BASKETBALL—ABA: Any semblance of races in the two divisions was shattered when East leader Kentucky, led by Dan Issel's shooting (average: 35 points) and rookie Artis Gilmore's rebounding (in one game he pulled down 30), took five games to extend its winning streak to 11, and West leader Utah ran up six in a row with three more wins. The Colonels' lead over Virginia ballooned to 13, while the Stars opened up a 7½-game margin over Indiana. New York, third in the East, fell nine games out of second with three losses in a row despite Rick Barry's barrage of 47, 50 and 30 points, but Dallas, the third-place team in the West, crept within 5½ of second with a six-game winning siring.
NBA: New York tightened up the Atlantic Division race, moving from 5½ to 2½ games behind Boston, by extending its winning streak to six with three victories including a 102-99 overtime win over Chicago in which the Knicks were 23 points down in the third period. Meanwhile, Boston dropped four of five, including a 117-109 loss to Milwaukee that broke the nine game Celtic string. The only suspense in the Pacific Division involves who the runner-up will be—Seattle or Golden Stale, tied at 15 games behind runaway Los Angeles, which won four of five. In the Lakers' one loss—110-109 to Phoenix—Wilt Chamberlain became the first NBA player to score 30,000 career points when Neal Walk was called for goaltending on one of Wilt's shots. "It's no big deal," said Chamberlain. "What it means is someone has done a whole lot of shooting at one time or another." Ironically, the Lakers lost the game when Wilt was called for goaltending on Connie Hawkins with three seconds to go. In the all-losing Central Division, first-place Baltimore broke its eight-game losing streak, runner-up Atlanta snapped is four-game losing streak, Cleveland broke its 10-game losing streak by beating Cincinnati 133-109 and the Royals came back the next night to break their eight-game losing streak with a 112-92 win over the Cavaliers. Chicago remained 4½ game behind Milwaukee in the Midwest as both teams split four games, but the Bulls stirred things up by beating the Bucks 104-97 as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had gone over 50 in two games during the week, was held coreless in the fourth period.
BOXING—MANDO RAMOS gained a 15-round split decision over Pedro Carrasco in Los Angeles to win the WBC lightweight championship (page 44).
DOG SHOW—CH. CHINOE'S ADAMANT JAMES, a 3½-year-old, liver-and-white English springer spaniel who is called D.J., won best-in-show honors for the second straight year at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York's Madison Square Garden (page 16).
HOCKEY—Rick Martin brightened Buffalo's dismal season (last in the East) by breaking the NHL rookie goal record—set by his teammate, Gil Perreault, last season—with his 39 h. At the top of the division, Boston held its nine-point margin over New York as both teams streaked to three wins and one tie. After tying Montreal 2-2, the Bruins whacked Califon; a 6-3 as Bobby Orr assisted on four of his team's five goals in the first period, beat Philadelphia on Phil Esposito's hat trick and defeated Minnesota 6-4. The Rangers look Los Angeles twice—4-2 and 6-4 as the goal-a-game line tallied nine points—and defeated Vancouver 5-1 on Jean Ratelle's three goals, including a 150-foot shot into an open net. "A.J. I wanted to do was to gel the puck out of our end," said the astonished Ratelle. New York's six-game winning streak ended when California tied the Rangers 2-2. In the West, Chicago moved 12 points ahead of Minnesota as the Black Hawks won two and tied one while the North Stars split two games.
HORSE RACING—EXECUTIONER ($4.40), Carlos Barrera up, won the $134,800 Gulfstream Park Handicap by 1¾ lengths over Urgent Message.
Turkish trousers ($7.80), 3-year-old filly of the year in 1971, took the $57,000 Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita by half a length over Typecast, giving Bill Shoemaker his 552nd career slakes victory, two short of Eddie Arcaro's mark.
MOTOR SPORTS—A. J. FOYT, averaging a record 161.550 mph, won the Daytona 500 (page 12).
SKIING—The World Cup traveling circus resumed after the Olympic break with ERIK HAAKER of Norway winning the giant slalom and ANDREZEI BACHLEDA of Poland becoming the first skier from an East European Communist nation ever to win an Alpine event when he look the slalom at Banff, Alberta, Canada. Jean-No√´l Augert of France retained his World Cup lead over countryman Henri Duvillard (140 points to 94) by finishing second in the slalom. In the women's events. France's BRITT LAFFORGUE defeated Olympic gold-medal winner Barbara Cochran by .26 to win the slalom, while ANNEMARIE PROELL of Austria clinched the women's World Cup title with a victory in the giant slalom.
SPEED SKATING—Triple Olympic champion ARD SCHENK of The Netherlands gained his third consecutive world title and became the first man in 60 years to win all four events at the Men's World Speed Skating Championships in Oslo, Norway.
TENNIS—STAN SMITH defeated Ilie Nastase to win the U.S. Indoor Open Championship (page 22).
TRACK & FIELD—ROD MILBURN zipped to an American indoor record in the 55-meter hurdles with a 7.0, and DR. DELANO MERIWETHER and HERB WASHINGTON Hashed to a dead heal in the 50-meter dash (5.6) in the U.S. Olympic Invitational at Madison Square Garden. TOMMIE TURNER beat Larry Jame by five yards and a hobbled Martin McGrady in the 500-meter run (1:03.1); DAVE WOTTLE edged Italian Glann Del Buono in the 1,500 meters (3.44.8), with Byron Dyce finishing third; and TOM VON RUDEN took the 1,000 in 2:24.3.
Two Soviet runners won at the San Diego Indoor Games when VALERIY BORZOV took the 60-yard dash in 6.0 and GALINA KUZMINA the women's 880 in 2:11.4. Two Olympic champions, WILLIE DAVENPORT and LEE EVANS, also won their events, but a third, Bob Beamon, fell far short. Davenport clocked 7.1 in the 60-yard high hurdles and Evans 55.9 in the 500, while Beamon, hampered by an injury, did not make the finals of the long jump, won by ARNIE ROBINSON at 26'3".
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: The appointment of RAY PATTERSON, 49, president of the successful Milwaukee Buck, as president and general manager of the troubled Houston Rockets, at the end of the season. At the same time, the Rockets will switch to the Midwest Division and the Phoenix Suns will lake their place in the Pacific.
JUMPED: Rookie 7-foot Center JIM McDANIELS, 23, from the Carolina Cougars to the NBA Seattle SuperSonics (page 18).
RETIRED: From amateur Alpine racing, KARL SCHRANZ, 33, the Austrian Olympic favorite who was barred from competing at the List minute, after a spectacular 17-year career in which he won three world championships and two World Cups.
UNVEILED: The nickname and the general manager of the NHL Long Island hockey team that will start play next season in the new Nassau Coliseum. The club will be called the New York Islanders (colors: orange and blue) and will be led by BILL TORREY, 37, a former executive vice-president of the Oakland Seals. "I don't know what players my National Hockey League brothers will make available in the expansion draft," said Torrey. "But I don't think they'll be over generous."
DIED: MIDDLEGROUND, 25, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in 1950; at the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas.