BASKETBALL—NBA: LOS ANGELES took a 2-1 lead over Boston in the playoff finals, winning the first two games. In the opener at the Forum, which the Lakers won 120-118, Jerry West scored 53 points—21 of 41 from the floor and 11 of 13 foul shots. But, as Bill Russell said, "It wasn't his 53 points that beat us, it was his 10 assists." Moreover, on several occasions West drove on Russell, scoring on reverse layups. "I know he scares lots of people," said West, "but if you're looking for Russell, you're not playing your game. Others can't, but I've got Wilt [Chamberlain] there and he freezes Russell momentarily. Bill can't move as quickly as he can normally with Wilt to help." Russell tended to agree. "It's pretty hard on an old man like me," he said. "Wilt's four or five inches taller than I, 40 or 50 pounds heavier and infinitely meaner." Although West's arms were so weary he had to ice them down after the game, he came back to score 41 (12 of 22 field-goal attempts and 17 of 20 from the line) in Los Angeles' 118-112 win in the second game, also at the Forum. Boston led 108-104 with three minutes to go, but Johnny Egan got a basket and Elgin Baylor scored all of the Lakers' final 12 points, winding up with 32 in all. John Havlicek topped the scorers with 43 points (tying his career high); he had 37 in the first game. BOSTON won the third game 111-105, despite blowing a 17-point halftime lead. Down by three midway through the third period, the Celtics rallied to go ahead by 14, but the Lakers almost caught them at the end on Egan's hot hand. Havlicek saved the game by sinking two fouls in three tries with :10 left, although his left eye was nearly closed after the Lakers' Keith Erickson had caught his finger in it. Havlicek led all scorers with 34, making 13 of 25 field-goal attempts, and was helped out by his old Ohio State teammate, Larry Siegfried, who had 28 (10 of 16), many of them long, prayerful sets from around Malden.
ABA: OAKLAND took the Western title, winning four in a row from New Orleans: 128-118, 135-124, 113-107, 126-114. The Oaks' Gary Bradds scored 33 points in both the second and third games, and Warren Armstrong was high man with 27 in the finale. INDIANA, after taking three straight from the Floridians, dropped the fourth, MIAMI winning 114-110 on two free throws by Don Freeman in the last 32 seconds, followed by a steal by Maurice McHartley. League MVP Mel Daniels of Indiana fouled out after playing 26 minutes off and on due to foul trouble. The Pacers won the first game 126-110 and the second, 131-116. Both were played in the Anderson (Ind.) High School gym after the circus took over the Coliseum. The third game (119-105) was Indiana's first win at Miami this season. Indiana won the fifth game, which took place at the Indiana Central College gym in Indianapolis, by a score of 127-105 to gain the finals against Oakland although Daniels, Roger Brown and Bob
Netolicky all carried five fouls throughout the last quarter.
BOATING—ERIC TABARLY, a 37-year-old French naval officer, won the first solo transpacific race from San Francisco to Tokyo in 40 days, sailing his 35-foot aluminum sloop, Pen Duick V (which means coal titmouse in Breton).
BOXING—JOE FRAZIER, the world's first bearded heavyweight champion, knocked out Dave Zyglewicz in 1:36 of the first round at Houston in defense of his title, which is recognized in New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maine, Mexico and the Argentine. Frazier's knockout was eight seconds short of the heavyweight championship record, set in Dublin in 1908 when Tommy Burns—who at 5'7" was also the world's shortest heavyweight titleholder—dispatched Jem Roche.
May 4, 1969
GOLF—BRUCE DEVLIN won the $100,000 Byron Nelson Classic in Dallas by one stroke over Frank Beard and Bruce Crampton, with a 277.
Barbara McIntire, 34, of Colorado Springs, Colo., beat Jane Blalock, 23-year-old New England amateur champion from Portsmouth, N.H., 4 and 3 to win the North and South amateur tournament for the fifth time in 13 years, at Pinehurst, N.C.
HOCKEY—NHL: "They're just hockey players like my team," said Canadien Coach Claude Ruel early in the week, bugged by Boston talk of strength and power on home ice (page 24). Bruin Coach Harry Sinden had a few words too, after his team took 26 shots in the second period, 42 altogether, and still lost the fifth playoff game to MONTREAL 4-2 at the Forum. "That's not our thing," he said. But in the sixth game things were even worse as Goalie Rogatien Vachon turned away 50 shots and the Canadiens won 2-1 in double overtime and took the series four games to two. Said Claude Provost of the pass he made to Jean Beliveau for the winning goal, "I faked a shot. I saw John Ferguson to my right and Big Jean to my left. So figured I'd give it to the Big Jean." Montreal then went on to beat St. Louis 3-1, snapping the Blues' eight-game winning streak in the playoffs, which had tied a record.
HORSE RACING—ARTS AND LETTERS ($2.60), ridden by Willie Shoemaker, won the 1‚⅛-mile, $25,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by 15 lengths over Traffic Mark (page 28). In the other Derby prep, the Stepping Stone purse at Churchill Downs, Bill Hartack rode MAJESTIC PRINCE to a six-length victory over Fast Hilarious in the betless seven-furlong race.
Landing party, owned, trained and ridden by John Fisher, DVM of Coatesville, Pa., won the Maryland Hunt Cup at Glyndon, finishing the 4-mile, 22-fence course in 8:46, 25 lengths ahead of Early Earner, the only other finisher.
MOTOR SPORTS—PORSCHE finished 1-2-3 in the Monza 1,000-km. race, with Jo Siffert of Switzerland and Brian Redman of Britain driving the winner. Porsche leads the manufacturers' championship standings, followed by Ford.
TRACK & FIELD—At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia VILLANOVA (yawn) won five relays (the one, two and four-mile and the sprint and distance medleys), setting meet records in the sprint medley (3:17) and two-mile (7:20.1) despite a classy 1:46.8 anchor leg by runner-up NYU's Byron Dyce. Dyce was named the meet's outstanding college athlete over the Wildcats' LARRY JAMES, who ran two stunning legs: a 45.4 quarter in the sprint and a 45.0 in the mile relay. In the Mount San Antonio Relays at Walnut, Calif., JOHN CARLOS of San Jose State ran the 100 in 9.2, breaking the meet record, anchored the 440- and 880-yard relay teams to meet records of 39.6 and 1:22.7 and was voted the track athlete of the meet. FRANK COVELLI of the Pacific Coast Club of Long Beach, who threw the javelin 272'2", also a meet record, was declared the meet's top field athlete. At the Drake Relays in Des Moines (page 78) the new Tartan track was supposed to produce a host of new meet records, and despite Saturday's rain came up with 13: MIKE GOODRICH, an Indiana sophomore, broke Dave Sime's old 100 mark with a 9.2, CURTIS MILLS of Texas A&M ran a 46.2 quarter, beating Glenn Davis' record. JACK BACHELER of the Florida Track Club ran a 27:29.9 six-mile and KANSAS STATE (with KEN SWENSON running a 1:47.0 anchor) put together a 7:18.3 two-mile relay.
Yoshiaki Unetani, a 24-year-old Hiroshima schoolteacher, won the Boston Marathon in a record 2:13:49, nearly two minutes faster than the previous record for the course, set in 1967 by Dave McKenzie of New Zealand. Unetani, the sixth Japanese runner to win the race since 1951, finished ¾ mile ahead of the second-place runner, Pablo Garrido Lugo of Mexico, whose time was 2:17:30.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As head basketball coach at the University of Detroit, JIM HARDING, 39, who had been coach of the ABA's Minnesota Pipers until he had a fist fight with a major shareholder last January. In 1967-68 Harding coached La Salle to a 20-8 record, but the NCAA put the Explorers on probation for two years, due in part to an allegation that Harding had threatened to terminate financial assistance to some of his players because of poor play.