERVO, 49, former welterweight champion of the world; of cancer; in Pueblo, Colo. Servo, who had a 49-4-2 record, won the title by knocking out Freddie Cochrane on Feb. 1, 1946 and gave it up that September when a nose injury forced his retirement.