PRO BASKETBALL—While Milwaukee starters Marques Johnson (sprained right wrist and back), Brian Winters (sore neck) and Bob Lanier (sore knees) watched in street clothes, the Bucks handed Boston its only loss of the week, 107-105, thanks to 48 points from reserves Junior Bridgeman and Sidney Moncrief. When Bridge-man subsequently contracted the flu, Johnson and Lanier came back to lead Milwaukee past the Jazz 119-108 and Indiana 102-100. A 104-94 defeat by the Knicks still left the Bucks five games ahead of the second-place Pacers and 10 up on the third-place Bulls in the Central Division. The Celtics, five games behind Philadelphia in the Atlantic, recovered from their loss to Milwaukee by beating Detroit 94-85, Atlanta 106-101, with Robert Parish getting 33 points and 15 rebounds, and Dallas 97-87. The Mavericks' winless string hit 10 with an ensuing 110-104 loss to Atlanta. The Hawks also terminated a streak, handing Philly its first defeat in 11 games, 112-108 in overtime, with the help of John Drew's 39 points. The Sixers won their other two starts, blocking a team-record 17 shots in a 104-98 victory over the Knicks and beating Atlanta 104-100 in their second go-round. Phoenix, on top of the Pacific Division by 4½ games over the Lakers and six over the Warriors, defeated Houston 117-114 and Midwest-leading San Antonio 122-107 before a 103-100 loss to Kansas City snapped the Suns' six-game winning streak and a 90-88 upset by New Jersey ended their string of home-court victories at 21. Otis Birdsong, who scored 28 points in the K.C. victory, also had games of 42 and 39 points to raise his average to 27.8, fourth-best in the league. Another—and unexpectedly—prolific scorer among guards was the Rockets' Mike Dunleavy, who went for a career-high 48 points in a 111-108 victory over Denver. L.A.'s 0-3 week included losses to Chicago (122-108) and San Diego (120-114) that stretched the Lakers' home win-less streak to three games, their longest since 1976. The Warriors also beat Los Angeles, 119-103, on a 28-point performance by Lloyd Free (page 30).
BOXING—HILARIO ZAPATA retained his WBC flyweight title with a split decision over Reinaldo Becerra in Caracas, Venezuela.
Thomas Hearns successfully defended his WBA welterweight title by knocking out Luis Primera in the sixth round in Detroit.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—The University of Dayton beat Ithaca College 63-0 in Phenix City, Ala. to win the NCAA Division III title.
December 15, 1980
PRO FOOTBALL—Placekickers had a week of glory, but several notable quarterbacks did not. In the Oilers' 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh, for example, Kicker Toni Fritsch scored the game's only points while the Steelers' Terry Bradshaw threw three interceptions and had only 118 yards passing. Coupled with Cleveland's 17-14 win over the Jets, the loss all but eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention (page 22). A 30-yard field goal by Nick Mike-Mayer in overtime gave Buffalo a 10-7 victory over Los Angeles, which split up its quarterbacking miseries. After Vince Ferragamo was knocked out of the game with bruised ribs, Pat Haden came in and threw an interception that Bills Safety Steve Freeman returned 47 yards for a touchdown. Although the 9-5 Rams remained likely to qualify for the playoffs, they fell two games behind Atlanta in the NFC West. The Falcons beat Philadelphia 20-17 on Tim Mazzetti's 37-yard field goal with seven seconds left. The Eagles lost sole possession of first place in the NFC East when Dallas won 19-13 over the Raiders to match Philly's 11-3 record. Oakland remained deadlocked with San Diego atop the AFC West, the Chargers having fallen 40-17 to the Redskins. Mark Moseley kicked four field goals for Washington, and the Skins' NFC-leading pass defense picked off four Dan Fouts passes. In the NFC Central, Minnesota took over first place by defeating Tampa Bay 21-10 while the Lions were losing 24-23 to St. Louis on a late-game 57-yard punt-return TD by the Cardinals' Roy Green. Cincinnati's Jim Breech was another last-minute hero, hitting a 21-yard field goal with 0:12 remaining to carry the Bengals past Baltimore 34-33. So was Billy Taylor, whose 30-yard touchdown run with 1:57 to play gave the Giants a 27-21 victory over Seattle. The 49ers needed an overtime field goal from Ray Wersching to beat New Orleans 38-35, while Chicago pounded the Packers from the opening kickoff in a 61-7 rout. The Bears' Walter Payton gained 130 yards to move past Larry Csonka into sixth place on the alltime NFL career rushing list with 8.178. Denver was downright inept in its two games, turning the ball over 11 times in losses to Oakland (9-3) and Kansas City (31-14).
HOCKEY—Last Saturday's Islanders-Kings game brought together four of the NHL's top five scorers, but it was Dan Bonar, with just three goals this season, whose two tallies gave L.A. a 5-3 win. The victory moved Los Angeles into a second-place tie with the Islanders, one point behind the league-leading Flyers and one ahead of fourth-place St. Louis (page 74). The Kings also beat Hartford 5-2 and Vancouver 3-1, the latter win coming on Marcel Dionne's two assists and 400th career goal. For the Islanders, the loss to L.A. capped an up-and-down week. After Anders Kallur's hat trick and two assists paced them to a 7-3 victory over Quebec and Bob Bourne's pair of power-play goals were the highlights of a 5-1 win over the Rockies, the Isles had slipped past Philly into the NHL lead. Then a 4-3 loss to Colorado not only cost them first place but also ended their 15-game unbeaten streak. The Islanders' defeat in L.A. hurt even more because it coincided with the Flyers' surprising 4-2 loss to Detroit, which had been winless in 11 starts. Philly's only other game was a 7-5 victory over Chicago. Remarkable, too, was Pittsburgh's 3-2 win over the Canadiens in Montreal. The Penguins had gone 0-30-3 at the Forum since last beating the Canadiens there in 1969. Montreal had more success against Buffalo, winning 6-5 on four goals by Mark Napier, and against Boston, defeating the Bruins 4-1 to end a four-game home losing streak. One string that wasn't broken was Winnipeg's run of non-winning performances. With four defeats, the Jets stood 0-17-7 since October 17.
MARATHON—TOSHIHIKO SEKO won the Fukuoka (Japan) Marathon in 2:09:45, finishing four seconds ahead of Takeshi Soh.
TENNIS—Czechoslovakia defeated Italy 4-1 to win the Davis Cup in Prague.
Kim Warwick beat Fritz Buehning 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 in a $175,000 tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Wendy Turnbull beat Pam Shriver 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 to win a $125,000 tournament in Sydney, Australia.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: American League Rookie of the Year, Cleveland Outfielder JOE CHARBONEAU, 25, who hit .289 with 23 home runs and 87 RBIs. Lefthanded Relief Pitcher STEVE HOWE, 22, of the Dodgers was named the National League's top rookie. He had 17 saves and a 2.65 ERA.
As Syracuse University football coach, DICK MacPHERSON, 50, who had a 45-26-1 record at Massachusetts from 1971 to 1977 and has been linebacker coach for the Cleveland Browns since 1978.
PLACED ON PROBATION: For three years by the NCAA, because of recruiting, eligibility and other rule violations, the University of New Mexico basketball program. New Mexico must return to the NCAA $34,000 it earned from the 1978 national championship tournament and will be barred from postseason and possibly all televised appearances through the 1981-82 season.
RESIGNED: Auburn Football Coach DOUG BAR-FIELD, 44, who guided the Tigers to a 5-6 record in 1980 and a 29-25-1 mark over five seasons.
SIGNED: To a four-year $3.15 million contract with the Astros, free agent Pitcher DON SUTTON, 35, a 230-game winner in 15 seasons with the Dodgers. He was 13-5 with a league-leading 2.21 ERA in 1980.
Free agent Catcher DARRELL PORTER, 28, to a five-year, $4 million contract with St. Louis. Porter hit .249 with 51 RBIs for Kansas City last season.
By California, to a three-year contract reportedly worth $1.25 million, Pitcher GEOFF ZAHN, 33, who has averaged 13 wins per season since 1977.
DIED: Former college basketball Coach EDDIE HICKEY, 77, whose 435-231 record at Creighton (1935-43), St. Louis (1947-58) and Marquette (1958-64) included nine NIT and five NCAA tournament appearances; of a heart attack: in Mesa, Ariz.
Polish-born sprinter STELLA WALSH, 69, the winner of 37 AAU titles and two Olympic medals; of a gunshot wound suffered in a Cleveland mugging.