PRO BASKETBALL—"The man beat us by himself," said New York's Bob McAdoo after Pete Maravich's career-high 68 points—the most ever scored by an NBA guard, and a total exceeded by only Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor—led New Orleans to a 124-107 rout of the Knicks. Maravich, the league's leading scorer with a 30.7 per-game average, hit on 26 of 43 from the field and 16 of 19 from the free-throw line. The Pistol wasn't too pooped to play defense, either, limiting Walt Frazier to six points. Earlier in the week, Maravich contributed a mere 28 as the Jazz lost to the Knicks in New York 119-102. Down 22 points at the half, Boston rallied to top Phoenix 108-104 and move 3½ games ahead of the Knicks in the battle for the Atlantic Conference's last playoff spot. Last year's Cinderellas, the Suns, have turned into this year's pumpkins and appear to have nailed down last place in the Pacific. Despite a 47-point, 18-rebound and 12-assist performance by Center Alvan Adams, the Suns still managed to lose to Buffalo 115-114 on Randy Smith's steal and hoop with seven seconds left. Portland's Lionel Hollins scared the Celtics with his protective face mask and 43 points in the Trail Blazers' 113-111 triumph. Denver lost to the Nets, then complained that the New Yorkers employed an illegal zone defense. The Nuggets stopped Houston 118-106 and beat Kansas City 130-128. It was chaos as usual in Detroit as Bob Lanier won two straight games for the Pistons with last-minute shots and Marvin Barnes was ejected for elbowing Mike Bantom in a 112-106 win over the Nets (page 56). The fourth-place Bulls swept three games.
BOATING—IMP, a 40-foot sloop skippered by David Allen of Belvedere, Calif., won the Southern Ocean Racing Conference championship with five corrected-time firsts in Class B in the six-race series (page 54).
BOWLING—EDDIE RESSLER, 22, of Allentown, Pa., defeated defending champion Dave Soutar 224-222 in the $100,000 Miller High Life Open in Milwaukee.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS had an eagle and three birdies on the final nine holes to break a tie with Gary Player and Gil Morgan to claim the $50,000 first-place check in the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic at Fort Lauderdale, Fla. by five strokes with a 13-under-par 275. It was Nicklaus' second triumph at Inverrary.
March 7, 1977
Judy Rankin won her second tournament in a row and $15,000, shooting a seven-under-par 209 to take the Bent Tree Classic in Sarasota, Fla. by four strokes.
HOCKEY—NHL: Buffalo rookie Goaltender Don Edwards upped his record to 7-1 with three wins, high-lighted by a 2-0 shutout of Philadelphia in what Flyer Coach Fred Shero called "the best game I've seen all year." The Sabres opened a six-point Adams Division lead over Boston. The Cleveland Barons almost skated into bankruptcy (page 50), then lost three games after an 11th-hour loan of $1.3 million kept them afloat. Norris-leading Montreal stretched its home unbeaten streak to 25, two short of the league record, by beating Atlanta and Cleveland. On the road, league-leading scorer Guy Lafleur had a hat trick in the Canadiens' 4-2 win at Atlanta. The New York Islanders swept three games to close within one point of first-place Philadelphia in the Patrick. In an 8-2 romp over Atlanta, the Islanders scored three goals in 45 seconds. Despite seven losses in its last nine games, Atlanta still held a four-point lead over the Rangers in the battle for the Patrick's last playoff berth. Chicago inched to within four points of St. Louis in the Smythe, scoring three goals in 49 seconds to beat the Red Wings 5-2 and then defeating the Rangers for the first time in more than two years as Goaltender Tony Esposito stopped 50 shots in a 2-1 contest. Los Angeles' Butch Goring scored with 33 seconds to play as the Kings tied Vancouver 2-2. Seconds later, the L.A. and Vancouver benches emptied for a brawl that produced 84 minutes of penalties, including triple majors and game misconducts to the Canucks' Harold Snepsts and the Kings' Dave Schultz.
WHA: Robbie Ftorek set up Frank Hughes for four goals as Phoenix defeated Winnipeg 6-3. Still, the Jets moved into second place in the Western Division with victories over Houston (3-2) and Cincinnati (8-6). In the East, Quebec split four games to maintain a comfortable eight-point lead over second-place Cincinnati. The Stingers scored four third-period goals to take a 4-3 lead over Birmingham, but Mark Napier gained a tie for the Bulls with 20 seconds to play. Two nights later Birmingham trampled Quebec 10-6 as Tim Sheehy registered his first hat trick of the season. Indianapolis, which is below .500 in 60-minute hockey games, beat Edmonton 3-2 to hike its sudden-death record to 6-1.
HORSE RACING—STRIKE ME LUCKY ($31), Jerry Bailey up, won the $147,000 Gulfstream Handicap by two lengths over Legion. Maribel Blum's 5-year-old colt covered the 1¼ miles in 2:00[4/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH averaged 73.084 mph for 245 laps to beat Darrell Waltrip and earn $10,450 in the rain-shortened Richmond 400.
SKIING—Austria's KLAUS HEIDEGGER won the slalom in the World Cup event in Furano, Japan, finishing .23 second ahead of Ingemar Stenmark. Heidegger's win puts him just 11 points behind countryman Franz Klammer in the point standings.
SPEED SKATING—ERIC HEIDEN, a University of Wisconsin freshman, won his third world title in as many weeks by taking the sprint championships in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. SYLVIA BURKA of Canada won the women's crown.
TENNIS—Sixth-seeded BRIAN GOTTFRIED of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. upset Argentina's Guillermo Vilas 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 to take the $35,200 first prize in the American Airlines Games in Palm Springs, Calif.
Martina Navratilova defeated Sue Barker 6-4, 6-4 to win a $100,000 Virginia Slims tournament in Detroit.
TRACK & FIELD—Four women's world indoor records were set at the National AAU Indoor Championships in Madison Square Garden: by ROSALYN BRYANT in the 220 (23.4); JANE FREDERICK in the 60-yard hurdles (7.3); the LOS ANGELES MERCURETTES, anchored by Bryant, in the 880-yard medley relay (1:42.6); and SUSAN BRODOCK in the mile walk (7:05.9). Some of the outstanding male performances were: TODD SCULLY'S world-indoor-record two-mile walk (13:02.5—breaking the old record by 21.5 seconds); TOMMY HAYNES' double in the long jump (26'¼") and triple jump (55'2¾"); MAC WILKINS' 69'1¼" in the shotput; and ARIZONA STATE'S 3:12.3 (with HERMAN FRAZIER running a 46.8 anchor) in the mile relay.
MILEPOSTS—CLEARED: By an Amarillo, Texas jury, ERNIE HOLMES, Pittsburgh Steeler defensive tackle, of charges of possession of cocaine (page 24).
RATIFIED: By the NFL owners and representatives of the NFL Players Association, a five-year multimillion-dollar player contract (page 63).
DIED: HENRY JORDAN, 42, defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns (1957-58) and Green Bay Packers (1959-69); of a heart attack, in Milwaukee.