PRO BASKETBALL—Would a fifth-place team trade the league's leading scorer? You betcha, said a local newspaper of New Orleans General Manager Lewis Schaffel's plans for Pete Maravich. That night the Jazz won its fourth straight, handing Portland only its seventh defeat of the season, 101-100, and went into fourth place in the Central. After the game, Maravich, who is averaging 27.9 points a game and has a no-cut contract, said he would never leave New Orleans and instead suggested that the GM be traded or take a "vacation in Iraq." The league's second-leading scorer, San Antonio's George Gervin (26.3), pumped in 36 points to spoil Seattle's first road outing after winning seven in a row at home, 119-113. The Spurs then took over the Central lead by beating the Pacers twice: the first lime at Indianapolis for San Antonio's 11th road victory, tying them with Phoenix for the second highest total in the league: and the second time at home, in a game in which the Pacers were held to a club-record regular-season low of 30 points in the first half. Injury-plagued Washington lost twice to fall into second place, a game behind the Spurs. Portland's defeat by the Jazz was amply offset by three wins and the Blazers gained half a game on Phoenix and took a 7½-game lead in the Pacific. Seattle, which has won 19 of its last 23, remained in third. Golden State and Los Angeles, despite going 2-0, were still 14½ and 16½ games out, respectively. Midwest leader Denver had its 10-game win streak snapped at Milwaukee 114-109 (page 52). Second-place Chicago, playing a weak schedule (Detroit, Indiana and Atlanta), gained 1½ games on the Nuggets. After trouncing the Kings at Kansas City 126-106, the Philadelphia 76ers got a few hours' sleep before leaving for Cleveland—a trip that took seven hours, most of it spent in O'Hare Airport in Chicago when their plane developed pressurization problems. The team finally arrived at its hotel in time for a pregame nap. "I think we were still asleep during the game," said Julius Erving after the Sixers lost 117-109 to the Cavs, ending a nine-game winning streak. The Sixers can afford to nap. The Knicks continued to skid, losing three more in the West, and although still in second place, they are now eight games out. The rest of the division—Buffalo (12½ games back), Boston (14½) and New Jersey (21½)—gave no indication of challenging and could only have been grateful for the snowstorm that canceled their Friday games.
BOWLING—BILL COLEMAN upset top-seeded Johnny Petraglia 237-191 to win his first PBA title, the $125.000 Showboat Invitational in Las Vegas.
BOXING—WBA champion ROBERTO DURAN stopped WBC titleholder Esteban DeJesus in the 12th round to win the world lightweight championship in Las Vegas (page 14).
HOCKEY—NHL: One Saturday in the life of 20 New-York Islanders. A 5:30 a.m. wake-up call in St. Louis. A 6:45 a.m. arrival at the airport in St. Louis. A five-hour airport wait while the runways are being plowed in snowbound New York. A 3:10 p.m. arrival in New York. A 4:30 p.m. arrival at a suburban motel. A 5 p.m. pregame meal of eggs, pancakes and spaghetti. An 8:10 p.m. arrival for the scheduled 8 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Flyers. A one-hour wait for the appearance of Referee Dave Newell, who is stuck somewhere on the Long Island Rail Road. Finally, at 9:15 p.m., the face-off. By 11:48 p.m. the Islanders had routed the Flyers 6-1 and had tied them for first place in the Patrick Division. New York also defeated Minnesota 5-2 and St. Louis 3-0, while gaining five points on the Flyers, who had played Montreal to a 1-1 tie. New York's other team, the Rangers, had travel problems of another sort: when they arrived at their hotel in Vancouver, seven Rangers discovered that their luggage was en route to Tokyo. The Rangers later ended a three-year drought against Los Angeles with their first victory over the Kings in 11 games, 3-0. The Rangers continued their losing ways against Atlanta, falling to the Flames, 5-3, for the 10th time in 12 games. Don Edwards had his 24th victory, three more than any other goalie in the league, as Buffalo blitzed Cleveland 9-2. Stan Mikita's 507th career goal tied him with Jean Beliveau for fourth place on the alltime goal-scoring list and helped Chicago stop Washington 5-2. Hartland Monahan's two goals in 16 seconds lifted Los Angeles over Toronto 2-1. Andre St. Laurent had back-to-back two-goal games, giving him 12 goals in 13 games, as Detroit beat Chicago 4-2 and tied Colorado 4—4. Montreal extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games with victories over Vancouver and Cleveland and the tie at Philadelphia.
January 30, 1978
WHA: One roof may have collapsed on the New England Whalers (page 20), but they managed to maintain their two-point lead over onrushing second-place Winnipeg by playing the Jets to a 4-4 lie. With seventh-place Cincinnati having but two wins in eight games. Coach Jacques Demers offered to quit. "This is a young team," he said. "The Cincinnati public has been told that we have five or six superstars. They aren't superstars." The Cincinnati management rejected Demers' offer—at least for now
HORSE RACING—TAISEZ VOUS ($3.00), under Don Pierce, won the $52,700 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita, covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:41⅘ 3½ lengths ahead of Little Happiness.
MOTOR SPORTS—Defending NASCAR point champion CALE YARBOROUGH held off David Pearson and Benny Parsons on the final lap to win the first Grand National race of the season at Riverside. Calif. The winner's Oldsmobile averaged 102.269 mph for 119 laps of the 4.215 kilometer road course. Parsons' Chevy was second and Pearson's Mercury third.
SWIMMING—MICHELLE FORD of Australia set a women's world record of 8.31.30 in the 800-meter freestyle at the New South Wales championships in Sydney, bettering the mark she established two weeks ago by 3.56.
TENNIS—After losing to Jimmy Connors two weeks ago on an indoor surface that favored the American, BJORN BORG defeated Connors on clay 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 to win the $250,000 "Grand Slam" in Boca West, Fla.
Martina Navratilova, who had not lost a set until the finals, defeated Billie Jean King 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win a $100,000 Virginia Slims tournament in Houston. It was the 21-year-old Czech expatriate's first victory in five tries against the 34-year-old King.
Fifth-seeded CLIFF DRYSDALE downed seventh-seeded Tom Gorman 7-5, 6-3 to win the $100,000 Baltimore International Indoor Championship.
TRACK & FIELD—EVELYN ASHFORD of UCLA set an American women's automatically timed record of 6.80 in the 60-yard dash at the Sunkist Invitational in Los Angeles. SULEIMAN NYAMBUI of Tanzania ran the second-fastest indoor two-mile in history—8:18, 4.8 short of Emiel Puttemans' record (page 22).
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: By the Washington Redskins, Coach and General Manager GEORGE ALLEN, after he and the team failed to agree on a new contract. Allen had a 67-30-1 record with the Redskins and took them to the NFL playoffs five times in seven seasons (page 18).
NAMED: As manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. GEORGE BAMBERGER, 52, pitching coach for the Baltimore Orioles since 1968. to succeed Alex Grammas, who was fired in November.
NAMED: By North Carolina as football coach, DICK CRUM, 43, who had a 10-1 record last year at Miami of Ohio. By Wake Forest as football coach, JOHN MACKOVIC, 34, offensive coordinator at Purdue. By Boston College as football coach, ED CHLEBEK, who was voted Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after guiding Eastern Michigan to a 9-2 record.
NAMED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame, Third Baseman EDDIE MATHEWS, 46, who spent 15 of his 17 major league seasons with the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. Mathews' 512 home runs tie him with Ernie Banks for ninth place on the alltime list.
PENALIZED: By the NCAA for alleged football recruiting violations committed between 1972 and 1976, the OKLAHOMA STATE football team, which was put on two years' probation.
RESIGNED: As coach of the Chicago Bears, JACK PARDEE, after three years and a 20-22 record.
DIED: AUBREY (Dit) CLAPPER, 70, Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman and right wing for the Boston Bruins (1927-47) and the first man to play 20 consecutive seasons with the same NHL club; in Peterborough, Ontario. Clapper, who scored 228 goals and had 248 assists during his career, played on three Stanley Cup championship teams (1929, 1939 and 1941), coached the Bruins in 1947 and 1948 and was named to the NHL All-Star team six times.