PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Los Angeles sewed up its fourth straight Pacific Division title with an emphatic 150-124 whipping of Buffalo, relaxed a bit against much-improved Seattle and lost 121-115, but still closed three games ahead of Golden State. The Warriors, victims of late-season paralysis, lost two of three games. Rick Barry vented his considerable frustration with 64 points in Golden State's 143-120 romp over Portland, marking a league high this year and lifting Barry into the lofty company of Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor for single-game productivity. Midwest winner Milwaukee gilded its 59-23 record (best in the NBA) with a victory on Oscar Robertson Night, 118-98 against K.C.-Omaha. Then the Bucks squeezed by Los Angeles 99-95 for a 1-0 lead in their playoff series, thanks to sub Guard Fritz Williams' six points in the last five minutes. The other two Western playoff opponents, Chicago and Detroit, finished the regular season on high notes. The Bulls stomped Seattle 122-113 and Cleveland 104-98, and the Pistons edged Atlanta 109-108. Detroit then surprised Chicago at home 97-88 in the first playoff game. Boston and Buffalo prepared for their series opener in similar ways—they both lost their last two regular-season games. The Celtics pulled out of the tailspin first, coming back from a 17-point deficit on Dave Cowens' 30 points to subdue the Braves 107-97. New York lost to Cleveland 114-92 on Sunday, but got some magic from Earl Monroe on Friday to win its first playoff game with Capital 102-91.
ABA: It was a week of clinches: On Wednesday New York clinched the East title with a last-game victory over Denver 102-96, and Julius Erving wrapped up his second straight league scoring crown with 43 points. On Thursday Indiana beat Utah 111-109 to clinch second place in the West and earn the home-court advantage in its playoff series with third-place San Antonio. So much for the advantage—the Pacers lost the postseason opener to the Spurs 113-109. Neither San Diego nor Denver wavered in the drive for the last West playoff berth, finishing dead even at season's end. But then on Friday rookie Dwight (Bo) Lamar popped up with 40 points and led the Qs past the Rockets 131-111, earning the right to meet Utah in the playoffs. The Stars conquered San Diego in the first clash 114-99, but they needed 71 points from Zelmo Beaty, Willie Wise and Ron Boone to do it. There also was plenty of fighting in the clinches as New York met fourth-place Virginia in that series opener. The Squires' Fatty Taylor threw a few blows at Net Guard John Williamson's head. John of the Errant Elbow simply walked away and Taylor was ejected from the game. Virginia Coach Al Bianchi followed Fatty to the locker room in the third quarter after some strenuous objections to Referee Jess Kersey. All was quiet on the other Eastern front as Kentucky and Carolina prepped for their series with season-ending triumphs over Memphis (107-105) and Virginia (99-91).
BOATING—Frenchman ALAIN COLAS sailed his trimaran Manureva into St.-Malo, France to set a record for a solo round-the-world voyage, completing the journey in 168 days—57 fewer than the late Sir Francis Chichester's 1966-67 mark aboard Gipsy Moth IV.
COIN FLIPPING—The PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS won rights to choose first in the NBA draft in a toss-up with Philadelphia and declared its intention to go after UCLA's Bill Walton.
April 7, 1974
FENCING—NEW YORK UNIVERSITY outpointed second-place Wayne State 92-87 to capture a record 11th consecutive NCAA championship.
AMATEUR HOCKEY—The UNITED STATES defeated West Germany 5-2 to win the World Championship B pool. The Americans had a 7-0 overall record in the tournament at Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
GOLF—LEE TREVINO birdied four of the first six holes on his way to a seven-under-par 65 and victory in the $150,000 Greater New Orleans Open, his first tour win since March 1973. Trevino's 267 total gave him an eight-stroke margin over Ben Crenshaw and Bobby Cole, and the $30,000 first prize.
HOCKEY—NHL: The week's action reflected something old, something new, something borrowed—and something blew. First the old: Boston seized the East title for the third time in four years by downing Montreal 6-3 as Phil Esposito notched his 66th goal of the season. Montreal was assured of second place with a 5-2 victory over Los Angeles. Toronto routed third-place New York 7-3 and earned a playoff berth for the 13th time in 16 seasons, eliminating Buffalo. As for the new: the Philadelphia Flyers beat Boston for the first time this year, 5-3, and captured their second West Division crown. Forward Ross Lonsberry keyed the Flyer attack with two goals. Chicago's Mike Veisor earned his first NHL shutout, 6-0 over Minnesota, as the second-place Black Hawks went unbeaten in four games. And West upstarts Los Angeles and Atlanta inched closer to their first playoff appearances as the Kings won two of four games and the Flames nailed fifth-place Minnesota 4-1 (page 95). Meanwhile, the North Stars, borrowing time against obliteration of their playoff hopes, saw their time run out against Buffalo 6-1. Finally the blew: The St. Louis Blues, who blew their season with only three wins in the last 26 games, were blown out of the playoffs for the first time in their six-year history.
WHA: New England edged Edmonton 3-2 and gained its second straight divisional title, but elsewhere in the East things were not as clear. In the hot four-team scramble for three remaining playoff berths, Toronto kept its cool with three wins and nudged past Cleveland and Quebec into second. In the West the playoff' lines were firmly drawn, but second-place Minnesota continued to exhibit its recent mastery over divisional kingpin Houston with a 5-3 win on the Aeros' ice. The Fighting Saints' Mike Walton added his 53rd and 54th goals to his league scoring lead in games with Houston and New Jersey.
HORSE RACING—BUSHONGO ($19.20), Don MacBeth up, surprised the 10-horse field in the $128,800 Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah with a 2-length victory over Hasty Flyer (page 24).
MOTOR SPORTS—CARLOS REUTEMANN of Argentina wheeled his Brabham BT44 at an average 116.2 mph to score a 30-second victory over France's Jean-Pierre Beltoise in the South African Grand Prix, and marked his win by dedicating the race to American Peter Revson, who was killed in a crash while practicing for the event.
SKIING—Austria's ANNEMARIE MOSERPROELL and Italian GUSTAVO THOENI tightened their lock on individual championships as the three-event Nations' World Series of Skiing ended at Heavenly Valley, Calif. (page 26). By countries, the final lineup was Austria, Italy, West Germany and the U.S.
SWIMMING & DIVING—SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, led by John Naber's three gold medals, stopped Indiana's bid for a seventh consecutive NCAA championship with a 339-338 victory in Long Beach, Calif. The Hoosiers never recovered from the disqualification of their favored 400-yard medley relay team in the time trials, though they scrambled back from a 252-214 deficit on the final day to make a tense contest of it.
MILEPOSTS—JUMPED: LARRY CSONKA, JIM KIICK and PAUL WARFIELD, from the Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins to the Toronto Northmen of the new World Football League, for a three-year, $3 million package, effective in 1975.
NAMED: As NCAA Coach of the Year in their respective divisions, AL McGUIRE of Marquette and NAT FRAZIER of Morgan State. McGuire led Marquette to a 26-5 record and the NCAA university division final. Frazier compiled a 28-5 mark this year and guided Morgan to the college division championship.
RESIGNED: As basketball coach at the University of Utah, BILL FOSTER, to fill the same post at Duke. In three years Foster had a 43-39 record, leading the Utes to a 22-8 mark and a second-place finish in the NIT this year; Assistant Coach JERRY PIMM takes over.
RESIGNED: As Creighton basketball coach, EDDIE SUTTON, and moving to Arkansas. In five years under Sutton the Bluejays compiled an 83-50 record, including a 23-7 mark this year and a spot in the NCAA playoffs. Assistant Coach TOM APKE, 30, will succeed Sutton.
DIED: JIMMY WINKFIELD, 91, one of only three jockeys to ride two successive Kentucky Derby winners; in the Paris suburb of Maisons-Laffitte. Winkfield won at Churchill Downs on His Eminence in 1901 and Alan-a-Dale in 1902. The black jockey went on to a notable riding and training career in Russia and Europe that spanned 50 years.