PRO BASKETBALL—The most startling statistic in Golden State's 121-106 victory over Boston was not Bernard King's 30 points in 27 minutes on the court, but Larry Bird's zero points in 37 minutes. Bird's first scoreless night in all 224 of his college and pro games—he was 0 for 9 from the field against the defense of Larry Smith and Purvis Short—also marked the end of a 12-game Celtic winning streak that had pulled Boston to within two games of the Atlantic Division-leading 76ers. Philly had more luck against the Warriors, winning 119-105 by making 65.4% of its shots, but also suffered consecutive losses for the first time this season. Los Angeles beat the Sixers 122-116 behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 34 points and Jamaal Wilkes' 32, and Portland edged Philly 109-108 on Billy Ray Bates' last-second layup. The only division leader to have a notably good week was the Midwest's San Antonio, which went 3-0. Mark Olberding's basket at the buzzer gave the Spurs a 102-100 win over Seattle, and James Silas' 11 points in the final five minutes sank the Lakers 118-112. A 119-111 victory over Chicago, which ended a seven-game Bulls win streak, left San Antonio with a 9½-game lead over second-place Houston, which had a banner week itself. The Rockets handed San Diego its first loss in seven games, 104-98, beat Utah 117-103 and defeated Dallas 124-120. Calvin Murphy scored 38 against the Mavericks and 42 more in a 134-132 loss to Denver, while Moses Malone had 73 points and 31 rebounds in those two games. Cleveland's Mike Mitchell poured in 94 points in the Cavs' wins over Dallas (112-100), New Jersey (111-105) and Washington (132-112). His team, however, remained in fifth place in the Central Division, 14½ games behind first-place Milwaukee. Phoenix, the Pacific Division leader, blew a 13-point halftime edge in losing 116-97 to the Celtics and was able to beat Denver 133-132 only when the Nuggets' David Thompson was called for goaltending in the last minute. The SuperSonics never even showed up in Phoenix for their game with the Suns after fog at Sea-Tac Airport near Seattle grounded them. The Nets might have hoped for such weather: winless under new Coach Bob MacKinnon, they ran their losing streak to seven games and had four injured starters.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—Georgia finished its season unbeaten and untied by defeating Notre Dame 17-10 in the Sugar Bowl (page 18). Michigan won the Rose Bowl 23-6 over Washington; Alabama routed Baylor 30-2 in the Cotton Bowl; Oklahoma edged Florida Slate 18-17 in the Orange Bowl; North Carolina defeated Texas 16-7 in the Bluebonnet Bowl; Pittsburgh won the Gator Bowl 37-9 over South Carolina; and Miami beat Virginia Tech 20-10 in the Peach Bowl.
PRO FOOTBALL—In the AFC semifinal playoffs, San Diego beat Buffalo 20-14 and Oakland defeated Cleveland 14-12, while Philadelphia won over the Vikings 31-16 and Dallas upended Atlanta 30-27 in NFC games.
HOCKEY—Montreal vaulted from eighth place to fifth by winning four in a row, while St. Louis nosed ahead of the Flyers into second place with a 3-0 week. After the Canadiens blitzed the Rangers 5-2 by scoring on three of their four second-period shots. Montreal Goalie Rick Wamsley shut out Los Angeles 4-0 in only his fourth NHL start. The Canadiens then ran their unbeaten streak to six, by defeating Hartford 3-1 and Chicago 2-1, and moved past the Canucks, Sabres and North Stars in the standings. St. Louis, meanwhile, stretched its string of non-losing games to seven with 3-2 and 6-3 wins over Vancouver and a 5-3 triumph over Toronto. Wayne Babych scored a hat trick in the victory over the Leafs, which was played before the Blues' largest home crowd since April 1975. With 55 points, St. Louis found itself behind only the Islanders (58), and ahead of Philly (53), L.A. (52) and Montreal (48). Falling to third place wasn't the only humiliation suffered by the Flyers; they also lost 4-3 to last-place Winnipeg. Philadelphia fell 6-5 to Minnesota when the North Stars scored four times on power plays. A pair of power-play goals by Dave Maloney helped the Rangers to a 3-1 win over the Islanders, who otherwise were themselves overpowering. They blasted Colorado 9-3 on Butch Goring's hat trick and beat Hartford 8-1, led by Mike Bossy's 39th and 40th goals of the season. The Whalers' Mike Rogers saw his point-scoring streak end at 18 games in that loss. Having started off slowly, Calgary continued to climb in the standings, reaching ninth place after a 5-3 victory over Edmonton and a 7-6 win over the Kings. Willi Plett had three goals against the Oilers and two more in the game with Los Angeles, which the Flames won on Eric Vail's score with 25 seconds left. Detroit, too, had a strong week, beating the Jets 4-3 and the Penguins 3-1 and tying Vancouver 2-2. But the Red Wings' best individual performance. Reed Larson's hat trick, came in a 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh.
January 12, 1981
HORSE RACING—DYNANITE ($9.20), Bill Shoemaker up, beat heavily favored Bold 'n Determined by a nose in the $54,250 La Brea Stakes for 4-year-old fillies at Santa Anita, finishing the seven furlongs in 1:21[2/5].
TENNIS—BRIAN TEACHER defeated Kim Warwick 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 in the finals of the Australian Men's Open in Melbourne.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: Three days after his team's 27-7 loss to Oakland in the AFC playoffs, Houston Oiler Coach BUM PHILLIPS, 57. In six seasons under Phillips, the Oilers were 55-35, made the playoffs three times (1978-80) and reached the AFC championship game twice. ED BILES, 49, Houston's defensive coordinator since 1974, was named the team's new head coach.
HIRED: As Auburn football coach, PAT DYE, 41, who resigned as Wyoming coach after a 6-5 season. His lifetime record at East Carolina (1974-79) and Wyoming (1980) is 54-23-1.
As Texas Tech football coach, JERRY MOORE, 41. whose record in two seasons at North Texas State (1979-80) was 11-11.
PLACED ON PROBATION: By the NCAA, the Arizona State football program, which violated a variety of eligibility, recruiting and ethical-conduct rules between 1975 and 1979. The Sun Devils will be ineligible for bowl games next season and NCAA-controlled telecasts for two seasons.
DIED: Former basketball Coach BRUCE HALE, 62, who had 10 winning seasons at the University of Miami (Fla.) between 1954 and 1966, and a 22-56 mark in one season (1967-68) with the Oakland Oaks of the ABA; of a heart attack; in Orinda, Calif.
Former middleweight champion (1939-40) CEFERINO GARCIA, 74; as a result of lung cancer; in San Diego.
Mauri Rose, 74, winner of the Indianapolis 500 in 1941, 1947 and 1948; of an apparent heart attack; in Royal Oak, Mich.
Former A's (1913-15) and Yankee (1915-27) Pitcher BOB SHAWKEY, 90, a four-time 20-game winner who was New York's starter in the first game ever played in Yankee Stadium, which he won 4-1 over the Red Sox; in Syracuse, N.Y. A righthander, he pitched in five World Series and had a 198-150 lifetime record.