BASKETBALL—NBA: The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 lead over Cleveland in their best-of-seven semifinal series by downing the Cavaliers twice at Boston, 111-99 and 94-89. John Havlicek and Jo Jo White shared high-scoring honors, with Havlicek getting 26 points in the first game and White 24 in the second. Cleveland Center Jim Chones suffered a broken toe in a preseries practice and missed both games, but old hand Nate Thurmond limited Boston's Dave Cowens to 29 points and 24 rebounds. The NBA coaches voted Boston Forward Paul Silas the best all-round defensive player in the league and put three Celtics on the All-Defense team: Silas, Cowens and Havlicek. Phoenix evened its semifinal with Golden State at two games apiece with a 133-129 double overtime win on Sunday. Earlier in the week the Suns and the Warriors split road-game triumphs, Phoenix thwarting the Warriors 108-101 despite Rick Barry's 44 points and Golden State handing the Suns their first loss in 16 home games 99-91 before a crowd of 13,306 people, the largest in Phoenix history. Keith Erickson's 20-foot basket with two seconds to play sent Sunday's game into overtime, and Ricky Sobers' two free throws with two seconds left forced the second overtime. Erickson's four long-range baskets clinched the game for the Suns.
ABA: With The Doctor performing major surgery, the New York Nets beat the Denver Nuggets 117-111 and 121-112 at home to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven championship series (page 26).
BOXING—CARLOS ZARATE of Mexico City won the WBC bantamweight championship on a ninth-round knockout of fellow Mexican Rodolfo Martinez in Los Angeles. It was Zarate's 41st consecutive victory and his 40th knockout.
In San Juan ESTEBAN DEJESUS captured the WBC lightweight championship with a unanimous decision over Guts Ishimatsu of Japan.
May 16, 1976
BRIDGE—The U.S. team of BILL EISENBERG, FRED HAMILTON, IRA RUBIN, PAUL SOLO-WAY, ERIK PAULSEN and HUGH ROSS won the world team championship, defeating the Italian Blue team 232-198, at Monte Carlo.
GOLF—MARK HAYES, 26, won his first PGA tournament, the Byron Nelson Classic, shooting an 11-under-par 273 in Dallas to beat Don Bies by two strokes and win $40,000.
South Africa's SALLY LITTLE holed out an 80-foot sand shot from a trap at the 18th green for a birdie to beat Australia's Jan Stephenson by one stroke in the $70,000 Women's International tournament at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Little shot a seven-under 281 (page 73.)
HOCKEY—NHL: Montreal and Philadelphia, the league's two best teams during the regular season, gained the Stanley Cup finals by eliminating the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins, respectively, in five games. The Canadiens then won the best-of-seven championship opener 4-3 Sunday night in Montreal on Guy Lapointe's goal with just 82 seconds to play (page 22).
WHA: New England took a 2-1 lead in its best-of-seven semifinal with Houston by beating the Aeros 4-2 and 4-1 while losing the middle game 5-2. Off the ice, Toronto's Mark Napier was named Rookie of the Year, Cleveland Captain Paul Shmyr the best defenseman and Toronto Center Vaclav Nedomansky the most gentlemanly player. Toronto Owner John Bassett decided to move or sell the franchise after suffering losses of some $4 million in the last three years.
MOTOR SPORTS—BRIAN REDMAN of England beat Danny Ongais by 6.117 seconds to win the first race of the Formula 5000 season at the Pocono (Pa.) International Raceway, completing the 35 laps of the 2.8-mile oval at an average speed of 123.437 mph.
SOCCER—NASL: Derek Smethurst's overtime goal kicked the Tampa Bay Rowdies past Chicago 1-0. In other shutouts Vancouver handed Dallas its first loss 2-0 while Seattle clipped San Diego 1-0; Dallas topped Portland 2-0; and Rochester, San Jose and Boston registered 3-0 victories over Miami, St. Louis and Hartford, respectively. The New York Cosmos played a pair of games at Yankee Stadium, beating Hartford 3-1 but losing to Philadelphia 2-1. San Antonio defeated Los Angeles 3-2 on Jim Henry's final penalty kick in a sudden-death tie breaker.
ASL: The Los Angeles Sky hawks remained unbeaten by downing Tacoma 2-1 for their second win. After losing to Tacoma 3-2 and Sacramento 3-1, New York ended its Western swing with a 2-1 win in Utah, Ted Nahorski scoring both goals for the Apollos. Cleveland split shutouts, defeating Connecticut 1-0 but losing to Rhode Island 2-0 as 1975 scoring champion Jose Neto booted his first goal of the season for the Oceaneers. Connecticut also lost to Chicago 3-1. Otey Cannon had a goal and an assist as Sacramento edged Oakland 3-2.
TENNIS—BJORN BORG, runner-up in 1974 and 1975, defeated Guillermo Vilas 1-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-1 to win the WCT Finals at Dallas (page 24).
WTT: The idle New York Sets held first place in the East with a 3-1 record. In spite of tendinitis, Evonne Goolagong led the Pittsburgh Triangles past the Los Angeles Strings 32-19. Hawaii's Ilie Nastase lost his WTT debut match to San Diego's Rod Laver as the Friars topped the Leis 29-19. Laver also defeated Tom Okker of the Golden Gaters as San Diego scored its third victory in four matches to tie for first in the West. The Phoenix Racquets beat Hawaii 27-26 when Chris Evert and Tony Roche teamed to win the super tie breaker.
TRACK & FIELD—East Germany's ROSEMARIE ACKERMANN high-jumped 6'5" at an Olympic qualifying meet in Dresden to top her own world record by ¼ inch. CHRISTINA BREHMER, an 18-year-old East German, set a world record of 49.77 for the 400 meters. The previous mark of 49.9 was held by Irena Szewinska of Poland.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: K.C. JONES, coach of the Washington Bullets. In his three seasons Jones had a 155-91 record, second only to that of Boston's Tom Heinsohn among active NBA coaches.
HIRED: TAYLOR (Tates) LOCKE, 39, as head coach of the Buffalo Braves, replacing the fired Jack Ramsay. Locke was Ramsay's assistant for one season after leaving Clemson when its basketball program was being investigated by the NCAA for recruiting irregularities.
SENTENCED: SHELBY JORDAN, 24, New England Patriot offensive tackle, to a four-year indeterminate prison term for selling cocaine. Jordan could be released on probation at any time.
SIGNED: ARCHIE GRIFFIN, two-time Heisman Trophy winner, to a reported five-year, $500,000 contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
DIED: DAN BANKHEAD, 55; of cancer; in Houston. The first black major league pitcher, Bankhead played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for three seasons (1947, 1950, 1951), compiling a 9-5 record.
DIED: KAY VILEN, 66, who coached the Santa Clara (Calif.) Aquamaids to nine consecutive national synchronized swimming championships and the 1973 and 1975 world titles; in Santa Clara.
DIED: ERNIE NEVERS, 72; of a kidney disorder; in San Rafael, Calif. A Stanford fullback from 1923 to 1925, Nevers was called the "greatest player I have ever coached" by Pop Warner, who had also coached Jim Thorpe. Nevers played pro football with the Duluth Eskimos and Chicago Cardinals, and in 1929 set an NFL record by scoring 40 points in one game on six touchdowns and four extra points. He was named to the college and professional football halls of fame and was voted to the All-Time, All-America team by the Football Writers of America. He also pitched for the St. Louis Browns from 1926 to 1928.