PRO BASKETBALL—None of the division races, except the Atlantic, which Washington wrapped up two weeks ago, was decided until the regular season's final weekend. Seattle, which won 14 of its last 17 games, clinched a tie for the Pacific title with a 113-93 defeat of Los Angeles. The Sonics became outright champions the next night when Lloyd Free poured in 36 to lead San Diego to a 120-116 win over second-place Phoenix, which had won eight in a row. San Antonio needed a 117-101 victory over Cleveland in its final outing to win the Central title by one game over Houston. In the penultimate game for both teams, the Rockets knocked off the Spurs 123-106 as Moses Malone, who finished as the league's top rebounder (17.6 a game) and No. 5 scorer (24.8), had 29 points and 26 rebounds. San Antonio's George Gervin was held to just 15 points in that game, but still won the league scoring crown with a 29.6 average. Kansas City and Denver were deadlocked for first in the Midwest until the final day, when the Kings beat Indiana 107-101 and Philadelphia edged the Nuggets 112-111, despite a 44-point performance by David Thompson. The Sixers were playing without Doug Collins, who will miss the playoffs with a foot injury. Earlier, Otis Birdsong pumped in 33 as K.C. defeated New Jersey 117-114 for its second straight overtime victory, and Denver lost 105-89 to Washington. It was the Nuggets' first defeat in seven games, and Dick Motta's 500th win in his 11 years of NBA coaching.
BOWLING—JOE BERARDI defeated Earl Anthony 232-195 to win the $125,000 U.S. Open in Windsor Locks, Conn.
BOXING—JORGE LUJAN of Panama retained his WBA bantamweight title in Las Vegas with a 15th-round knockout of Nicaragua's Cleo Garcia.
Eusebio Pedroza of Panama knocked out countryman Hector Carrasquilla in the 11th round in Panama City to retain his WBA featherweight crown.
April 16, 1979
GOLF—RAY FLOYD fired a six-under-par 282 to win the $250,000 Greater Greensboro Open by one shot over Gary Player and George Burns.
Sandra Post shot a 12-under-par 276 to win the $305,000 Colgate-Dinah Shore Tournament. Nancy Lopez was second, one shot back (page 22).
GYMNASTICS—NEBRASKA won the NCAA championship in Baton Rouge, La., defeating Oklahoma 448.275-446.625. KURT THOMAS of Indiana State beat Oklahoma's Bart Conner 115.25-114.50 to win the all-around title.
HOCKEY—A 1-0 defeat in Detroit on the final night of the season cost the Canadiens the overall point championship of the league. The Islanders, who beat the Rangers 5-2 in their last outing, finished with 116 points. one more than Montreal. The Canadiens, however, did win their fourth straight Vezina Trophy for allowing the fewest goals (204). Montreal and the Islanders claimed most of the individual honors as well. Brian Trottier of the Islanders won the scoring title with 134 points, and teammate Mike Bossy had the most goals (69). In a 9-2 rout of Philadelphia, Bossy scored four goals and Trottier had three assists. Denis Potvin, also of the Islanders, became the second defenseman ever to score 100 points in a season (page 32), while Montreal Goalie Ken Dryden led the league in shutouts (five) and goals-against average (2.30). Minnesota's Bobby Smith was the leading rookie scorer with 74 points.
WHA: Despite taking a 4-2 decision from league-leader Edmonton, Quebec fell five points back of the Oilers. Led by Morris Lukowich and Willy Lindstrom, who scored two goals apiece, Winnipeg trounced the Nordiques 7-3. Quebec also lost 5-3 to Birmingham, which was 2-0 and moved out of the cellar for the first time since Dec. 16. Cincinnati then defeated Quebec 6-2 behind Jamie Hislop's hat trick.
HORSE RACING—TILLER ($9), Angel Cordero Jr. up, won the San Juan Capistrano Handicap for 4-year-olds and up at Santa Anita by three quarters of a length over Exceller. He was timed in 2:48 for the 1[1/16] miles.
Davona Dale ($4.20), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, defeated Caline by 2½ lengths to win the $169,350 Fantasy Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Oaklawn Park. The winner was timed in 1:44[2/5] for the 1[1/16] miles.
MOTOR SPORTS—GILLES VILLENEUVE averaged 87.808 mph in a Ferrari to win the Long Beach (Calif.) Grand Prix by 29.38 seconds over teammate Jody Scheckter (page 24).
Darrell Waltrip, averaging 121.721 mph in a Chevrolet, won the Rebel 500 in Darlington, S.C. by half a car length over Richard Petty, also in a Chevy.
SOCCER—NASL: Washington, which is 2-0, jumped out to an eight-point lead in the Eastern Division of the National Conference by beating Atlanta 5-1 behind Alan Green's two goals. Tampa Bay defeated New England 2-0 for its second straight win as Wes McLeod and Mirandinha again scored both Rowdie goals. California Goalie Tony Chursky, who played for Seattle last year, shut out his old teammates 1-0, and Los Angeles blanked Memphis 1-0 on a goal by Defender George Kottan.
SWIMMING—LINA KACHUSITE of the Soviet Union broke the women's world record for the 200-meter breaststroke at a U.S.S.R.-East German dual meet in Potsdam. Her time of 2:28.36 was 2.73 seconds better than the mark Svetlana Varganova of the Soviet Union set this year. At the same meet, SERGEY KOPLIAKOV of the Soviet Union broke the world record for the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1:49.83, .46 of a second faster than the mark set by Bruce Furniss of USC in 1976; and VLADIMIR SALNIKOV of the U.S.S.R. broke the world record for the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3:51.41, .15 of a second faster than the mark set by UCLA's Brian Goodell in 1977.
TENNIS—BJORN BORG beat John McEnroe 6-4, 6-2 to win a $175,000 WCT tournament in Rotterdam.
MILEPOSTS—RESIGNED: As coach of the Boston Celtics, DAVE COWENS, 30, who replaced the fired Satch Sanders last November and guided the Celtics to a 27-41 record. Cowens will remain with the team as a player.
SENTENCED: In State Superior Court in Mount Holly, N.J. to prison terms: jockeys KEVIN DALY (two to three years), PAUL KALLAI (12 to 18 months), JESUS GUADALUPE (up to 18 months), STEVE PLOMCHOK (12 to 14 months) and RALPH ORTIZ JR. (up to a year and a day) and trainers ANTHONY FAMIGLIETTI (18 to 24 months) and MICHAEL CROCK (a year and a day, suspended); for rigging races at New Jersey's Garden State Park in 1974 and 1975.
SETTLED: Out of court, the New England Patriots' suit against the University of Colorado, which had hired Coach Chuck Fairbanks while he was under contract to New England. In exchange for releasing Fairbanks, the Patriots received $200,000 from the university's football booster club, and Fairbanks agreed to forfeit $105,000 in payments owed him by the Patriots. RON ERHARDT, 47, the Patriots' offensive coordinator, will replace Fairbanks as New England's coach.