PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Going into the week the Washington Bullets had the best rebounder in the league in Wes Unseld (14.6 average) and the best record (47-17). The latter may be in jeopardy because of a finger Unseld broke in a 106-95 victory over Detroit that will keep him out for two weeks. Houston, runner-up to Washington in the Central, kept Cleveland in third place with a 3-1 week, which included a 114—87 victory over the Cavaliers. New Orleans got 38 points and 11 assists from Pete Maravich in a defeat of the Rockets that extended the Jazz' win streak to six before Midwest leader Chicago halted it. The Bulls also gored Atlanta and had a 4½-game lead over Kansas City-Omaha. The Kings' lone triumph came against Milwaukee, which had a victory over Buffalo. The New York Knicks scalped the Braves, too, but lost the next night to last-place Philadelphia in a fight for a wild-card playoff spot. Boston hiked its Atlantic lead to 5½ games with a 3-0 week. Phoenix upset Pacific leader Golden State twice by a total of 20 points and went on to a 4-0 week. Seattle hung on to a half-game lead over the Suns, thanks to a lone win over the Knicks. Portland beat the Lakers in double overtime and bombed the 76ers 99-77.
ABA: The largest crowd of the season, 16,188, jammed Kentucky's Freedom Hall to watch the Colonels beat New York 95-84 and gain a share of the Eastern Division lead with the Nets (page 20). Arenas were not nearly as crowded in the West where Denver reigns. The Nuggets had a two-point win over Kentucky and handed New York its worst defeat of the season, 148-114, before 7,622 fans, the biggest Denver crowd this year. Indiana managed to outpace the Nuggets 124-109 but Denver still held a 9½-game lead over San Antonio. Earlier the Pacers beat San Diego 120-108 as George McGinnis amassed 41 points, 25 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists. Ownership of the San Diego franchise was assumed by the league because of the Qs' financial problems. Willie Wise scored 30 points in his debut as a Squire, but Virginia still lost to St. Louis 111-100. Earlier, the Spirits had fallen to Memphis 114-107. The Utah Stars had but one win, a sweet one against the defending champion Nets.
BOWLING—NELSON BURTON JR. of St. Louis earned $14,000 by beating Eddie Ressler 208-194 in the finals of the $100,000 Midas Open at Bradley Bowl in Windsor Locks, Conn.
BOXING—GUTS ISHIMATSU of Japan, the WBC lightweight champion, scored a unanimous 15-round decision over Ken Buchanan of Scotland, in Tokyo.
March 9, 1975
Joe Bugner of Great Britain retained his European heavyweight title with a fifth-round technical knockout of Italy's Dante Cané in Bologna.
Panama's ROBERTO DURAN retained the WBA lightweight crown with a 14th-round knockout of Ray Lampkin of the U.S., in Panama City, Panama.
GOLF—BOB MURPHY fired a final-round 68 for a 273, earning $52,000 and a one-stroke victory over Eddie Pearce in the Jackie Gleason-Inverrary Classic at Lauderhill, Fla.
HOCKEY—NHL: Vancouver had paced the Smythe practically all season but an 0-3 week coupled with a 3-0 mark for Chicago vaulted the Black Hawks into a one-point division lead. The Hawks sandwiched a 6-2 defeat of Washington between a pair of triumphs over Atlanta, one of which gave Goalie Tony Esposito his fifth shutout of the season. The Canucks meanwhile lost to Norris and Patrick leaders Montreal (4-3) and Philadelphia (3-1), and were blasted 7-3 by Pittsburgh. Buffalo, sitting pretty in the Adams, ran its unbeaten streak to 12 games with a 5-0 stampeding of Los Angeles. The Kings started out the week tying the Seals 2-2 and finished it with a 7-4 victory over Minnesota, which also had beaten the Seals. The New York Islanders blanked St. Louis 3-0 and defeated California, too, 6-1. The Blues managed a last-minute goal against the New York Rangers' Eddie Giacomin but fell 5-1 as the Rangers continued their pursuit of Philadelphia, which they beat 2-1. Toronto had a 3-1 week, outshining the North Stars 9-2 before beating Kansas City 4-2. Boston had a nine-goal game also, bombing Detroit 9-4 while the Red Wings beat the Penguins 3-1 and the Sabres 3-2.
WHA: "It was like a midget game," said Houston goaltender Wayne Rutledge. "Wherever the puck was, six guys were there. It was a scramble all night." Nevertheless, Rutledge let only one shot get by him as the West-leading Aeros beat Toronto 5-1 for the first of its four victories. The Toros, second in the Canadian, managed a 6-4 win against San Diego while Canadian leader Quebec sank the Mariners twice and outskated Vancouver 9-7. The Blazers also were cooled by East front-runner New England, which went 3-1-1 for the week and had a 15-point lead in the division. Toronto made big news off the ice when Owner John Bassett Jr. reportedly signed 18-year-old Mark Napier to a three-year contract, violating an unwritten rule that said neither pro league would sign any player under 20 before a formal draft. Meanwhile, Winnipeg's Bobby Hull scored his 55th goal of the season in a win over San Diego. The Mariners, Cleveland, Baltimore and Vancouver failed to win during the week but the Phoenix Roadrunners won big, 12-2, against Indianapolis. Chicago had a five-game victory streak snapped by the Aeros in a 3-1 week (page 60) while Minnesota went 2-2-1. The Edmonton Oilers beat the Fighting Saints 6-4 and handed Baltimore yet another loss.
HORSE RACING—FOOLISH PLEASURE ($2.80), Jacinto Vasquez riding, won the $131,600 Flamingo Stakes, running the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:48[2/5] at Hialeah (page 22).
Tizna ($25.80), Don Pierce up, took the $100,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap, covering the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:48[3/5] at Santa Anita.
MOTOR SPORTS—South African JODY SCHECKTER, driving a Tyrrell-Ford, won his country's Formula I Grand Prix, completing 78 laps of the 2.55-mile Kyalami circuit in 1:43:16.9 for an average speed of 115.516 mph.
Cale Yarborough beat David Pearson by 13.5 seconds in the Carolina 500, averaging 117.588 mph for 492 laps in his Chevrolet on the North Carolina Motor Speedway.
SKIING—BILL KOCH of Guilford, Vt. became the first American to win a major cross-country race in Europe, taking the junior 15-kilometers at the Finnish Games in Lahti.
TRACK & FIELD—In the National AAU Indoor Championships at New York's Madison Square Garden ROSALYN BRYANT had the meet's only world record, running the 220 in 23.6. FRANCIE LARRIEU took the women's mile in 4:42.8, RICK WOHLHUTER the 1,000 in 2:06.4, FILBERT BAYI the mile in 4:02.1, HASLEY CRAWFORD the 60-yard dash in 6.0 and MIRUTS YIFTER the three-mile in 13:07.6 (page 54).
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: MICKI KING, diving coach at the Air Force Academy, as director of women's intercollegiate sports at UCLA. Captain King, who won a gold medal in diving in the 1972 Olympics, will resign her commission and begin work at UCLA in August.
SANCTIONED: By the Big Eight and required to cut its football grants-in-aid by 10%, OKLAHOMA STATE, for recruiting violations involving both its football and wrestling teams. The University of Nebraska was "reprimanded" for allowing ineligible players to suit up for the 1975 Sugar Bowl.
SIGNED: WILLIE WISE, former all-star ABA forward who refused to play with the Utah Stars this season, to a three-year contract with the Virginia Squires.
DIED: GEORGE PARNASSUS, 78, world-renowned boxing matchmaker, promoter and former manager of middleweight champ Ceferino Garcia and lightweight champ Juan Zurita, among others; in Los Angeles.