PRO BASKETBALL—The Milwaukee Bucks, who a year ago had the worst record in the NBA's Western Conference, advanced to the conference's semifinal playoffs after a 111-103, 94-90 sweep of the Phoenix Suns (page 16). Another surprising team, Atlanta, which had not been in the playoffs in five years, found its inexperience—eight of the Hawks' 11 players were making their debuts in postseason competition—too much to overcome against Washington. The Bullets, who have been in the playoffs 10 straight seasons, triumphed 103-94 and 107-103. The Knicks also had a sweep, against Cleveland. New York, playing like the unselfish Knicks of yore, had 33 assists in romping past the Cavs in the opener 132-114. Bob McAdoo scored 41 points for the victors. New York won the second game 109-107 on Spencer Haywood's 15-foot jumper with two seconds left. Seattle moved into the Western Conference semifinals against defending champion Portland by beating Los Angeles 111-102 in the third and deciding game of their opening series.
BOWLING—By rolling four consecutive strikes, BUTCH SOPER defeated George Pappas 199-184 to win the $75,000 Fair Lanes Open in Towson, Md. It was Soper's first PBA tour victory in seven years.
DIVING—Olympic silver medalist GREG LOUGANIS won the men's one-meter springboard and 10-meter platform events at the National AAU indoor championships in Cleveland. The men's three-meter champion was JIM KENNEDY. MELISSA BRILEY successfully defended her women's 10-meter title, JENNIFER CHANDLER, a gold medalist in '76, won the three-meter competition and JULIE BACHMAN took the one-meter.
GOLF—Coming from seven strokes off the pace, GARY PLAYER shot a final-round 67 for a seven-under-par 281 to win the $225,000 Tournament of Champions in Carlsbad, Calif. (page 68).
April 24, 1978
Hollis Stacy shot a nine-under-par 207, three strokes better than Jane Blalock and Pat Meyers, to win the $60,000 Birmingham Classic.
HOCKEY—NHL: Detroit scored the only upset in the best-of-three preliminary series of the Stanley Cup playoffs by ousting Atlanta in two straight games (page 62). Toronto routed Los Angeles 7-3 and 4-0, but Philadelphia and Buffalo had some anxious moments. Baffled by the sharp goaltending of former Flyer Doug Favell, Philadelphia was forced into sudden-death overtime in Game 1 against Colorado. The Flyers won 3-2 on Mel Bridgman's goal. In Game 2 Philly ripped 45 shots at Favell and ended the Rockies' season 3-1. Buffalo needed three games to eliminate the Rangers. The Sabres won both games on their home ice by 4-1 scores, but lost on the road as Don Murdoch put the Rangers ahead 4-3 in the second minute of sudden death.
WHA: Defending Avco Trophy Champion Winnipeg blasted brawling Birmingham 9-3 and 8-3 in the first two games of their best-of-seven quarterfinal series. New England took a 2-0 lead over Edmonton with 6-4 and 4-1 triumphs, while Houston won the opening game of its series against Quebec, 4-3.
HORSE RACING—AFFIRMED ($2.60), with Steve Cauthen in the saddle, beat Think Snow by two lengths to win the $284,750 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 1:48[1/5] for the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles.
MOTOR SPORTS—DARRELL WALTRIP's Chevy led the final 68 laps and beat Richard Petty's Dodge to win the Staley 400 in North Wilkesboro, N.C. Waltrip averaged 92.345 mph. over the ‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àöœÄ-mile oval.
POWER LIFTING—JAN TODD set a world record with a dead lift of 453¼ pounds at the first AAU power lifting championships for women in Nashua, N.H.
SOCCER—Washington Goalkeeper Bill Irwin had his second consecutive shutout as the Diplomats beat Chicago 1-0, and a week later Washington scored three second-half goals to clinch a third straight win, 4-1 over Fort Lauderdale. San Diego won its fourth in a row, beating Portland 3-2, and Central Division leader Dallas edged Minnesota 4-3 in a game in which Dallas' Jeff Bourne and Minnesota's Alan Willey each had a hat trick. With 2:32 left, Franz Beckenbauer scored to give the Cosmos a 1-0 win over the Tulsa Roughnecks (page 20).
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT defeated Kerry Reid 6-2, 6-0 in the finals of the $125,000 Family Circle tournament at Hilton Head Island, S.C. It was Evert's 118th consecutive clay-court victory.
TRACK & FIELD—Following on the heels of his world-record 13:08.4 in the 5,000 last week, HENRY RONO of Washington State set a U.S. all-comers record of 8:14.8 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at a dual meet in Eugene, Ore.
Bill Rodgers outran a field of 4,674 to win the 82nd Boston Marathon in a time of 2:10.13.
Jan Merrill ran a 9:49.6 two-mile at the University of Massachusetts Relays to become the second competitor in less than 24 hours to break the women's American outdoor record for the event. The night before, Julie Shea, a North Carolina State freshman, had run a 9:56.2 at a meet in Raleigh, N.C. to break Francie Larrieu's 1973 mark of 10:02.8.
WRESTLING—Led by 105.5-pounder Bob Weaver, the NEW YORK ATHLETIC CLUB edged the Hawkeye Wrestling Club 77-76 to win its eighth straight team title in the AAU National Freestyle championships in Ames, Iowa. Weaver was the only NYAC wrestler to win an individual title (page 22).
MILEPOSTS—BARRED: The SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIS TEAM, by the International Tennis Federation, from all team competitions this year, including the Davis Cup and the women's Federation Cup. South African players may still compete as individuals.
FIRED: Coach ORLAND KURTENBACH, 41, by the Vancouver Canucks. During his two seasons with the Canucks, Kurtenbach's teams were 36-62-27. This year Vancouver finished third in the Smythe Division and missed the playoffs for the second straight time.
HIRED: As basketball coach at the University of Cincinnati, former Chicago Bull Coach ED BADGER, 45. As basketball coach at Wichita State, former Illinois State Coach GENE SMITHSON, 37. As basketball coach at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia, former American University Coach JIM LYNAM, 37.
DIED: Former Yankee and Indian Second Baseman JOE GORDON, 63; of a heart seizure; in Sacramento, Calif. Gordon played for New York from 1938 through 1946, and helped the Yankees win five American League pennants and four world championships. While with Cleveland from 1947 through 1950, he led the Indians to victory in the 1948 World Series. Gordon managed Cleveland, Detroit and both the Kansas City A's and Royals. In an unprecedented trade of managers in 1960, the Indians swapped Gordon even-up for Jimmy Dykes of the Tigers. Gordon's lifetime major league batting average was .268 in 1,566 games, and he was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1942.