PRO BASKETBALL—Boston and Philadelphia continued to play leapfrog. Celtic wins over Dallas, 109-92, and Washington, 99-98 as Robert Parish scored 32 points, and a Sixer 117-115 loss to New York put Boston a half-game ahead in the Atlantic Division going into the teams' second meeting of the season. In that game Philly got 36 points from Julius Erving and won 123-118 to square the Celtic-Sixer season's series and take the divisional lead. Golden State snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Pacific Division-leading L. A. 120-115 as Bernard King and World B (nè Lloyd) Free combined for 65 points. That left the Warriors, along with Seattle, Portland and Phoenix, in the middle of the Pac, all within four games of the Lakers and all with better than .500 records. In the Central, Milwaukee remained 3½ games in front with a 104-96 thumping of its closest rival, Indiana; and in the Midwest, Houston scored three straight wins and welcomed back Forward Robert Reid from a 12-day "leave of absence." He came off the bench to score 22 points in the Rockets' 102-95 defeat of Chicago. One Midwest club that played .500 ball—for the week, at least—was Dallas. Mavs' rookie Jay Vincent had 31 and 24 points in victories over Washington (107-102) and Portland (102-95) as Dallas ran its record to 6-20. Poor Phoenix, no sooner had the Suns gotten Guard Walter Davis back from a broken left elbow than Center Alvan Adams broke his nose in two places thanks to a deliberate blow, Adams claimed, from Midwest-leading San Antonio's George Gervin in a 108-104 Phoenix win. Even without Adams, the Suns beat Kansas City 95-87.
BOXING—DWIGHT BRAXTON scored a 10th-round technical knockout of Matthew Saad Muhammad in Atlantic City to win the WBC light heavyweight title (page 26).
Katsuo Tokashiki won the WBA junior flyweight title with a unanimous 15-round decision over Hwan-Jin Kim in Sendai, Japan.
Saoul Mamby successfully defended his WBC junior welterweight title in Lagos, Nigeria with a 15-round decision over Obisia Nwankpa.
December 28, 1981
Juan Herrera stopped Betulio Gonzalez in the seventh round in Merida, Mexico to retain his WBA flyweight title.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—IDAHO STATE beat Eastern Kentucky 34-23 to win the NCAA's Division I-AA title in Wichita Falls, Texas, and ELON (N.C.) COLLEGE won its second straight NAIA Division I championship with a 3-0 defeat of Pittsburg (Kans.) State. In bowl games, BRIGHAM YOUNG triumphed 38-36 over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, TOLEDO beat San Jose State 27-25 in the California Bowl and MISSOURI defeated Southern Mississippi 19-17 in the Tangerine Bowl.
PRO FOOTBALL—With four unclaimed playoff berths going into the regular schedule's final weekend, Detroit and Denver squandered chances to qualify for postseason play while the Jets, 28-3 victors over Green Bay, and the Giants, who beat Dallas 13-10 in overtime, gave New York its first playoff representatives in 12 years (page 20). Tampa Bay used Defensive Tackle Dave Logan's 21-yard romp with a recovered fumble to defeat Detroit 20-17 and win the NFC Central title. It was the Lions' only loss of the season in their Silverdome. San Diego won the AFC West crown by beating Oakland on Monday night to overtake Denver, which was upset 35-24 by Chicago. Baltimore (2-14) won its Stupor Bowl with New England (2-14) 23-21, but to the loser went the spoils—the first pick in next spring's draft. In other games, Atlanta, which had lost 21-16 to Los Angeles on Monday, fell to Cincinnati 30-28; Philadelphia beat St. Louis 38-0; Kansas City edged Minnesota 10-6; Miami defeated Buffalo 16-6; Seattle routed Cleveland 42-21; San Francisco outlasted New Orleans 21-17; Houston beat Pittsburgh 21-20; and Washington defeated the Rams 30-7.
HOCKEY—Despite scoring three times in the final eight minutes for a 5-4 win over Calgary, league point leader—with 50—Edmonton suffered a couple of setbacks in the game. Rookie Goaltender Grant Fuhr dislocated his right shoulder and will be sidelined for at least a week, and Right Wing Dave Lumley was held without a goal for the first time in 12 games. But Lumley came back with a hat trick—as did linemate Wayne Gretzky—in the Smythe Division-leading Oilers' 9-6 win two nights later over Minnesota, which was tied with Chicago for the Norris Division lead. Ron Low and Andy Moog turned away 20 North Star shots in that game. Montreal, tops in the Wales Conference, won its fifth consecutive game—and second of the week over Boston—by beating the Bruins 5-2. It was the 21st straight time Boston had played in The Forum without winning, a streak that dates back to 1976. Philadelphia remained just two points behind the Patrick Division-leading Islanders by winning three times, including 2-1 over Buffalo on a rare penalty shot. Wing Behn Wilson was awarded the shot after the Sabres' Larry Playfair didn't live up to his surname, pulling Wilson down from behind on a breakaway.
HORSE RACING—DASHINGLY ($2.60), with Danny Cardoza in the saddle, beat The Black Alliance by 1¾ lengths to win the $569,000 Golden State Futurity for quarter horses at Los Alamitos. The 2-year-old filly covered the 400 yards in 20.02 seconds.
Tahitian king ($6.40), Bill Shoemaker up, won the $226,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park by a neck over King Go Go. The 5-year-old covered the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:48[4/5].
Jerry Nicodemus rode DENIM N DIAMONDS ($3.40) to victory by a neck over Sgt Pepper Feature in the $200,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos. The 4-year-old quarter-horse mare ran the 440 yards in 21.73.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Steve Zungul had seven goals in two games, including five in a 9-4 defeat of Buffalo, as New York ran its mark to 8-1 and continued to lead the Eastern Division. St. Louis remained atop the West with a 10-2 thumping of Baltimore.
NASL: Edmonton's Jan Goosens drilled home seven goals in a 14-5 win over Portland, tying the NASL record for goals in an indoor game. Goosens, whose Driller teammates trailed Northwest Division-leading Seattle, was leading the league with 14 goals after his big burst. Tulsa, with the league's best record (4-1), stayed in first place in the Central as Laurie Abrahams scored four times and assisted three times in a 10-3 defeat of the East leader, Toronto. George Best returned from a knee injury, getting five goals for Western Division-leading San Jose in a 10-9 win over San Diego.
TENNIS—TRACY AUSTIN won the $250,000 Toyota Championships in East Rutherford, N.J. with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Martina Navratilova (page 28).
Tim Wilkison beat Chris Lewis 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 in the finals of the $125,000 New South Wales Open in Sydney.
VOLLEYBALL—USC defeated UCLA 9-15, 15-7, 10-15, 15-13 and 15-7 to win the NCAA Division I women's title in Los Angeles.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As football coach at Kentucky, former Maryland Coach JERRY CLAIBORNE, 53, replacing Fran Curci, who was fired; by Texas-El Paso as its football coach, former West Texas State Coach BILL YUNG, 48, to replace interim Coach Billy Alton; by West Texas State, DON DAVIS, 42, to replace Yung; and as the new coach at Virginia, former Navy Coach GEORGE WELSH, 48.
TRADED: By the Cincinnati Reds, Third Baseman RAY KNIGHT, 29, to the Houston Astros for Outfielder CESAR CEDENO, 30.
DIED: JIM ENRIGHT, 71, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and longtime official and sportswriter; of kidney failure; in Chicago.