PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Of the nine teams in the Western Conference only one, Golden State, had a winning record at the beginning of the week. The Warriors' 100-94 defeat of Atlantic leader Boston (page 18) kept the surging SuperSonics 12½ games out of first. Seattle won its sixth in a row. 111-92 over Philadelphia. Sonic Guard Fred Brown, who came off the bench to score 29 points in a 124-99 defeat of Boston, got 26 against the 76ers. Seattle then tied a club record of seven straight by beating third-place Los Angeles 97-91 and improved its record to 30-29. Two weeks ago, Milwaukee was the only Midwest team to win a game. Last week until Saturday they were the only Midwest team to lose one—113-112 to Washington and 110-108 to Houston. Detroit outscored the Bullets by 30 points in the second half of a 102-87 victory and Bob Lanier popped in 30 in a 114-112 defeat of Buffalo to give the Pistons a virtual share of the division lead with Milwaukee until the Bucks beat Chicago 115-112. Cleveland stayed a game ahead of Washington in the Central, defeating Portland 112-94 to equal a club record of seven straight victories. On Sunday the Cavs made it eight, 107-103 over Houston. Atlanta and New Orleans were both immersed in losing streaks, the Jazz presenting New York Coach Red Holzman with his 500th victory (only Red Auerbach has more—1,037) by losing its sixth straight, 102-98 to the Knicks.
ABA: The New York Nets keep trying. After six losses in 10 games had dropped them 6½ games behind first-place Denver, Dr. J—the league's top scorer with a 28.2 average—led New York to a 100-99 victory over Kentucky, a 112-111 overtime defeat of Indiana in which he scored 37 points (seven in overtime) and had 17 rebounds, and to a 106-91 beating of Virginia. On Sunday they met the Nuggets, and Erving got 24 points and 17 rebounds in the Nets' 115-95 victory, which left them 5½ games behind the Nuggets. Third-place San Antonio beat St. Louis 99-92 as James Silas, the league's fifth-leading scorer, tallied 31 points and the Spirits hit on only four of 25 fourth-quarter field-goal attempts and made a total of 11 points. Fourth-place Kentucky's Bird Averitt had 34 points as the Colonels defeated the Spurs 116-112. Indiana split a pair with Denver, losing the first 128-123. In the rematch Billy Keller scored 16 second-half points as the Pacers won 106-101 to remain in fifth place.
BOWLING—DICK WEBER defeated Earl Anthony 216-210 to win the $100,000 AMF Pro Classic at Garden City, N.Y. His record 25th victory in 17 years on the circuit enabled Weber to become the first in the sport to win $500,000.
BOXING—MUHAMMAD ALI retained his heavyweight title by knocking out Jean-Pierre Coopman of Belgium in the fifth round in San Juan (page 14).
March 1, 1976
CHESS—U.S. Grandmaster ROBERT BYRNE won the Torremolinos, Spain international tournament 9½-3½. Nineteen-year-old U.S. Master Larry Christiansen (9-4) was second.
GOLF—HALE IRWIN fired a 12-under-par 272 to win the Glen Campbell-Los Angeles Open by two strokes over Tom Watson.
Kathy Whitworth shot a seven-under-par 209 to win the Bent Tree Classic at Sarasota, Fla. by one stroke over Hollis Stacy.
PRO HOCKEY—NHL: Once again a week of play resulted in no change in any team's position in any division. Philadelphia increased its Patrick lead to 16 points over the second-place Islanders by making Los Angeles its 11th victim in an 11-game unbeaten streak by tying the Kings 3-3 on Reggie Leach's league-leading 43rd goal with 1:36 remaining. The Islanders lost to Boston 2-1. The Bruins' lead in the Adams stayed at eight points over Buffalo as the Sabres lost to Toronto 6-4. Vancouver is four points behind Smythe leader Chicago after a 7-0 walloping of Minnesota and a 5-4 defeat of St. Louis. It was Minnesota's 10th straight loss, Goalie Cesare Maniago being blitzed with 50 shots. Montreal is atop the Norris with a 27-point margin over Los Angeles. In a 7-5 defeat of Toronto, Canadien Guy LaFleur, the league's scoring leader, netted two goals and three assists, and linemates Pete Mahovlich and Steve Shutt got two goals apiece. Pittsburgh's Jean Pronovost scored three times in the Penguins' 7-5 triumph over Toronto to become the sixth player to score more than 40 goals in three consecutive seasons.
WHA: Toronto had the league's worst record (15-35-5) when General Manager Gilles Leger decided to release Bobby Baun and return to coaching himself. The Toros had only one win and two ties in their last 16 games and had dropped 10 points behind third-place Edmonton in a bid for the Canadian Division's final playoff spot. Leger's first two games were defeats, 6-3 by Minnesota and 6-4 by San Diego as the Mariners scored three goals in a 1:38 span in the second period. Edmonton tied Canadian leader Winnipeg in overtime 4-4, and Leger's task became one point tougher. Second-place Quebec beat San Diego 5-2 with league-leading scorer Marc Tardif netting No. 52. East met West when the two leaders, Houston and New England, faced off. Andre Hinse scored his 27th goal with 11 seconds left to beat the Whalers 4-3. New England lost its next game, 10-3 to Indianapolis, so when Cincinnati beat Phoenix 4-1 and San Diego 3-2 the Stingers found themselves just two points out of first in the East. Houston is 10 points up on second-place Minnesota.
HORSE RACING—HATCHET MAN ($7.60), ridden by Heliodoro Gustines, beat favored Toonersville by two lengths to win the 1-mile $121,500 Widener Handicap at Hialeah in 2:02.
SPEED SKATING—SYLVIA BURKA of Canada won the women's world championship at Gjoevik, Norway. She had a four-event aggregate of 184.840 time points and a win in the 1,500. Tatyana Averina of the Soviet Union was second and Sheila Young of the U.S. third.
SQUASH—In the U.S. Nationals at Philadelphia, PETER BRIGGS won his first singles tide, defeating John Reese. GRETCHEN SPRUANCE won her third women's singles championship, beating Barbara Maltby (page 42).
TENNIS—ILIE NASTASE downed Jimmy Connors 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 to win the U.S. National Indoor championship at Salisbury, Md.
Arthur Ashe beat Bob Lutz 6-2, 0-6, 6-3 to win the WCT tournament in Rome.
Chris Evert defeated Rosie Casals 6-4, 6-2 in Detroit to take her second Virginia Slims tournament of the season.
Guillermo Vilas beat Vijay Amritraj 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 to win the WCT tournament in St. Louis.
TRACK & FIELD—DAN RIPLEY vaulted 18'3¾" to break the world indoor record for the third time in six weeks, topping the week-old mark of Poland's Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz by a quarter of an inch at the U.S. Olympic Invitational meet in New York. DWIGHT STONES broke his own indoor high-jump record by a half inch at the same meet, leaping 7'6¼". He was pressed by Rory Kotinek, whose 7'5" jump was the best ever by a nonwinner.
Within 24 hours Stones added one-quarter of an inch to his indoor high-jump record by clearing 7'6½" at the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor Games in San Diego. FRANK SHORTER won the two mile in the season's best time, 8:27.9, and ROD DIXON of New Zealand took the mile in 3:56.8, beating Filbert Bayi by nearly a full second (page 22).
John Radetich bettered his own world indoor pro high-jump record by 1¼ inches with a leap of 7'6" at an International Track Association meet in Salt Lake City.
Terry Albritton, a junior at the University of Hawaii, broke Al Feuerbach's world amateur outdoor shotput record by 1½" with a heave of 71'8½" at an all-comers meet in Honolulu.
MILEPOSTS—DISBANDED: The NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE, after two years of competition between six teams in the U.S. and Canada, because of financial difficulties.
DISMISSED: By U.S. District Court Judge Joe Eaton in Miami as being without merit, a suit by the NFL's two expansion teams against the NFL Players Association to prevent the association from challenging the legality of the expansion draft.
HIRED: ROBERT (Bo) REIN, 30, to succeed Lou Holtz as head football coach at North Carolina State. Rein had been offensive coordinator at Arkansas.
SIGNED: By the San Diego Friars, ROD LAVER, 37, to a multiyear contract for an undisclosed figure that reportedly makes him the highest-paid player in World Team Tennis.
SOLD: HIALEAH PARK, to John Brunetti, a New Jersey construction magnate, for $15 million, pending bank approval.