PRO BASKETBALL—Portland overcame a two-game deficit and beat Philadelphia four straight to win the NBA championship (page 30). The Trail Blazers swept Games Three and Four at Portland by a total of 54 points, upset the 76ers 110-104 in Philly, then toppled the Sixers 109-107 in Game Six on Bill Walton's 20 points, 23 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Walton was named the MVP of the playoffs, and Oregon had its first championship in a major professional sport.
GOLF—TOM WEISKOPF shot a final-round 70 and finished at 11-under-par 277 to win the $250,000 Kemper Open by two strokes over George Burns and Bill Rogers at Charlotte, N.C. It was Weiskopf's third Kemper triumph and first tour victory since 1975.
Joanne Carner fired a four-under-par 284 to win the $100,000 Talk Tournament at New Rochelle, N.Y. by five strokes over Kathy McMullen.
Peter McEvoy, a 24-year-old London law student, won the 91st British Amateur by beating Hugh Campbell of Scotland five-and-four over 36 holes at Ganton. For the first time in 20 years no American qualified for the last 16 positions.
June 12, 1977
HARNESS RACING—GREEN SPEED, driven by Billy Haughton, won the $100,000 Beacon Course for 3-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., covering the mile in 1:59[1/5] (page 62).
Nat Lobell, driven by Jack Kopas, and GOOSE FILTER, Jerry Graham in the sulky, took divisions of the $113,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes Pace at the Meadowlands. During the program, SHADYSIDE TRIXIE paced a mile in 1:54[3/5] to break the world record for pacing geldings set last year by Young Quinn.
HORSE RACING—Guided impeccably by Lester Piggott, THE MINSTREL outdueled favored Blushing Groom around the last turn, then nailed front-running Hot Grove by a neck at the wire to win the 198th English Derby and $184,950. The victory was Piggott's eighth in the Epsom classic, two more than any other jockey.
Forego ($3), ridden by Willie Shoemaker, won the $114,400 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont, running the mile in 1:34[4/5] to top a field of 12. The victory boosted career earnings of the three-time Horse of the Year to $1,738,857, which is $259,039 short of Kelso's all-time record.
Favored CORMORANT ($4.80), under Jockey Danny Wright, won the $124,200 Jersey Derby at Atlantic City, covering the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:50[2/5] to beat Iron Constitution by 3½ lengths.
Vigors ($28.20), Jerry Lambert up, came from last place in a field of 12 to win the $200,000 1½-mile Hollywood Invitational at Hollywood Park in 2:26⅘ scoring an upset over favored Caucasus by three-quarters of a length.
Silver Series ($9.60), Larry Snyder aboard, covered the 1[1/16]-mile in 1:41[1/5] to win the $140,800 Hawthorne Derby at Cicero, Ill.
MOTOR SPORTS—GUNNAR NILSSON of Sweden, driving a Lotus, won the Belgian Grand Prix, beating Niki Lauda of Austria by 14 seconds. Mario Andretti, who dominated the qualifying runs, was eliminated on the first lap when his Lotus collided with Briton John Watson's Brabham. Neither driver was injured.
ROWING—The CORNELL varsity eight beat Pennsylvania by 2.5 seconds to win its 20th Varsity Challenge Cup in the 75th IRA Regatta on Lake Onondaga in Syracuse, N.Y. (page 72).
SOCCER—Alan Willey's goal gave Minnesota a 1-0 victory over San Jose in a rematch between last year's NASL Pacific Conference playoff opponents. Las Vegas remained one point behind Los Angeles in the Southern Division. Toronto, a 6-0 loser to the Cosmos (page 28), and Tampa Bay, which lost to Rochester 2-0, held on to first place in the North and East, respectively. Despite the Rowdies' early-season success, Coach Eddie Firmani resigned for "personal reasons."
TENNIS—GUILLERMO VILAS whipped Brian Gottfried 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 in wind and rain to win the French Open, his first major tournament victory. MIMA JAUSOVEC took the women's title, defeating Florenta Mihai 6-2, 6-7, 6-1.
WTT: Sandy Mayer and Ray Ruffels beat Tony Roche and Roy Emerson to help New York (5-0) trim Boston 25-24 as the Apples moved to within .033 of the first-place Lobsters (3-1) in the East. Earlier, Boston defeated West Division leader Phoenix 24-17. Los Angeles ended its 14-game losing streak by routing Sea-Port 32-18. While 3,226 fans turned out at Cleveland, the Nets lost 30-22 to Phoenix in a match that featured reigning Wimbledon champs Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert. "What else can I do?" groaned Net owner Joe Zingale. On Thursday he showed what by signing Dr. Renee Richards; the league has not yet ruled on her eligibility.
TRACK & FIELD—ARIZONA STATE won the 56th NCAA outdoor championship in Champaign, Ill. with 64 points, 14 more than Texas-El Paso, which edged defending champion USC by two points for second place (page 77). Meet records were set by San Jose State's RON LIVERS, who leaped 55'3¾" in the triple jump; MARK ENYEART of Utah State, who ran the 800 in 1:45.16; USC's LARRY DOUBLEY, who took the long jump at 26'11¾"; and SAMSON KIMOMBWA of Washington State, who ran the 10,000 in 28:10.27.
Houston McTear won the 100-meter dash in 10.14 at the Muhammad Ali invitational in Norwalk, Calif., beating a field that included Olympic champion Hasely Crawford, Steve Williams, Steve Riddick and Don Quarrie. It was the fastest 100 of the year.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As basketball coach and athletic director at the University of New Orleans, BUTCH van BREDA KOLFF, 54, who was fired last December as coach of the New Orleans Jazz, his sixth pro team. He last coached basketball at Princeton from 1963 to 1967.
HIRED: As manager of the Mets, JOE TORRE, 36, who played for Milwaukee, Atlanta, St. Louis and the Mets during his 17-year career and was NL MVP in 1971. He replaces Joe Frazier, who will be a scout.
RESIGNED: As chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission, JAMES A. FARLEY Jr., 48, who had suspended himself in May when his role in Don King's boxing tournament came under fire.
DIED: BOB GASSOFF, 24, defenseman for the St. Louis Blues; in a motorcycle accident; in St. Louis.
DIED: WELLS TWOMBLY, 41, sports columnist of the San Francisco Examiner, who preferred to be known as a "sports essayist"; of acute internal disorders; in San Francisco.
DIED: STEPHEN (Laddie) SANFORD, 78, international polo star and owner of polo ponies, thoroughbreds and steeplechasers, including the Irish-bred Sergeant Murphy, who in 1923 became the first American-owned horse to win the Aintree Grand National; in West Palm Beach, Fla.