BASKETBALL—NBA: The New York Knicks experienced their first bad week of the season—three losses in four games—and when it was over found themselves reduced to a record of 27 wins in 32 games and. a mere 6½-game lead in the East over Baltimore. Playing "as good as we can play," according to Coach Bob Cousy, Cincinnati revenged itself on the Knicks 103-101 when Fred Foster, a sub, scored in the final seconds. After sneaking past Milwaukee 96-95 on two crucial jump shots by Bill Bradley in the last 63 seconds, the New Yorkers had to play Seattle without Walt Frazier, who suffered a groin injury, and for a time without Willis Reed after he fouled out in the final minutes. Despite young Mike Riordan's best performance ever—27 points replacing Frazier—the SuperSonics, sparked by Bob Rule's 14-point fourth quarter, won 112-105. Finally, against Philadelphia, the Knicks shot less than 40% from the floor and lost 100-93.
ABA: The Carolina Cougars had their best week of the season—four wins in five games, three of them on the road—and jumped from fifth in the Eastern Division to third, 3½ games behind Kentucky and six behind first-place Indiana. By the time the Cougars had reached Dallas both Doug Moe and Bob Verga had pulled muscles and Verga was ordered to rest for three days. To replace him Coach Bones McKinney called on Larry Miller, who responded with 11 field goals in 18 attempts and 29 points, while 7' Center Rich Niemann added 13 rebounds. The Cougars won 101-95.
NBA—East: New York (1-3), Baltimore (3-1), Milwaukee (2-1), Philadelphia (3-1), Cincinnati (2-2), Detroit (3-3), Boston (2-0). West: Atlanta (3-2), Chicago (2-2), San Francisco (1-3), Phoenix (3-2), Los Angeles (0-4), San Diego (1-3), Seattle (2-1).
ABA—East: Indiana (3-1), Kentucky (0-3), Carolina (4-1), New York (3-2), Pittsburgh (1-3), Miami (1-2). West: New Orleans (3-1), Washington (2-1), Dallas (3-2), Los Angeles (0-1), Denver (0-3).
December 22, 1969
BOXING—Three-to-one underdog GEORGE CHUVALO knocked out Jerry Quarry with a left hook at 2:59 of the seventh round in a scheduled 10-round fight at Madison Square Garden. Quarry rose at the count of three but dropped to one knee for the eight-count—and the nine and the 10. Said Quarry later, "I didn't hear the count." Said Chuvalo, "If he couldn't tell nine from 10 it must've been a good punch."
FOOTBALL—NFL: In weather only a Viking could love, Minnesota's Joe Kapp threw 37 yards to Gene Washington on the 15, and the latter scored the winning touchdown with 13:09 left as the Vikings beat San Francisco 10-7 to extend their winning streak to 12 straight. Detroit's quarterback, Bill Munson, a former Ram, threw scoring passes of 32 and 62 yards, and the Lions shut out Coastal Division champion Los Angeles 28-0 and guaranteed themselves second in the Central. Despite a two-touchdown St. Louis rally led by substitute Quarterback Charley Johnson in the fourth quarter, Cleveland Quarterback Bill Nelsen, with 15 completions in 26 attempts for 235 yards and two touchdowns, prevailed, and the Browns downed the Cardinals 27-21. The St. Louis loss and a New York win over Pittsburgh, 21-17, gave the Giants second place in the Century Division and dropped the Cards to third.
AFL: "Winning 10-6 isn't much of a football score," said Oakland Quarterback Daryle Lamonica, "but from where I was it looked like 100 points." The Raiders, having beaten Kansas City for the second time this season, moved on as Western Division champion to the playoff against Houston without the services of Wide Receiver Warren Wells, the league leader in touchdown catches who suffered a shoulder separation against the Chiefs. Lamonica first threw a 72-yarder to Wells that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by George Blanda, then an eight-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Smith. Kansas City's only score came late in the fourth quarter after a 62-yard march, but then the Raiders took possession and kept it until the clock ran out.
NFL—East: Century—Cleveland (10-2-1), New York (5-8), St. Louis (4-8-1), Pittsburgh (1-12). Capitol-Dallas (10-2-1), Washington (7-4-2), Philadelphia (4-8-1), New Orleans (4-9). West: Central—Minnesota (12-1), Detroit (8-4-1), Green Bay (7-6), Chicago (1-12). Coastal—Los Angeles (11-2), Baltimore (7-5-1), Atlanta (5-8), San Francisco (3-8-2).
AFL—East: New York (10-4), Houston (6-6-2), Boston (4-10), Buffalo (4-10), Miami (3-10-1). West: Oakland (12-1-1), Kansas City (11-3), San Diego (8-6), Denver (5-8-1), Cincinnati (4-9-1).
HOCKEY—NHL: With victories over Montreal, 6-3, and Boston, 5-2, the New York Rangers extended their nonlosing streak to 14. As the Rangers ended the Bruins' unbeaten streak at six, the New York crowd shrieked, "We're No. 1," and Jean Ratelle, who had scored twice in the win, said, "We can beat anybody in this league." The next night in Boston, Ranger Goalie Eddie Giacomin turned aside 47 shots, but the two that got by him, both by Wayne Carleton, beat the Rangers 2-1 and ended their streak, the second longest in the club's history.
NHL—East: New York (3-1-0), Montreal (2-1-0), Boston (2-1-1), Detroit (1-1-1), Chicago (1-2-0), Toronto (0-4-0). West: St. Louis (2-0-0), Minnesota (1-1-2), Pittsburgh (2-1-0), Philadelphia (1-2-0), Oakland (1-0-1), Los Angeles (0-2-0).
ACK & FIELD—On his 10th attempt this year, Olympic gold medalist BILL TOOMEY finally broke Kurt Bendlin's world decathlon record. His 8,417 points, scored in a meet at UCLA, exceeded the West German's 2½-year-old mark by 98. Toomey recorded his career best in both the pole vault (14'¼") and the shotput (47'2¼") and finished first in eight of the 10 events.
MILEPOSTS—TRADED: To the Boston Red Sox in exchange for SYD O'BRIEN, BILLY FARMER and cash, Chicago White Sox left-handed Pitcher GARY PETERS, 10-15 this season, AL Rookie of the Year in 1963 when he had a 19-8 record, and Catcher DON PAVLETICH.
TRADED: In a six-player deal between Cleveland and Minnesota, Twin Pitcher DEAN CHANCE for Indian Pitcher LUIS TIANT. Chance, winner of the Cy Young Award in 1964 while with the California Angels and a 20-game winner in 1967, was hindered by a shoulder injury last season, pitched only 88 innings and was 5-4. Tiant, who led the league in 1968 with a 1.60 ERA and 21-9 record, finished 9-20 this year, with a 3.71 ERA.
FIRED: By the Denver Rockets of the ABA, who are 9-20 and in last place in the Western Division, Coach JOHN McLENDON; and by the San Diego Rockets of the NBA, who are 10-19 and next to last in the West, Coach JACK McMAHON. The litter will be replaced by ALEX HANNUM, who coached the Oakland Oaks to the league title last year but quit when the team was moved to Washington.
RETIRED: After 30 years as head football coach at Clemson University, FRANK HOWARD, to devote himself full time to the school's athletic directorship. "The Clemson people have been screaming for new blood for 15 years, so we are going to give it to them," cracked Howard, whose 165-118-12 record ranks him second among active coaches in wins at a single school.
DIED: JOHNNY TOBIN, 77, Federal and American League outfielder from 1914 to 1927, who starred for the St. Louis Browns in the early '20s and was recognized as one of the greatest bunters in baseball history.