PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: The Rockets beat the Kings 97-78 in Kansas City to open the best-of-seven Western Conference championship series. In that game K.C. committed 26 turnovers and Houston's Moses Malone scored 29 points. Malone was held to 18 points in Game 2 as the Kings triumphed 88-79 behind 31 points by Reggie King. In the third game, in Houston, Kansas City's defense was even more effective against Malone, who had only 12 points, but the Rockets got 23 from Calvin Murphy to win 92-88. Houston scored a 100-89 fourth-game victory on Sunday, in which Malone exploded for 42 points and 23 rebounds. In the East, Philadelphia took a 3-1 lead over Boston (page 14).
WBL: Behind 39 points by rookie Center Rosie Walker, the Nebraska Wranglers clinched the best-of-five league championship series with a 99-90 victory over the Dallas Diamonds in Game 5 in Omaha.
BOWLING—STEVE COOK beat Pete Couture 287-183 to win a $150,000 PBA tournament in Akron, Ohio.
BOXING—THOMAS HEARNS retained his WBA welterweight championship with a 13th-round TKO of Randy Shields in Phoenix (page 64).
May 3, 1981
Matthew Saad Muhammad successfully defended his WBC light-heavyweight crown with a ninth-round KO of Murray Sutherland in Atlantic City, N.J.
Hilario Zapata retained his WBC junior flyweight title with a 15-round decision over Rudy Crawford in San Francisco.
GOLF—TOM WATSON shot an 18-under-par 270 to win the $350,000 New Orleans Open by two strokes over Bruce Fleisher.
Beth Solomon defeated Jane Blalock on the third hole of sudden death to win the $100,000 Birmingham (Ala.) Classic. Both finished regulation play at 206, 10 under par.
HARNESS RACING—NO NO NERO ($63.60), driven by Stan Bayless, beat Armbro Willard by a neck to win the $401,500 Los Alamitos Spring Championship. The 3-year-old covered the mile in 1:57[4/5]. The purse was the richest in California harness-racing history.
HOCKEY—With a 13-1 triumph over Sweden, the Soviet Union's national team clinched its 17th world championship, in Goteborg, Sweden.
NHL: The Islanders, ahead two games to one in their best-of-seven quarterfinal series with Edmonton when the week began, got a 5-4 victory in overtime of Game 4 on a long slap shot by Defenseman Ken Morrow that deflected off Oiler Defenseman Lee Fogolin and slid past Goaltender Andy Moog. In the next game Moog turned away 29 shots as Edmonton stayed alive with a 4-3 triumph, but the Islanders put an end, by a 5-2 score, to the Oilers' challenge on the same evening that the Rangers finished off St. Louis (page 66) to set up an intra-New York semifinal series. After having lost its three opening games to Minnesota, Buffalo ended regulation play in Game 4 in a 4-4 tie. In overtime Sabre Goalie Don Edwards turned away 12 shots—he had 46 saves in all for the evening—and Buffalo's Craig Ramsay tapped in a rebound of an Andre Savard shot with 3:28 remaining to win the game 5-4. The Sabres were eliminated two nights later as the North Stars won 4-3 to run their record in the 1981 playoffs to 7-1. Calgary got a 3-1 upper hand against Philadelphia with a 5-4 triumph in which Defenseman Randy Holt scored the Flames' last two goals. The Flyers then rallied, winning 9-4, in a game marred by 10 minutes of brawling and 161 minutes of penalties, and 3-2. In Philly's latter victory, its first ever in Calgary's Stampede Corral, the Flyers were paced by Ken Linseman, who had two goals. But the Flames won the series with a 4-1 triumph on Sunday night, as Goalie Pat Riggin stopped 31 Philadelphia shots.
HORSE RACING—PROUD APPEAL ($3), Jeff Fell up, defeated Law Me by three lengths to win the $186,225 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. The 3-year-old colt ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ" miles in 1:51[2/5].
Eleven Stitches ($18.40), ridden by Sandy Hawley, beat Glorious Song by a neck to win the $164,600 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at Hollywood Park. The 4-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:36[2/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—MORGAN SHEPHERD, averaging 75.019 mph in a Pontiac, won the Virginia 500 Grand National on the .525-mile Martinsville Speedway. He finished 15 seconds ahead of Neil Bonnett, who drove a Ford.
SOCCER—At week's end, four teams were tied for the NASL's best record at 4-1. Northwest Division-leading Vancouver got there by beating Minnesota 1-0 on a goal by Gerry Gray with 26 seconds remaining, while Fort Lauderdale took the lead in the Southern Division with a 2-0 triumph at Atlanta. Washington, which got an assist from Goalie Jim Brown on its way to a win at Toronto (4-2), shared the Eastern Division's best record with the Cosmos, who defeated Tampa Bay 4-1.
TABLE TENNIS—The national women's team of the People's Republic of China retained its world title with a 3-0 victory over South Korea in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL defeated Harold Solomon 6-4, 6-2 to win a $340,000 tournament in Las Vegas.
Chris Evert Lloyd beat Martina Navratilova 6-0, 6-0 in a $250,000 tournament in Amelia Island, Fla.
TRACK & FIELD—The University of Oklahoma sprint medley relay team of COTY DULING, DANNIE CARTER, FREDDIE WILSON and DYRK DAHL set a collegiate and American record of 3:13.39 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Their performance surpassed Missouri's collegiate record of 3:13.66, set in 1979 by a team that included two foreigners, and the American mark (3:14.43) established by Prairie View A&M, also in 1979.
MILEPOSTS—CLEARED: By an eight-member jury in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court, former Arizona State Football Coach FRANK KUSH, 52; of a claim that he harassed former Sun Devil punter Kevin Rutledge into quitting the team (page 9).
By a six-member U.S. district court jury in New York, the World Boxing Council and its president, JOSÉ SULAIMAN, 49; in a $1 million antitrust suit brought by boxing promoter Teddy Brenner (page 12).
NAMED: As basketball coach at Brown, MIKE CINGISER, 40, who scored 1,331 points as a Bruin player from 1960 through 1962.
As basketball coach at Jacksonville, ROBERT WENZEL, 31, formerly an assistant at South Carolina. He replaces Tates Locke, who was fired.
DIED: VINCENT TAMBORELLO, 41, harness racing driver of 10 years' experience; of head and chest injuries suffered in a multi-horse accident at Maywood Park near Chicago.