PRO BASKETBALL—Philadelphia refused to quit in its quarterfinal series with San Antonio. Facing elimination and trailing by 13 points in the fourth quarter, the 76ers rallied to win 92-90 on a layup by Maurice Cheeks with 10 seconds to play. That tied the series at 3-3. Earlier in the week the 76ers won 120-97 at San Antonio as Julius Erving, who was deployed at guard rather than his normal forward spot, scored 32 points. Should the 76ers take the series, they would be only the third team in NBA history to come back from a 3-1 deficit. Defending champion Washington beat Atlanta 100-94 to advance to the semifinals, but the Hawks gave the Bullets all they could handle, winning Game 5 107-103 and Game 6 104-86 to force the series to seven games (page 14). Phoenix and Seattle made quick work of their quarterfinal opponents and will play each other in the next round. The Suns, led by Paul Westphal, beat Kansas City twice, 108-94 and 120-99, to win their series 4-1. Westphal, who scored only 12 points in Games 2 and 3, poured in 26 and 32 points. The SuperSonics eliminated Los Angeles in five games with a 106-100 win, even though the Lakers led by 10 in the third period. Gus Williams finished with 30 points, including 10 free throws in the fourth period.
BOWLING—California beat Southwest Missouri State 216-176 in the men's division and Penn State defeated Hillsborough Community College of Tampa, Fla. 192-180 in women's competition at the National Collegiate Championships in Milwaukee (page 54).
GOLF—HUBERT GREEN fired a final-round 68 for a 15-under-par 273 to win the $250,000 New Orleans Open by one stroke over four other golfers.
Jane Blalock coasted to a six-stroke victory in the $100,000 LPGA Crisman Classic in Birmingham, Ala.
May 6, 1979
HOCKEY—NHL: The Battle of New York began with the Rangers and Islanders splitting the first two games of their semifinal series. Behind Walt Tkaczuk's two goals and two assists, the Rangers beat the Flyers 8-3 earlier in the week to win their quarterfinal matchup in five games and ensure that the Stanley Cup finals would include a New York team for the first time since 1972. Two nights later the Rangers erased the Islanders' home-ice advantage with a 4-1 victory at Nassau Coliseum. The underdogs found two unlikely heroes in their fifth straight playoff victory: Eddie Johnstone, who had only five goals all season, scored his fifth playoff goal to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead; and Bobby Sheehan, recalled from the minors at the end of the season, scored the final goal and his second of the playoffs. The Islanders needed to go into 8:02 of overtime to even the series with a 4-3 victory, the winning score coming on a 35-foot shot by Denis Potvin that deflected off Ranger Defenseman Carol Vadnais and past Goalie John Davidson. Wayne Merrick of the Islanders had tied the game at 1-1 and then assisted on the two goals that put his team ahead 3-2. Phil Esposito tied the score with his fifth playoff goal with 4:12 left in regulation play. Montreal, which has beaten Boston in 13 straight playoff series dating back to 1943, continued its domination of the Bruins with 4-2 and 5-2 victories, even though Boston took an early lead in both games. In the first, the Bruins were ahead 2-1 when Guy Lafleur tied the score on a fluke goal that bounced off Boston Defenseman Mike Milbury. Seldom-used Pierre Larouche then put the Canadiens ahead to stay. The Bruins led 2-0 in the second period of Game 2 before Jacques Lemaire, Bob Gainey and Mario Tremblay all scored in a span of 1:24 to power Montreal to its 2-0 series lead.
WHA: With Real Cloutier bothered by a back injury and the rest of the Nordiques bothered by dissent, Quebec disappeared quickly from the playoffs. Defending AVCO Trophy champion Winnipeg bombed the Nordiques 6-3, 9-2, 9-5 and 6-2 as Cloutier, the league's leading scorer, managed only one goal and one assist and his teammates fought among themselves in practice. New England, tired after beating Cincinnati 2-1 in a best-of-three playoff series and flying to Edmonton to play the Oilers two nights later, got a quick lift when 51-year-old Gordie Howe scored the first goal of the game. Then the Whalers were caught napping as the Oilers scored three goals in the second period—two within 24 seconds of each other—-en route to a 6-2 victory. Blair MacDonald had three goals in that game, and linemate Brett Callighen pulled the same trick the next night as Edmonton won 9-5. In the third game, New England woke up and won 4-1 on two goals by George Lyle.
The Soviet Union won all eight of its games to retain the world championship, in Moscow. Czechoslovakia finished second, followed by Sweden and Canada. The U.S. finished seventh.
HORSE RACING—SPECTACULAR BID ($2.10), Ron Franklin up, won the $121,550 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by seven lengths over Lot o' Gold. The 3-year-old was timed in 1:50 for the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles (page 50).
State Dinner ($24), ridden by Chris McCarron, won the $112,200 Century handicap at Hollywood Park by two lengths over Star Spangled. Favored Exceller broke down shortly after finishing third.
MOTOR SPORTS—France's PATRICK DEPAILLER, averaging 95.91 mph in his Ligier, finished 20.94 seconds ahead of Argentina's Carlos Reutemann in a Lotus 79 to win the Spanish Grand Prix in Jarama.
SOCCER—NASL: Brazilian star Marinho had been criticized by Cosmos management for his selfish style of play, but after his performance against Fort Lauderdale, nobody was complaining. The largest regular-season crowd in league history, 72,342 at Giants Stadium, saw Marinho score all three goals as the Cosmos beat the Strikers 3-2 to remain one of only two undefeated teams. The Cosmos had to play most of the game one man down after Wim Rijsbergen was ejected for violent conduct. Tulsa, the other unbeaten team, was idle. Tampa Bay dropped its first game of the season, 2-1 to previously winless Toronto, a team that the Rowdies beat 7-1 two weeks ago. Later in the week Tampa Bay beat Fort Lauderdale 2-1 to spoil the NASL debut of West German star Gerd Muller. Chicago handed Houston its first loss as Karl-Heinz Granitza scored three goals in a 5-2 victory. The New England Teamen, who have yet to score a goal, lost their fifth straight, 2-0 to Memphis.
ASL: Las Vegas changed coaches, and the switch paid off immediately. Orlando DeNitto was replaced by Midfielder Raul Carrizo, who scored an unassisted goal in the Seagulls' first game under him, a 2-0 victory over Los Angeles. Earlier California defeated Las Vegas 6-0 behind Joey Fink's three goals.
TENNIS—BJORN BORG beat Jimmy Connors 6-3, 6-2 to win the $250,000 Alan King Classic in Las Vegas.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As coach of the Chicago Bulls, JERRY SLOAN, 37, a former Bulls guard (1966-76) and for the past three seasons an assistant coach and scout. Sloan replaces Scotty Robertson, who finished the season after Larry Costello was dismissed.
DIED: JOHN ALLYN, 61, former president and owner of the Chicago White Sox (1969-75); of a heart attack; in Chicago. Allyn helped prevent the team from moving to Seattle in 1975 by selling his majority interest to Bill Veeck.