PRO BASKETBALL—The Knicks' swing through the Far West was far from profitable. Although Bob McAdoo tossed in 45 points, his high as a Knick, and fell one short of tying Wilt Chamberlain's league record of 18 consecutive successful field-goal attempts, the Knicks were drubbed by Los Angeles 148-124. New York followed this defeat with losses to Golden State 126-123, and Phoenix 108-107. Later in the week Detroit beat the Lakers 135-100, its third straight win, a season's high. After New Jersey suffered its 10th defeat in its last 14 games, 123-114, to Cleveland, Nets Coach Kevin Loughery decided that poor defense was costing his team too many games. Against New Orleans, New Jersey's starting lineup included quick-handed Eddie Jordan and tenacious Jan van Breda Kolff. The Nets won 110-104. The Celtics, who are headed for their worst year ever, lost their 29th, 30th and 31st games of the season. The most embarrassing of their defeats came at Boston Garden, where Atlantic Division-leading Washington ripped the Celts 128-106. The Bullets then were defeated 142-128 by Kansas City, which leads the Midwest. Three Kings—Phil Ford, Otis Birdsong and Scott Wedman—scored more than 30 points in that game. Washington also lost 103-100 to the Pacific Division's top club, Seattle, which later was defeated 125-108 by Central Division leader San Antonio (page 20).
BOWLING—MARSHALL HOLMAN upset Mark Roth 217-186 to win the $100,000 Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas.
BOXING—Heavyweight TONY TUBBS of Cincinnati outpointed the U.S.S.R's Evgeniy Gorstkov to enable the U.S. team to beat the Soviet Union 6-5 in an amateur match in Las Vegas.
GOLF—FUZZY ZOELLER shot a final-round 72 for a 16-under-par 282 to win the $250,000 San Diego Open by five strokes over Wayne Levi, Tom Watson, Artie McNickle and Bill Kratzert.
February 5, 1979
Ben Crenshaw scored a one-stroke victory over Jay Haas in the rain-delayed, 54-hole, $187,500 Phoenix Open. Crenshaw finished with a 14-under-par 199.
HOCKEY—NHL: The Patrick Division-leading Islanders, who held off the Chicago Black Hawks 2-1 to increase their home undefeated streak to 23, had the string broken 7-2 by the Rangers. It was the first loss for the Islanders in 28 regular-season home games dating back to last March. Boston, which leads the Adams Division, pulled out a 3-1 victory over Atlanta, but added Peter McNab (injured knee) and Dennis O'Brien (pulled groin) to its injury list, which already included Brad Park, Dick Redmond and Stan Johnathan. Goalie Tony Esposito of Smythe Division leader Chicago stopped 34 shots and picked up his second shutout of the season in a 5-0 Black Hawks' win over the Canucks. Buffalo beat Detroit for the third straight time, 6-3.
WHA: Wayne Gretzky did his best to combat the notion that the league is on shaky financial ground by signing a 21-year contract with Edmonton. Two nights earlier the Oilers had defeated New England 5-1. First-place Quebec's 7-5 defeat of Birmingham was effortless according to Bulls Coach John Brophy. "The Nordiques were just handed their seven goals," he said. Bill Gilligan got the tying goal as Cincinnati rallied to a 5-5 tie with Winnipeg.
HORSE RACING—CREST OF THE WAVE ($4.60), William Rodriguez up, won the $54,900 San Miguel Stakes by three lengths over Roman Oblisk at Santa Anita. The 3-year-old colt covered the six furlongs in 1:09.
MOTOR SPORTS—The Lancia-Stratos team of BERNARD DARNICHE and ALAIN MAHÉ of France won the six-day Monte Carlo rally by six seconds over Bjorn Waldegaard and Hans Thorszelius of Sweden in a Ford Escort.
SPEED SKATING—Six-time world champion ERIC HEIDEN won the 500-meter race in 38.89, the 1,500 in 1:57.74 and the 3,000 in 4:14.06 to lead the U.S. men to victory over Norway and the Soviet Union in a meet in Trondheim, Norway. At the same meet, BETH HEIDEN, Eric's sister, won the 500-meter race in 44.22, the 1,000 in 1:27.11, the 1,500 in 2:17.29 and the 3,000 in 4:43.35 to pace the U.S. women to a win against the Norwegian and Soviet women.
SQUASH—HEATHER McKAY of Toronto, top-seeded in the foreign section, beat the top American seed, Barbara Maltby of Philadelphia, 15-9, 15-3, 15-3 to win her third Women's International Open singles championship in Philadelphia.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS defeated Arthur Ashe 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 to win the $250,000 U.S. Pro Indoor championship in Philadelphia (page 22).
Top-seeded MARTINA NAVRATILOVA defeated second-seeded Virginia Wade 6-3, 6-2 to win the $125,000 Houston tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
Unseeded GREER STEVENS beat Dianne Fromholtz 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to win the $150,000 tournament in Hollywood, Fla.
TRACK & FIELD—Racing at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. in an open field that included nine male runners, JAN MERRILL broke her six-week-old women's world indoor record for two miles by seven seconds. Finishing fifth, she was timed in 9:31.7. Dan Oliver of Coast Guard won in 9:14.6.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As baseball coach at Towson (Md.) State University, BILLY HUNTER, 50. Hunter was fired as manager of the Texas Rangers last season, despite having directed them to 147 wins in 255 games.
NAMED: WILLIE MAYS to the Baseball Hall of Fame with the highest percentage of votes—he was named on all but 23 of the 432 ballots—since 1936, when Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner were selected. During his 20½ seasons with the New York-San Francisco Giants and 1½ seasons with the Mets, Mays had 660 home runs, 1,903 RBIs and a .302 batting average.
To the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame, ERNIE DAVIS, Heisman Trophy-winning halfback at Syracuse in 1959-61. Davis led the Orange to the 1959 national title and still holds the school record of 6.6 yards per carry. He died of leukemia in 1963 at the age of 24. Also named were two other Heisman winners, JOHNNY LATTNER, Notre Dame halfback in 1951-53, and HOWARD (Hopalong) CASSADY, Ohio State halfback in 1952-55; JOSEPH DONCHESS, Pittsburgh end in 1927-29; ERNEST (Pug) RENTNER, Northwestern halfback in 1929-31; O. E. (Babe) HOLLINGBERRY, Washington State coach in 1925-42; MIKE HOLOVAK, Boston College fullback in 1940-42; AUGIE LIO, Georgetown guard in 1938-40; DICK MAEGLE, Rice halfback in 1952-54; ED McGINLEY, Penn tackle in 1922-24; VERNON (Catfish) SMITH, Georgia end in 1929-31; TOM SCOTT, Virginia end in 1951-53; and HERMAN WEDEMEYER, St. Mary's (Calif.) halfback in 1943 and 1945-47.
To the Pro Football Hall of Fame, JOHNNY UNITAS, quarterback for the Baltimore Colts in 1956-72 and San Diego Chargers in 1973; DICK BUTKUS, Chicago Bear linebacker in 1965-73; RON MIX, tackle for the Los Angeles-San Diego Chargers in 1960-69 and Oakland Raiders in 1971; YALE LARY, Detroit Lion defensive back in 1952-53 and 1956-64.