PRO BASKETBALL—The week featured an unusual number of outstanding individual performances. San Antonio's George Gervin, the NBA's top scorer with a 29.5-point average, poured in 52 points in a 140-111 defeat of San Diego, which got a 38-point effort from Nick Weatherspoon. Two nights later the Clippers' Lloyd Free hit for 46 in a 124-119 loss to Atlanta, while John Drew had 36 points for the Hawks. Then, after dropping a 112-97 decision to Indiana, Atlanta also beat Chicago 100-93 and Milwaukee 117-113 in a double overtime game in which Drew pumped in 35 points and Buck Marques Johnson 38. Earlier, Johnson scored 36 in a 116-104 victory over Houston, which then ran off three straight wins. Rudy Tomjanovich averaged 28.7 points during the streak, and Moses Malone, who had 27 points and 25 rebounds in a 107-96 defeat of Cleveland, averaged 26. Led by George McGinnis, who scored 41 points, Denver overcame a 37-point effort from Bob McAdoo to beat New York 126-119. The Nuggets, who trail Kansas City in the Midwest Division by three games, defeated Atlantic Division leader Washington 121-90. Bernard King's 41 points lifted New Jersey to a 117-112 win over Phoenix, which lost all three of its games and fell from first to third in the Pacific Division. First-place Seattle defeated the Suns 109-106 and Indiana 118-98 to take a half-game lead over Los Angeles, winner of three in a row—all of them on the road—and six of its last eight. Boston snapped a five-game losing streak with a 128-125 defeat of Portland, which has lost six of its last seven outings. Maurice Lucas had 46 points for the Blazers, who also dropped a 112-104 decision to the Pacers. It was Indiana's first road victory ever over a Pacific Division club. Bob Lanier scored 36 points and Kevin Porter, who is averaging a league-high 11.6 assists, had 19 assists as Detroit upended Golden State 114-109 for its second consecutive victory after losing six in a row. Central Division leader San Antonio, which has won 15 of its last 17 games, won three straight.
BOXING—Wilfredo Benitez of Puerto Rico defeated champion Carlos Palomino of Mexico to win the WBC welterweight title in San Juan (page 16).
Eusebio Perdroza of Panama retained his WBA featherweight crown with a 13-round knockout of Royal Kobayashi in Tokyo.
BOWLING—EMMETT SHUTES defeated Paul Moser 238-217 to win the $125,000 Showboat Invitational in Las Vegas.
GOLF—JOHN MAHAFFEY shot a final-round three-under-par 69 for a five-round total of 343 to win the $325,500 Bob Hope Desert Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. by a stroke over Lee Trevino (page 18).
HOCKEY—NHL: In its best back-to-back performance of the season, Pittsburgh knocked off two powerhouses. Peter Lee's two goals lifted the Penguins to a 3-2 win over Norris Division leader Montreal, and Greg Malone had a pair of goals and an assist in a 5-3 defeat of Adams Division leader Boston. The Penguins' 2-0 week enabled them to regain a share of second place in the Norris with Los Angeles, which lost three in a row before beating Detroit 7-3 in a game that featured a four-goal performance by former Red Wing Marcel Dionne. Detroit tied two and lost two, and has gone 11 games without a win. Toronto, which fell into third place in the Adams Division, upended Colorado 4-2 for its first triumph in seven games, and Minnesota ended a six-game winless string with a 4-3 defeat of Smythe Division leader Chicago. The Islanders, who were 2-0-1 and lead the Patrick Division, by 12 points, routed the Kings 7-1 to remain unbeaten on home ice this season (17-0). Lorne Henning scored twice while Bryan Trot-tier and Mike Bossy had a goal apiece (page 20).
WHA: Quebec, which began the week tied for first place with New England, moved two points ahead of the Whalers. After dropping a 3-2 decision to Winnipeg, which was 4-0 and jumped from fifth to third, the Nordiques beat Cincinnati 4-3 and 2-1. The second game was marred by 54 minutes of penalties, 20 of which were assessed before the opening faceoff as the result of two fights. New England beat the Stingers 5-4 and then dropped a 3-0 decision to Edmonton as 17-year-old Wayne Gretzky got his second hat trick of the season. Dave Dryden got the shutout, the first of the year against the Whalers.
HORSE RACING—BISHOP'S CHOICE ($9.40), Donald MacBeth up, won the $124,000 Tropical Park Derby at Calder by half a length over Lot O' Gold. The 3-year-old covered the 1[1/16] miles in 1:44[1/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—DARRELL WALTRIP, averaging 107.820 mph in a Chevrolet, won the $160,000 Winston Western 500 in Riverside, Calif. by 3.29 seconds over David Pearson's Mercury.
SQUASH RACQUETS—Sharif Khan defeated Gordon Anderson 15-7, 15-10, 15-5 to win the $25,000 North American Open in New York City. Khan has won the title 10 of the last 11 years.
TENNIS—JOHN McENROE beat Arthur Ashe 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 to win the $400,000 Masters Grand Prix tournament in New York City (page 52).
Martina Navratilova defeated Chris Evert 7-5, 7-5 to win the $125,000 Avon Championship of California in Oakland.
TRACK & FIELD—RENALDO NEHEMIAH of Maryland broke the world indoor record for the 60-yard high hurdles at the National Invitational Meet in College Park, Md. His time of 7.02 was .05 of a second faster than the record he set last year (page 48).
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As the San Francisco 49ers' fifth coach in the last 22 months, BILL WALSH, 47, who had a two-year record of 17-7 at Stanford. Walsh replaces Fred O'Connor, who, along with General Manager Joe Thomas, was fired by President Eddie J. DeBartolo Jr. The 49ers were 1-6 under O'Connor and 7-23 during Thomas' two-year tenure. ROD DOWHOWER, 35, Walsh's top assistant, will succeed him at Stanford.
By Ohio State to replace fired football Coach Woody Hayes, EARLE BRUCE, 47, who had a six-year record of 36-32 at Iowa State and 8-3 regular-season records the past three seasons.
NAMED: Winner of the AIAW's Broderick Cup as the nation's outstanding female collegiate athlete for the 1977-78 season, ANN MEYERS, 23, a four-time All-America basketball player at UCLA. The 5'9" forward averaged 17.4 points a game during her career and led the Bruins to the national title last year.
TRADED: By the New Orleans Jazz, Forward LEN (Truck) ROBINSON, 27, to the Phoenix Suns for Guard RON LEE, 26, Forward MARTY BYRNES, 22, the Suns' first-round draft choices in 1979 and '80 and a reported $500,000. Robinson is the NBA's No. 10 scorer at 24.1 points per game and No. 2 rebounder with a 13.3 average. Lee and Byrnes have scored 9.8 and 6.8 points a game, respectively, as substitutes.
DIED: OTHOL (Abe) MARTIN, 70, former TCU football coach (1953-66) and athletic director (1966-75); of an apparent heart attack; in Fort Worth. Martin had a 74-64-7 record and directed the Horned Frogs to three Southwest Conference titles and five bowl games.