PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Coach Dick Motta of Chicago is confident his team can win the Midwest for the first time ever as his Bulls beat Pacific pacesetter Golden State (105-87), struggling New York (101-84) and Detroit (103-93) during their 11-of-13-game victory rampage. The Bulls, who began the week with a loss to lowly Philadelphia, got outstanding performances from Bob Love (whose request to have his contract renegotiated was denied by an arbitrator). Washington, rocking steady in the Central, beat Milwaukee in overtime for its 15th straight win at home and an 11-game lead over second-place Cleveland. The Cavaliers went 3-1, and if the playoffs had begun at the week's end, Cleveland would have beaten the Knicks out of a berth. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outscored the Cavaliers' Jim Chones 32 to 12 in a Milwaukee win, but the Bucks still were last in their division. Phoenix, climbing fast in the Pacific, beat Buffalo (which set back Los Angeles and Seattle) and ended the week tied with the SuperSonics for second place in the Pacific. While Bill Walton has been getting most of the attention, teammate Sidney Wicks has been doing most of the scoring and holding his own in rebounding for Portland, which had a 1-1 week. New Orleans defeated Atlanta and Houston, while Atlantic leader Boston beat the Suns by six points.
ABA: The New York Nets and San Diego Conquistadors played a game-and-a-half, well almost, before a scattering of fans (2,916) in the San Diego Sports Arena, with the Q's claiming a 176-166 four-overtime victory. Julius Erving played all but two minutes of the 68-minute marathon and had a career high of 63 points along with 23 rebounds and eight assists. The Nets had an easier time recording their 22nd straight win over Eastern Division teams with a 117-90 thrashing of Virginia. Kentucky had a satisfying week, beating Utah by 17 points and San Antonio by 12, which boosted the Colonels into first place in the East by half a game. For West leader Denver, five players hit in double figures to offset 40 points by the Stars' Ron Boone in a 116-112 Nuggets win. San Diego lost to both San Antonio and Denver before its endurance contest with New York and was 23 games out of first. Memphis defeated St. Louis, still playing without suspended Joe Caldwell, but the Spirits defeated the Pacers and the Squires.
BOXING—Ninth-ranked heavyweight JIMMY YOUNG of Philadelphia won a unanimous 10-round decision over third-ranked Ron Lyle, in Honolulu.
HOCKEY—NHL: The Washington Capitals got a new coach, Red Sullivan, who conceded that he would not turn the last-place team in the Norris around overnight. But hours after Sullivan replaced Jimmy Anderson the Capitals trimmed the New York Rangers 7-4 for their fifth victory in 55 games. The Rangers, second in the tight Patrick Division behind Philadelphia, had beaten Washington 7-3 earlier in the week. The New York Islanders registered a pair of wins, over Pittsburgh and Minnesota, and closed to within four points of the Rangers. Rounding out the division, Atlanta tied Los Angeles and slipped four points to the rear of the Islanders. Vancouver and Chicago continued to fight it out at the top of the Smythe Division, with the Canucks holding a five-point margin after victories over Kansas City and Detroit. The Black Hawks blasted Boston 8-3. As the league's two leading scorers, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr, go, so go the Bruins, who lost to Adams leader Buffalo 3-1 because Espo took no shots on goal while Orr made just two attempts. Orr did manage an assist to earn his 100th point this season. Montreal, best in the Norris, settled for ties with the Sabres and Toronto. The latter, along with Pittsburgh, went winless for the week. Los Angeles, California and St. Louis all scored single victories.
February 23, 1975
WHA: Bobby Hull's third goal of the game "equaled" Maurice Richard's 30-year-old National Hockey League record of 50 goals in 50 games (the full schedule then) and enriched the Winnipeg Jets' 5-3 victory over West honcho Houston. Earlier Winnipeg had snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Chicago. The Aeros went 3-1 for the week, disposing of Cleveland, Baltimore and Minnesota. The Blades also suffered a 6-1 defeat by San Diego, their 10th in 11 games since moving from Michigan to Maryland. Minnesota also lost to Canadian front-runner Quebec, which had beaten Phoenix the previous day. New England, a nine-point leader in the East, skated past Indianapolis and settled for an overtime tie with Edmonton. Whaler Goaltender Al Smith stopped everyone on the Oilers but Center Ed Joyal whose game-tying second goal came four seconds after New England thwarted an Edmonton power play. Toronto had a 3-1 week and Vancouver went 2-0.
TABLE TENNIS—CHINA made a clean sweep of team titles in the 33rd world championships, beating Yugoslavia 5-3 for the men's Swaythling Cup and South Korea 3-2 to claim the women's Corbillon Cup at Calcutta (page 56).
TENNIS—BJORN BORG earned $12,000 by heating Arthur Ashe 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in the finals of the $60,000 WCT International tournament in Bologna, Italy.
Margaret Court earned $15,000 for defeating Czechoslovakia's Martina Navratilova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the finals of the Virginia Slims of Chicago tournament (page 50).
TRACK & FIELD—FRANCIE LARRIEU broke the women's indoor record for the 1,500 meters with a 4:10.4 clocking at the Maple Leaf Games in Toronto. ANNELIE EHRHARDT, of East Germany also set a world record at the meet: 6.2 in the 50-yard hurdles. The next night in San Diego, Larrieu set a second world record, this time in the women's mile (4:29). FILBERT BAYI took the men's mile in 3:56.4, defeating John Walker and Rick Wohlhuter (page 58).
Dwight Stones broke his own world indoor high-jump record with a 7'5½" leap at Oklahoma City.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Committee on Veterans, EARL AVERILL, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers and Boston Braves (1929-41); BUCKY HARRIS, second baseman for the Washington Senators and the Tigers (1919-31); BILLY HERMAN, second baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Dodgers, the Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1931-47).
NAMED: WILLIAM (JUDY) JOHNSON, 75, to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a former Negro League third baseman who batted around .300 in nine years with Philadelphia's Hilldale Daisies.
NAMED: TOM NISSALKE, as coach of the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association, replacing Morris Buckwalter (24-32).
NAMED: ANNETTE KELLERMAN, Australia's former world champion, to the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Also honored: DR. FRED LUEHRING, first editor of the NCAA Swimming Guide. Named posthumously: CHARLOTTE EPSTEIN, ELLEN FULLARD-LEO, WILLIAM HENRY, JOHN TRUDGEON, ALICE WICKHAM, BERT CUMMINGS and HAROLD FERN.
RESIGNED: SID GILLMAN, as general manager of the Houston Oilers. His position will be taken by O.A. (Bum) Phillips, who three weeks before had replaced Gillman as head coach of the team.
RETURNED: TO REX ELLSWORTH, the thoroughbreds at his Chino (Calif.) ranch, by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which had impounded them three weeks ago because of neglect and malnutrition. The horses were returned after Ellsworth paid a reported $12,000 in liens.
SIGNED: AL WARD, to a three-year contract as general manager of the New York Jets, replacing the retired Weeb Ewbank. Ward, the Dallas Cowboys' vice-president for administration for three years, was the original publicity director of the old American Football League.