BASKETBALL—NBA: BOSTON won its 12th Eastern Division playoff title in the last 13 years, beating New York four games to two (page 24). The Celtics took the sixth and final game 106-105 on four pressure shots in the waning moments—one apiece by Satch Sanders and Emmette Bryant and two by John Havlicek, who scored 28 points, one fewer than Sam Jones, high man for Boston. Both of Havlicek's baskets came with two seconds left on the 24-second clock. The Knicks rather handily won the fifth game 112-104, out-rebounding the Celts 51-40. Boston also had 25 turnovers and, as a partial result, attempted only 80 shots from the field to New York's 97. The Knicks had some consolation from the fact that they became the first professional team to exceed one million in attendance in league play. At home they drew 666,663 for 37 regular season and five playoff games, playing to more fans than either the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington Senators. Away they drew 366,105 for 45 regular season and five playoff games. LOS ANGELES needed only five games to overpower Atlanta, winning the finale 104-96 behind Elgin Baylor's 29 points (14 of 18 from the floor) and Wilt Chamberlain's 29 rebounds and seven blocked shots—three of which came on three consecutive attempts. The Hawks had won the third game 99-86, in which Zelmo Beaty got 17 of his 22 points in the second half, and the Lakers the fourth 100-85, scoring 28 points in the last seven minutes. Said Coach Butch van Breda Kolff, "Wilt blocked a few shots. [Jerry] West made a few steals and we finally got rolling."
The Eastern Division had the majority in the first NBA Coaches' Defensive All-Star team, which included WALT FRAZIER and DAVE DeBUSSCHERE of New York, BILL RUSSELL of Boston, NATE THURMOND of San Francisco and JERRY SLOAN of Chicago. The West retaliated with youth, however, dominating the All-Rookie team on which WESTLEY UNSELD of Baltimore was the only Easterner among ELVIN HAYES of San Diego BILL HEWITT of Los Angeles, ART HARRIS of Seattle and GARY GREGOR of Phoenix.
ABA: All four of the semifinal playoffs lasted the full seven games. NEW ORLEANS led all the way in its 101-95 final win over Dallas; OAKLAND led most of the way to defeat Denver 115-102; MIAMI led from the half to beat Minnesota 137-128, and INDIANA came from behind to stop Kentucky 120-111 (page 60).
Mel Daniels of Indiana, last year's top rookie, received 965 out of a possible 1,000 points to lead the All-Star team balloting. The other members of the team are LARRY JONES of Denver, JAMES JONES of New Orleans, RICK BARRY of Oakland and CONNIE HAWKINS of Minnesota.
April 27, 1969
BOXING—JOSÉ NAPOLES, a Cuban refugee now fighting out of Mexico City, won the welterweight championship of the world from Curtis Cokes on what was scored as a 13th-round knockout, at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Cokes' corner asked Referee George Latka to stop the fight at the end of the 13th round; Cokes' eyes were swollen nearly shut and he was far behind on points. Said Manager Doug Lord, "Curtis wanted to keep fighting, but if you can't see you can't fight." A crowd of 15,878 paid a gross gate of $198,480, a new California indoor record, which was fortunate for Promoter George Parnassus: he had guaranteed Cokes $80,000, reportedly a record for welterweights; Napoles got $20,000 besides the title.
GOLF—GARY PLAYER overcame a double bogey in the final round to win his first tournament of the year, the $150,000 Tournament of Champions at Rancho La Costa, Calif., with a four-under-par 284.
The leading money winners on the tour are now Gene Littler ($98,418), Lee Trevino ($67,463), George Archer ($64,455), Miller Barber ($62,544) and Jack Nicklaus ($51,586).
Kathy Whitworth took the $17,500 Lady Carting Open in Palmetto, Ga. on the first hole of a sudden death playoff with Mickey Wright. The two are now the only women to win four LPGA tournaments in a row.
HOCKEY—NHL: After losing its first two games to Montreal in overtime, BOSTON evened the series with 5-0 and 3-2 victories (page 20). Phil Esposito got two goals and three assists in the first Bruin win; in the second, Eddie Westfall scored a goal on a rebound off Derek Sanderson's stick, Sanderson scored on a Westfall assist and Bobby Orr flicked the puck between Goalie Rogatien Vachon's legs for the third tally. In the West, ST. LOUIS took Los Angeles in four straight, 4-0, 3-2, 5-2 and 4-1. Red Berenson scored a hat trick in the second period of the first game to tie a playoff record held by Busher Jackson, Maurice Richard and Ted Lindsay. Gary Sabourin had two goals in the second game and another in the third, in which the Blues scored three of their goals in the third period. In the fourth game, Berenson backhanded a 35-footer for the go-ahead goal and seconds later set up a score by Sabourin.
HORSE RACING—Claiborne Farm's orange silks decorated winner's circles from coast to coast, DIKE ($7.60), Jorge Velasquez up, winning the 1‚⅛-mile, $110,900 Wood by almost a nose over Al Hattab at Aqueduct, and JAY RAY ($7.20), ridden by Manuel Ycaza, flashing to a 5½-length victory over Fleet Allied in the 1‚⅛-mile, $127,700 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields.
SHOOTING—Firing over 50 meters under a difficult wind and in mirage conditions, GARY ANDERSON of Axtell, Neb. scored 1,164 out of a possible 1,200 points to equal the world small-bore record in Johannesburg. He got 398 of 400 prone, 389 of 400 kneeling and 377 of 400 standing.
SWIMMING—HANS FASSNACHT of West Germany and Long Beach State swam the fastest-ever 400-meter freestyle (3:59.7) and 400-meter IM (4:33.1) in Bonn. In the latter, Fassnacht, piqued because his college roommate Michael Holthaus, who won the IM in 4:44.1 the day before, had been getting all the publicity, asked to be timed in the event, in which he had not competed since 1967.
Nikolai Pankin of the U.S.S.R. broke his own world records in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:05.8) and the 200-meter breaststroke (2:25.4) in a dual meet with East Germany in Magdeburg.
TRACK & FIELD—KANSAS, led by JIM RYUN, won the Kansas Relays with seven individual championships and four relay titles, including a 9:33.0 distance medley, the fastest ever run. JIM NEIHOUSE led off with a 1:50.4 half, RANDY JULIAN ran a 47.1 quarter-mile leg, THORN BIGLEY a 2:57.9 three-quarter and Ryun a splendid 3:57.6 mile (his splits were 57.8, 1:58.7 and 3:02). The previous day Ryun had anchored Kansas' winning four-mile relay team with a 4:01.2. KANSAS STATE won the sprint medley relay in 3.20.8 and the two-mile relay in 7:22.6, with KEN SWENSON running the anchor legs in both events.
San Jose State ran the fastest 440-yard relay of the year in the Dogwood Relays at Knoxville, SAM DAVIS, KIRK CLAYTON, RONNIE RAY SMITH and JOHN CARLOS putting together a 39.5. Carlos also anchored San Jose's winning 880-yard relay team and won the invitation 100 and 220.
Dick Railsback vaulted 17'5½"—the highest in the world this year—as UCLA defeated Washington 105-35 in a dual meet at Los Angeles.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As head basketball coach at St. Louis University, JAMES POLK, 53, who previously coached at Trinity University in San Antonio (1965-69) and at Vanderbilt (1947-62).
NAMED: DAVE MAGGARD, 29, as track coach at the University of California, effective next season. Maggard, who was fifth in the Olympic shotput last fall, had been an assistant to Coach Sam Bell, who has been hired by Indiana University.