PRO BASKETBALL—Washington moved into the Central Division's top spot by winning its sixth and seventh consecutive games, defeating Golden State 106-95 and Indiana 108-107. The Bullets nipped the Pacers on Phil Chenier's 20-foot jumper with five seconds remaining and a free throw by Leonard Gray. Cleveland and Houston remained only half a game behind Washington, the Rockets splitting a pair with Atlanta and defeating Detroit 114-107 on Moses Malone's 25 points and 23 rebounds. Buffalo owner Paul Snyder fired Coach Tates Locke and replaced him with Bob MacKinnon on an interim basis. Locke's team had a 16-30 record after Snyder traded away Bob McAdoo, Jim McMillian and Tom McMillen to the New York Knicks. The Knicks, meanwhile, weren't doing much with all that talent, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in losses to Cleveland (113-111) and Kansas City (112-105). Los Angeles stretched its home-court winning streak to 18 with a 117-104 victory over Philadelphia. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 39 points against the 76ers after being held to 14 points by Tom Burleson of Seattle in a 118-103 loss. Jabbar decked the Seattle center with a punch to the head in the second half of that game, but Burleson scored 26 points anyway. Portland stayed on top of the Pacific Division by beating Denver 107-102 and San Antonio 112-104. The Nuggets' loss to the Trail Blazers was only their second on their home court this season, and Denver quickly made up for it with a 108-96 win over New Orleans. Kansas City was one of the hottest teams in the league, beating New Orleans, Chicago and the Knicks to go one game over .500.
BOATING—Defending champion JAMES SCHOONMAKER of Miami won the Bacardi Cup race for Star Class yachts, defeating Carl Buchan of Seattle by four points, on Biscayne Bay.
BOWLING—HENRY GONZALEZ of Colorado Springs, Colo. won his first PBA title by defeating Norm Meyers of St. Louis 246-179 in the finals of the $90,000 Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas.
BOXING—ROBERTO DURAN of Panama knocked out Vilomar Fernandez of the Dominican Republic in the 13th round to retain his World lightweight title at Miami Beach.
February 7, 1977
Yoko Gushiken of Japan survived a third-round knockdown to retain his WBA junior flyweight championship on a 15-round split decision over Jaime Rios of Panama, in Tokyo.
GOLF—TOM WATSON fired a 19-under-par 269 for a five-stroke victory over Larry Nelson and John Schroeder in the $180,000 Andy Williams-San Diego Open, his second straight record-setting tournament win.
HARNESS RACING—BELLINO II, driven by Jean-Rene Gougeon, won the $200,000 Prix d'Amerique in Paris, becoming the third trotter to win the race three consecutive years. Bellino II covered the 1‚Öù-mile distance in 3:22.5.
HOCKEY—NHL: In the league's All-Star Game, the Wales Conference defeated the Campbell Conference 4-3 on Richard Martin's goal with 1:56 remaining. Martin's Buffalo Sabres had an indifferent sort of week, tying Atlanta 1-1 and Montreal 3-3. Boston, leading the Adams Division by three points, wasted Bobby Schmautz' hat trick in a 6-4 loss to Colorado, then tied Toronto 3-3. St. Louis dropped games to Philadelphia and Washington, allowing Chicago to creep back to within four points of the Smythe Division lead. The Blues' loss to Washington (16-28-7) was their third straight this season. After Philadelphia beat St. Louis 2-0, the Flyers cuffed Pittsburgh 5-2 in front of 16,404 Penguin fans who had come in out of the Pennsylvania cold. Goalie Dune Wilson led the Penguins to a 3-0 victory over his ex-teammates, the New York Rangers. Wilson, who had only three shutouts in 204 NHL games before this season, has four in his first year with the Penguins.
WHA: Houston racked up wins No. 6, 7 and 8 in a row and moved into the Western Division lead by five points. Edmonton ended Quebec's nine-game winning streak with a 5-4 overtime defeat of the Nordiques. Quebec, now leading the Eastern Division by 13 points, beat Indianapolis 2-1 in overtime on Real Cloutier's 38th goal of the season, then came from behind on Marc Tardif's third-period hat trick for a 6-5 victory in a return match. The Nordiques also beat the Stingers 7-2. Birmingham registered its first shutout ever in a 3-0 victory over Winnipeg. It was one of three losses last week for the sagging Jets.
MOTOR SPORTS—In the first NHRA event of the year, JERRY RUTH won the Top Fuel division of the Winter nationals at Pomona, Calif., defeating Don Garlits in an elapsed time of 5.99 seconds. DON PRUDHOMME, driving a Plymouth Arrow, defeated Raymond Beadle in the Funny Car division with an E.T. of 6.03 at 247.25 mph. LARRY LOMBARDO, in a Chevy Monza, beat Don Nicholson in Pro Stock competition.
PLATFORM TENNIS—GORDON GRAY and DOUG RUSSELL defeated Steve and Chip Baird 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 to win the $4,200 Tribuno Championship of Chicago.
SKIING—HENRI DUVILLARD of France won the $20,000 World Pro giant slalom at Mont Gabriel, Quebec, defeating Terry Palmer of the U.S. for the $5,400 first prize.
TENNIS—DICK STOCKTON won the $200,000 U.S. Pro Indoor Championships at Philadelphia by defeating Jimmy Connors 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 (page20).
Martina Navratilova defeated Sue Barker 6-0, 6-1 to win the $100,000 Women's Pro Tournament in Bloomington, Minn.
TRACK & FIELD—ROSALYN BRYANT broke the women's 440-yard dash record of 53.8 set by Lorna Forde two weeks earlier with a 53.5 clocking at New York's Millrose Games. EARL BELL set a meet mark in the pole vault (18'½"), as did both TOM WOODS and DWIGHT STONES in the high jump (7'4½"), Stones winning on fewer misses (page 14).
Niall O'Shaughnessy of Ireland and the University of Arkansas ran the second-fastest indoor mile in history in Columbia, Mo., finishing in 3:55.4 on the 220-yard track at Hearnes field house. Tony Waldrop set the world mark of 3:55.0 in 1974 on a 160-yard track (page 14).
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As head basketball coach at Marquette effective after the current season, HANK RAYMONDS, 52. Raymonds has been the assistant coach for 16 years, 13 of them with Al McGuire, who is leaving the post to go into business.
RETIRED: After three years as head basketball coach at Rice, BOB POLK, 62, effective at the end of the season. In his 27-year career, Polk has coached at Vanderbilt. Trinity and St. Louis University and has a career record of 353-251.
DIED: JOHN A. (Automatic Jack) MANDERS, 68, a placekicking star for the Chicago Bears during the 1930s; of cancer; in Chicago. Manders is generally credited with a role in revolutionizing placekicking by eschewing the dropkick for the placement method. In the '30s he led the NFL in field goals four limes and in points-after-touchdown three times.