PRO BASKETBALL—Detroit kept trying to overtake Denver in the Midwest, the Pistons winning their sixth game in succession, a 140-132 free-for-all with Milwaukee. But there was little joy in Motown. "We're winning," conceded Piston Captain Bob Lanier, "but I hate coming down here." The unhappiness was being caused by ill feelings between several Detroit players—most notably, Kevin Porter—and their coach, Herb Brown. Denver, meanwhile, was giving no ground, finishing the week with a four-game lead over the Pistons. The Nuggets beat Houston (page 16) 117-107 on Dan Issel's 30 points, then defeated Chicago 119-99 for their 19th home-game win in 20 tries. Milwaukee beat Phoenix 139-111 as Junior Bridgeman scored 38 points, then defeated Buffalo and Philadelphia to rack up eight wins in 11 games. Elsewhere in the red-hot Midwest, Kansas City beat Houston 106-94 for its fourth win in a row, and Indiana got 39, 41 and 26 points from Billy Knight in the Pacers' third, fourth and fifth consecutive wins. In chilly contrast, the Atlantic race featured losses: the New York Nets dropped their eighth game in a row, Buffalo its fourth, the New York Knicks stopped a three-game losing skid against Phoenix 102-95, and Boston lost two of three, including a 128-84 drubbing at the hands of Pacific leader Portland, in which the Celtics scored only 32 points in the second half. Golden State won the fifth of its last six games, a 114-107 victory over New Orleans. Cleveland moved back in front in the Central by 1½ games, despite allowing George McGinnis to score 33 points and haul down 22 rebounds in a 116-96 loss to Philadelphia. San Antonio defeated Denver 137-133 as James Silas scored 28 points on his return from knee surgery.
BOWLING—EARL ANTHONY defeated Marshall Holman 258-202 to win the $80,000 Lite Classic at Torrance, Calif.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—The WEST defeated the East 20-17 at the Hula Bowl in Honolulu as USC Quarterback Vince Evans scored two touchdowns. Quarterback Steve Pisarkiewicz of Missouri threw two touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the Senior Bowl to lead the NORTH past the South 27-24 in Mobile, Ala.
PRO FOOTBALL—The OAKLAND RAIDERS shut off Minnesota's offense, and won Super Bowl XI 32-14 in Pasadena (page 10).
January 17, 1977
GOLF—JERRY PATE won the $200,000 Phoenix Open, defeating Dave Stockton on the first hole of sudden death. The two had finished tied at 277, seven under par after 72 holes (page 50).
HOCKEY—NHL: Adams leader Buffalo met Norris leader Montreal last week, and instead of a hotly contested battle for Wales Conference supremacy, the Canadiens won in a walk, 9-2. "It was a collective effort," said Buffalo Left Wing Richard Martin. "We all fell asleep at the same time." The Sabres woke up long enough to polish off Toronto 4-2 and hold their three-point lead over Boston. The Bruins beat Cleveland 3-2 but lost to Minnesota 3-1. The North Stars had been the Smythe cellar dwellers until they executed a turnabout by winning four of six games to climb ahead of Vancouver. St. Louis clung to its lead over Chicago in the Smythe, despite losing to Philadelphia 7-1 and Vancouver 5-2. The New York Rangers got about as close as anyone gets to Philadelphia these days, tying the Flyers 4-4. The Rangers also tied Colorado by the same score, after trailing 3-0. The New York Islanders swept their home-and-home series with Atlanta, 5-4 and 6-3. Bryan Trottier's 30-foot shot near the end of the first game was deflected into the net by J.P. Parise to account for the Islanders' first win, and Trottier and Billy Harris scored two goals apiece in the second game.
WHA: Quebec improved its Eastern Division lead with a pair of wins over New England, and for good measure handed the touring Soviet National team a 6-1 defeat, the all-stars' second loss in eight games against WHA teams. Quebec opened the week with a 5-3 victory over the Whalers, Marc Tardif, last season's leading scorer, getting two goals and two assists. In a return match three days later, this season's point leader, Real Cloutier, got his 32nd, 33rd and 34th goals and the Nordiques won 7-3. Cincinnati ended a seven-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over Birmingham, then beat San Diego 2-1. The Mariners, however, held a five-point lead over Houston in the Western Division race.
MOTOR SPORTS—JODY SCHECKTER of South Africa won the Argentine Grand Prix in Buenos Aires, the first Formula I race of the year, driving a Wolf-Ford at an average speed of 118.40 mph on the 3.7-mile circuit, to beat Carlos Pace of Brazil. James Hunt, the 1976 driving champion, dropped out after a crash on the 32nd lap. He was not injured.
TENNIS—ROSCOE TANNER won the men's title in the Australian Open, defeating Guillermo Vilas 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 for the first-prize money of $27,518. KERRY REID won the women's title and $10,512 by beating Dianne Fromholtz 7-5, 6-2.
Martina Navratilova upset Chris Evert 6-2, 6-3 and won $20,000 in the Virginia Slims tour opener in Landover. Md.
MILEPOSTS—ACQUIRED: Control of the financially troubled Atlanta Hawks, by Atlanta Braves Owner TED TURNER. Turner purchased over 50% of the Hawks' stock and immediately named former ABA Commissioner Mike Storen as president and general manager of the club.
EXCLUDED: BOBBY FISCHER, from the 1978 World Chess championships, by FIDE, chess's governing body, for failing to agree by a Jan. 1 deadline that he would play in elimination rounds to determine the eventual challenger of champion Anatoly Karpov.
NAMED: As head coach of the New York Jets, WALT MICHAELS, 47. A former All-Pro linebacker for Cleveland and the Jets' defensive coordinator for 11 seasons. Michaels was given a three-year contract.
RESIGNED: Effective at the end of the college basketball season, BOB ZUFFELATO, 39. head coach at Boston College for the past five seasons. The Eagles were 9-17 last season, and are 4-7 this year.
SIGNED: By the San Diego Chargers, former Nebraska wingback and 1972 Heisman Trophy winner JOHNNY RODGERS, who played for four seasons with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
SOLD: By C. C. Johnson Spink, for an undisclosed amount, THE SPORTING NEWS, a weekly sports tabloid that has come to be known as the "bible of baseball" in its 91 years of publication, to the Times Mirror Company, publisher of The Los Angeles Times.
DIED: MIKE MILEY, 23, an infielder for the California Angels; in a car accident; near Baton Rouge, La. Miley batted .176 in 84 games over the past two seasons.
DIED: DANNY FRISELLA, 30, a relief pitcher last season for the Milwaukee Brewers and before that for four other major league teams; in a dune buggy accident; near Phoenix. In his 10 major league seasons. Frisella had a 34-40 record, 55 saves and a 3.31 ERA.