PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: It ended in bedlam: Buffalo's Bob McAdoo fouled Boston Guard Jo Jo White in the last second of the frenetic sixth playoff game with the score tied at 104. White hit both free throws after the buzzer to clinch the series 4-2 for the Celtics. Simple, right? Not quite. The Braves filed a formal protest, claiming that the clock still showed one second left when Referee Darell Garretson called the foul heard 'round Buffalo, and that they should have been allowed a last-second play. Braves Owner Paul L. Snyder stormed the officials' dressing room yelling: "That's one hell of a way to run the league!" Coach Jack Ramsay raged: "You don't end a playoff series on a foul like that." But it did end just like that. In the next chapter, Boston made sure there was no last-second dispute about its Eastern final-round opener, blasting New York 113-88. The Knicks had entered the finals with a 91-81 seventh-and-deciding-game win over Capital. In that one, Earl Monroe was irresistible, with 30 points and John Gianelli immovable under the boards with a career-high 15 rebounds. In the remaining Western semifinal, Chicago withstood a 19-point Detroit rally to edge the Pistons 96-94 and survived a first-round playoff series for the first time in seven tries (page 24).
ABA: After the young San Antonio Spurs spiked Indiana 102-86 to even their playoff series at three games each, Spur reserve Forward Chuck Terry insisted: "Experience doesn't mean a thing now. It's a one-game series and we want it just as badly as they do." Noble sentiment, indeed, but apparently Indiana wanted it a bit more, especially veteran Forward Roger Brown, who led the Pacers past San Antonio 86-79 with a brilliant 28-point, 11-rebound effort. Experience also told in the Utah-San Diego series as Willie Wise and James Jones each scored 21 points to subdue the Qs 110-99 and win the playoff 4-2, even though San Diego rookie Bo Lamar shot like a true vet, scoring 33 points for a 27.5-point series average. Utah and Indiana then squared off in the Western Division final for the fourth straight year, with the Stars coming out on top 105-96 in the opener, Willie Wise scintillating with 34 points. New York and Kentucky warmed up for their Eastern final by brushing aside weak first-round opponents: the Nets outmuscling Virginia's brawny Squires 108-96 for a 4-1 series victory and the Colonels sweeping by Carolina 128-119 to make it four straight for Artis Gilmore's gang. New York netted a 1-0 lead in the final round with a 119-106 rout of Kentucky as league MVP Dr. J and Mr. K (that's Larry Kenon) scored 35 and 20 points respectively.
BOXING—Unrated underdog SUZUKI (Guts) ISHIMATSU, 26, of Japan, knocked out champion Rudolfo Gonzales, 27, of Mexico, in the eighth round of their Tokyo match to win the WBC world lightweight title.
GOLF—South Africa's GARY PLAYER won his second Masters in 13 years with a final-round 70 and a 278 total, two strokes ahead of Tom Weiskopf and Dave Stockton (page 16).
April 21, 1974
HOCKEY—NHL: New York surprised the Canadiens 4-1 in their playoff opener, the first Ranger win at the Montreal Forum since the 1972 playoffs. New York Goalie Eddie Giacomin anchored the stout defense with 23 saves. But the thrill was soon gone: the Rangers fell to the terrible swift skates of Canadien Wing Yvan Cournoyer, the Roadrunner scoring five goals (two on breakaways) in Montreal's 4-1 and 4-2 wins. In Game Four New York shackled Cournoyer a bit and rallied from a 3-1 deficit to triumph at the Garden, 6-4—but couldn't shut off Canadien Steve Shutt, who extended his playoff goal-a-game streak to four straight. In the other Eastern semifinal, Boston received Esposito-like scoring from Forward Gregg Sheppard (four goals in three games) and Esposito-like goaltending from Gilles Gilbert to take three of three from Toronto, 1-0, 6-3 and 6-3, then completed the sweep 4-3 in overtime (page 22). In the West, Chicago was out-shot 35-28 in Game Two by Los Angeles and held to just 10 shots in the third contest, but prevailed in all three: 3-1, 4-1 and 1-0. Game Four saw the Kings rally for a 5-1 victory at home. In the other Western semifinal Philadelphia doused Atlanta's fire 4-1, 5-1 and 4-1, but not the Flames' ire: 154 minutes of penalties were dealt out in Game Three alone and Atlanta Goalie Dan Bouchard punched Referee Pete Newell after a disputed goal by Flyer Rick MacLeish. The fourth game, tame by comparison, saw Atlanta go down for the season, 4-3, in overtime.
WHA: Defending champion New England picked a whale of a time to go on its first three-game losing streak of the year, falling behind Chicago 3-2 in the first-round playoff series. Injuries to the Whalers' top scorers, Tom Webster and Larry Pleau, plus the steady play of Cougar Ralph Backstrom contributed to 8-6, 2-1 and 4-2 defeats. New England finally triumphed in the must-win sixth game 2-0 to even the series. Toronto increased its playoff lead to 3-0 by nipping Cleveland 4-3 and 4-2 on hat tricks by Tom Martin and Rick Sentes before the Crusaders won Game Four in overtime 3-2. In the West semifinals, Houston blew out Winnipeg in four straight, 5-2, 3-2, 10-1 and 5-4 as The Family showed Howe with five goals and nine assists. Minnesota's Mike Walton scored three goals as the Fighting Saints wrapped up their playoff series 4-1 with a 5-4 final game win.
HORSE RACING—Chilean-bred EVERTON II, ridden by Marco Castaneda, scored a 1-length victory over favored Prince Dantan in the $56,400, 1‚⅛-mile Excelsior Handicap on a muddy track at Aqueduct.
LACROSSE—Top-ranked University of MARYLAND overwhelmed No. 2 Virginia 25-13 behind Midfielder Frank Urso's seven goals at College Park's Harry C. Byrd Stadium. No. 3 JOHNS HOPKINS scored six goals in the second quarter to down the Mount Washington Club 19-12 in Baltimore for the Jays' fifth straight win. And No. 8, HOFSTRA, whipped Army for the first time in 20 years, 12-5, at Hempstead, N.Y.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT defeated Evonne Goolagong, playing her first Virginia Slims tournament of the year, 6-4, 6-0, to take the First Federal of Sarasota (Fla.) Women's Tennis Classic.
John Newcombe defeated Jaime Fillol of Chile 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to win the $50,000 WCT Blue group tournament in Orlando, Fla. ROD LAVER whipped Spain's Juan Gisbert 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 before a crowd of 4,000 to win the Green group's $50,000 tournament in Tokyo.
TRACK—BEN JIPCHO of Kenya beat Jim Ryun by 45 yards to win the mile in 4:00.8, then came back 1½ hours later to capture the two mile in 8:52 in the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Jipcho drew $1,000 for his double, boosting his season's earnings to $6,950, tops on the ITA tour. Attendance was 6,892.
VOLLEYBALL—The touring Japanese national men's team won the opener easily, rallied from a 14-11 deficit in the second game, and went on to defeat the U.S. national team 15-10, 16-14 and 15-9 in an exhibition at Santa Barbara, Calif.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By the American Basketball Association, plans to conduct a five-round draft of active NBA players preceding the annual ABA college draft. The surprise move, called "ingenious" by Sam Schulman, owner of the NBA Seattle SuperSonics, will be the first such action by either league.
DIVORCED: HAL and OLGA CONNOLLY, U.S. and Czechoslovakian gold medalists in the discus and the hammer at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne; after 17 years of marriage; in Santa Monica, Calif.
NAMED: RAY SCOTT of the Detroit Pistons, as NBA Coach of the Year, in his first full season, after guiding the club to its first playoff berth in six years.