PRO BASKETBALL—Thanks largely to the clutch play of Kermit Washington, Portland won three games by a total of five points and remained unbeaten. In a 90-88 victory over Kansas City, Washington scored the deciding points on a tip-in at the buzzer. Against Denver the following night, he hit two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put the Trail Blazers ahead 88-87 and then preserved the win by stealing the ball from David Thompson. Portland later picked up its ninth straight victory—a club record—by edging Chicago 95-93. Milwaukee, which last season finished six games under .500, upended Detroit 132-118 for its eighth consecutive win. Marques Johnson pumped in 25 points for the Bucks, and Junior Bridge-man, who has been scoring 21 a game coming off the bench, added 25. After losing seven straight, Denver defeated Utah 116-96 for its first victory of the season. Earlier, the Jazz edged San Diego 110-109 for its initial win, despite a 33-point performance from Lloyd Free, who has scored more than 30 in eight of the Clippers' first nine games. Bill Walton has played in none of them, and San Diego learned that its $7 million center will be out for at least another month with an injured foot. George Gervin's 41-point effort lifted San Antonio to a 129-113 victory over Detroit. The next night Larry Kenon and Gervin pumped in 27 and 25 points, respectively, as the Spurs knocked off Indiana 128-121 for their fourth win in a row. Magic Johnson, who sat out three games with a sprained knee, hit for 26 points in 28 minutes and was one of six players in double figures as Los Angeles beat Kansas City 116-104. Earlier, five Lakers scored 10 or more points in a 102-87 victory over Utah, and four had between 19 and 23 in a 106-97 defeat of Seattle. After routing Indiana 136-112 before only 7,911 fans—the smallest crowd for a Knick game in the 11-year history of the current Madison Square Garden—New York handed New Jersey its sixth consecutive defeat by a score of 94-92. Between wins, the Knicks lost 127-116 to undefeated Philadelphia (page 38).
BOWLING—MARK ROTH defeated Joe Berardi 226-200 to win his fifth title of 1979, the $85,000 Kessler Classic in Indianapolis, Ind.
BOXING—WILFREDO GOMEZ retained his WBC super bantamweight title at Madison Square Garden with a fifth-round knockout of Nicky Perez (page 76),
PRO FOOTBALL—Nearly half the favorites went down to defeat, with the biggest surprise coming in Baltimore, where the Colts, the AFC East's last-place team, beat division-leader New England 31-26. Colt Running Back Joe Washington scored three times, and Bert Jones hit 17 of 30 passes for 280 yards. Led by a defense that stopped Washington 18 times in goal-to-go situations and sacked Quarterback Joe Theismann seven times, New Orleans stunned the Redskins 14-10. The victory gave the Saints sole possession of first place in the NFC West, a game in front of Los Angeles. The Rams dropped a 20-14 decision to the Giants, whom they hadn't lost to since 1961. New York has now won four straight since rookie Phil Simms, who threw for a pair of TDs against L.A., took over at quarterback. Tampa Bay increased its NFC Central lead to three games with a 12-10 defeat of Minnesota, and the Browns' Brian Sipe was on target with 20 of 28 passes as Cleveland routed St. Louis 38-20. The week's first upset occurred on Thursday night when Oakland overcame Dan Fouts' record fourth-straight 300-yard passing performance and beat the Chargers 45-22. Fouts finished with 21 completions in 37 attempts for 303 yards, while the Raiders' Ken Stabler hit 13 of 17 for 212 yards. The loss dropped San Diego into a tie for first in the AFC West with Denver, which bounced back from a 42-7 Monday-night drubbing at the hands of Pittsburgh to beat Kansas City 20-3. Baltimore's victory over the Patriots gave Miami an opportunity to regain a share of the lead in the AFC East. The Dolphins didn't pass it up as Bob Griese emerged from the worst slump of his 10-year career by completing 18 of 27 attempts for 287 yards to lead his club to a 27-7 win over Green Bay. Dolphin Wide Receiver Duriel Harris caught a club-record 10 passes for 180 yards and one TD. In a game that featured six lead changes, San Francisco's Steve DeBerg threw for a career-high 348 yards and three touchdowns, and Chicago's Walter Payton carried the ball 23 times for 162 yards and three TDs to become the first player this season to rush for more than 1,000 yards. The Bears ended up on top 28-27 as Quarterback Mike Phipps lofted a 48-yard scoring strike to Wide Receiver James Scott with 1:29 remaining for the decisive points. Joe Ferguson's seven-yard touchdown toss to Tight End Reuben Gant with 1:25 on the clock lifted Buffalo to a 20-17 win over Detroit. Ferguson, the AFC's top quarterback, completed 17 of 35 passes for 339 yards. The game was in doubt until the final play, when the Bills blocked Benny Ricardo's 44-yard field-goal attempt. Houston kicker Toni Fritsch was more fortunate. His second overtime field goal of the season—a 35-yarder—gave the Oilers a 27-24 victory over the Jets. Cincinnati rolled over Philadelphia 37-13 (page 80), and in a rematch of last January's Super Bowl, Pittsburgh beat Dallas 14-3 (page 30).
November 5, 1979
GOLF—GEORGE BURNS and BEN CRENSHAW won the $250,000 National Team Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. by three strokes over Peter Jacobsen and D. A. Weibring, Scott Bess and Dan Halldorson, and Jeff Hewes and Sammy Rachels. The winners finished with a 33-under-par 255 for the best-ball tournament.
HARNESS RACING—HOT HITTER ($3), Henri Filion in the sulky, finished 3½ lengths ahead of Striking Force to win the $180,225 Messenger Stakes, the third leg of pacing's Triple Crown. The 3-year-old covered the mile at Roosevelt Raceway in 1:59[4/5].
PRO HOCKEY—Four was the magic number for several teams. Montreal overcame a four-goal deficit to earn a 6-6 tie with Philadelphia. Then the Canadiens beat Pittsburgh 8-5 behind Pierre Larouche's four scores. The Rangers ran off four unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the Penguins, while the Islanders erupted for four within a span of 4:41 of the third period, including two within six seconds, to beat Chicago 6-4. The Black Hawks have not beaten the Islanders in New York since Feb. 16, 1974. Led by Marcel Dionne, who had four goals, Los Angeles defeated Colorado 7-4. Teammate Mike Murphy subsequently picked up four goals as the Kings knocked off Toronto 7-5. Finally, St. Louis came from four goals behind to gain a 5-5 tie with Boston, which then lost to the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 (page 72).
HORSE RACING—BOWL GAME ($7.60), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, won the $250,000 Turf Classic at Aqueduct by a neck over Trillion. The 5-year-old was timed in a track-record 2:28[1/5] for the mile and a half on grass.
TENNIS—EVONNE GOOLAGONG CAWLEY beat Virginia Wade 6-0, 6-3 to win a $100,000 tournament in East Lake Woodlands, Fla.
MILEPOSTS—BANNED: By the International Amateur Athletic Federation from international competition until further notice because post-meet drug tests this summer revealed traces of illegal anabolic steroids: NATALIA MARASESCU of Rumania, women's world-record holder in the mile; TOTKA PETROVA of Bulgaria, World Cup champion in the 1,500-meter run; discus throwers YELANA KOVALEVA and NADEZHDA KUDRYAVTSEVA of the U.S.S.R.; hurdler DANIELA TENEVA of Bulgaria; and middle-distance runner ILEANA SILAI and long-jumper SANTA VLAD of Rumania.
FIRED: As manager of the New York Yankees, BILLY MARTIN, after he allegedly lied about punching a salesman in the face in a Bloomington, Minn, hotel. Under Martin, the Yankees won two consecutive pennants and the 1977 World Series. He resigned under pressure on July 24, 1978 and was rehired on June 19, 1979. He guided New York to a fourth-place finish in the American League East this season, 13½ games behind Baltimore. DICK HOWSER, 42, a former Yankee coach and currently the coach at Florida State, will replace Martin.
HIRED: As manager of the Kansas City Royals, JIM FREY, 48, for the past 16 seasons a minor league manager, scout and coach for the Baltimore Orioles.
RETIRED: AFFIRMED, thoroughbred racing's alltime leading money-earner ($2,393,818) and winner of the 1978 Triple Crown. The Harbor View Farm 4-year-old won 22 of his 29 starts, including a series of classic duels against Alydar, who finished second to him in each of the Triple Crown events. Affirmed will stand at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky.
DIED: JOHN DREBINGER, 88, baseball writer for The New York Times from 1923 to 1964; in Greensboro, N.C.