PRO BASKETBALL—Philadelphia and Boston each went undefeated on the week as the 76ers, 13-1 on the season, kept a half-game ahead of the 13-2 Celtics in the Atlantic Division. Philly's wins came 124-112 against Indiana, Andrew Toney scoring six of his game-high 33 points in overtime, and 116-103 against Detroit. Boston's victims were Golden State 122-101, Washington 113-100 and Atlanta 98-90. The last Celtic triumph cooled off a red-hot Hawk team that had begun its week with OT defeats of Cleveland (94-92) and Detroit (114-112) to run its winning streak to five straight. Atlanta also wrested the Central Division lead from Milwaukee, but the Bucks came within .015 of regaining first place as they defeated Midwest Division-leading San Antonio 105-89 at week's end. The loss left the Spurs only one game ahead of Denver, which extended its victory string to five by triumphing thrice behind the 87-point scoring of Alex English. Los Angeles had a nine-game win streak snapped in a 138-129 loss to San Diego, but the Lakers retained a half-game lead over Portland atop the Pacific Division.
CROSS-COUNTRY—At the NCAA championships in Wichita, Kans., MATTHEWS MOTSHWARATEU paced TEXAS-EL PASO to its fourth straight men's team title as he won the men's division by covering 10 kilometers in 28:45.6. BETTY SPRINGS of North Carolina State won the women's championship with a 16:19.0 clocking over five kilometers. VIRGINIA was the women's team titlist. At The Athletic Congress championships in Burbank, Calif., ADRIAN ROYLE and JULIE BROWN were the men's and women's winners (page 82).
PRO FOOTBALL—With three weeks remaining in regular-season play, San Francisco became the first team to clinch a playoff spot. In beating the Giants 17-10, the 49ers also claimed their first NFC West title since 1972. In four of the five other divisions, however, the races were still very much on. Minnesota slipped into a three-way tie for the NFC Central lead with Detroit, a 27-10 winner over Kansas City (page 42), and Tampa Bay, a 31-14 victor over New Orleans. The Vikings relinquished their grip on first place by losing twice, 31-30 to Atlanta on Monday night and 35-23 to Green Bay on Sunday. The Packers, paced by Lynn Dickey's three touchdown passes and Harlan Huckleby's two TD runs, confused things even more by inching to within one game of the leaders. There was a triumvirate atop the AFC West as well, with San Diego pulling into a tie with K.C. and Denver by beating the Broncos 34-17. Chuck Muncie ran for four scores and Dan Fouts passed for 256 yards as the Chargers' offense, the NFL's highest scoring, riddled the AFC's top-ranked defense. Both the NFC East-leading Cowboys and AFC East-leading Jets were victorious. Dallas chalked up its 17th consecutive regular-season victory at home, squeezing past Chicago 10-9, and Pat Leahy kicked four field goals as New York handed Baltimore its 12th straight loss 25-0. Buffalo remained a half-game behind the Jets by beating Washington 21-14. Elsewhere, Cincinnati maintained a two-game lead in the AFC Central, as Ken Anderson threw for four TDs in a 41-21 defeat of Cleveland; Steve Bartkowski passed for 372 yards and two TDs to lead Atlanta past Houston 31-27; St. Louis scored with 33 seconds left to beat New England, 27-20; Marc Wilson had three touchdown passes as Oakland edged Seattle 32-31; and Franco Harris carried 18 times for 114 yards in setting an NFL record for career carries (2,420) as Pittsburgh handed Los Angeles its first regular-season shutout since 1976, 24-0.
HOCKEY—Nearly a year ago, in the middle of a game, Quebec Goalie Michel Dion skated off the ice to protest the lack of support he was receiving from his teammates. It was thus sweet revenge for Dion, who now minds Pittsburgh's nets, when the Penguins defeated the Adams Division-leading Nordiques 7-1. Dion blocked 25 shots in the victory, the first of three on the week for Pittsburgh. The Penguins also stopped Montreal's five-game unbeaten streak, 2-1, and defeated Detroit 5-3. Dion had 76 saves in those triumphs, while rookie Forward Pat Graham had both goals in the defeat of the Canadiens and Paul Gardner scored twice within 41 seconds against the Red Wings. The Penguins, who had lost only once in their last 11 games, thus remained on the tail of the Patrick Division-leading Islanders, who split with Boston and beat St. Louis 9-2. Mike Bossy chalked up three goals and three assists in the wins, but still lost ground on NHL scoring-leader Wayne Gretzky who had eight goals and eight assists in pacing Smythe Division-leading Edmonton to four victories. Norris Division-leading Minnesota wasn't as successful, winning only one of three games despite seven goals by Dino Ciccarelli.
December 7, 1981
HORSE RACING—STALWART ($8.20), Chris McCarron up, beat Cassaleria by three-quarters of a length to win the $715,100 Hollywood Futurity. The 2-year-old colt ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:47[4/5].
SOCCER—The U. of TAMPA beat Cal State-L.A. 1-0 to win the NCAA Division II title; in New Haven.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Undefeated New York (3-0) remained atop the Eastern Division, as did 4-0 St. Louis in the Western Division.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL won his seventh straight tournament by defeating John McEnroe 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at a $350,000 indoor event in Milan, Italy.
Chris Evert Lloyd won a $125,000 tournament in Sydney, Australia by beating Martina Navratilova 6-4, 2-6, 6-1.
WATER POLO—Stanford defeated Cal State-Long Beach 17-6 to win the NCAA title in Long Beach.
MILEPOSTS—CONVICTED: By a Federal District Court jury in Brooklyn, of conspiracy to engage in racketeering and sports bribery, former Boston College basketball player RICK KUHN, 26, of Swissvale, Pa.; ANTHONY PERLA, 31, and ROCCO PERLA, 23, of Braddock Hills, Pa.; JAMES BURKE, 51, of Howard Beach, N.Y.; and PAUL MAZZEI, 38, of Pittsburgh. The charges stemmed from point shaving in six B.C. basketball games during the 1978-79 season.
FIRED: By the University of California, football Coach ROGER THEDER, 42, who had an 18-27 record in four seasons with the Golden Bears.
By the University of Kentucky, football Coach FRAN CURCI, 43, who was 3-8 in 1981 and 47-51-2 in his nine seasons with the Wildcats.
NAMED: Most Valuable Player of the American League, Milwaukee righthander ROLLIE FINGERS, 35, who had a 1.04 ERA and 28 saves for the Brewers. He is the first reliever in league history to win the award and the third American Leaguer to get MVP and Cy Young honors in the same year.
SIGNED: To a reported five-year contract for an undisclosed amount by the Boston Celtics, former Toronto Blue Jay Infielder DANNY AINGE, 22. The Celtics reportedly paid the Blue Jays $500,000 to release Ainge from his baseball contract.
TRADED: By the Colorado Rockies, Wing LANNY McDONALD, 28, and a 1983 fourth-round draft pick to the Calgary Flames for forwards BOBBY MacMILLAN, 29, and DON LEVER, 29.
By the Tigers, Outfielder STEVE KEMP, 27, to the White Sox for Outfielder CHET LEMON, 26.
By the Seattle Supersonics, Forward JAMES BAILEY, 24, to New Jersey for Forward RAY TOLBERT, 23, and a 1984 second-round draft choice.
DIED: Former world chess champion (1935-37) Dr. MAX EUWE, 80, who served as president of the International Chess Federation from 1970 to 1978; of a heart attack; in Amsterdam.
Claudio Coutinho, 42, former coach of the Los Angeles Aztecs and the Brazilian national soccer team; by drowning, while underwater fishing in Rio de Janeiro.