PRO BASKETBALL—Three straight wins by red-hot Denver lifted the Nuggets to within half a game of first place in the Midwest Division, behind struggling San Antonio, which was winless in four games. The Nugget victories extended their win streak to 12 games but it ended on Sunday, 140-116, at Seattle. Meanwhile, Utah, last in the Midwest and 0-for-March, snapped its NBA season-high 18-game losing streak on April 2, by beating Kansas City 127-118 behind Adrian Dantley's 42 points. Dantley then pumped in 40 to lead the Jazz over San Diego 133-124, giving the Clippers their 13th consecutive loss and 28th in 30 games. An earlier San Diego defeat, 117-100 by Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles, enabled the Lakers to become the fourth team to clinch a playoff spot. Among other playoff clinchers, Central Division leader Milwaukee went unbeaten for the week, as did Boston, pacesetter in the Atlantic Division, which yielded no ground to second-place Philadelphia (page 34).
BOWLING—PETE COUTURE beat Joe Berardi 240-222 to win a $110,000 PBA event in Overland Park, Kans.
GOLF—DANNY EDWARDS shot a 3-under-par 285 to win the $300,000 Greater Greensboro Open by one stroke over Bobby Clampett.
Sally Little fired a 10-under-par 278 to finish on top at the $310,000 Dinah Shore Invitational at Rancho Mirage, Calif. Sandra Haynie and Hollis Stacy were second, three strokes back (page 32).
GYMNASTICS—NEBRASKA beat UCLA 286.45-281.80 at Lincoln, Neb. for a record-tying fourth consecutive NCAA team championship. The individual all-around title, however, was won by UCLA's PETER VIDMAR, who upset two-time champion Jim Hartung of Nebraska 116.30-115.80.
HOCKEY—With two victories, a tie and a loss in the final week of the season, the Patrick Division champion New York Islanders lifted their league-leading point total to a club-record 118, seven more than runner-up Edmonton, the Smythe Division winner, and nine more than Montreal, which won the Adams Division. The Canadiens, however, did win their sixth trophy in seven seasons for allowing the fewest goals (223). Mainly, though, it was a season for scorers. The most goals in 38 years (6,741) were scored in the season's 840 games, and the 100-point mark was attained by a record 13 players, led by Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky at 212. And when the Islanders' Bryan Trottier scored his 50th goal in a 6-3 win over Philadelphia, the league also had a record 10 50-goal scorers. Tops among them, with a record 92, was Gretzky, who also finished with a record 120 assists. Winnipeg's Dale Hawerchuck was the leading rookie scorer with 103 points.
HORSE RACING—TIMELY WRITER ($3.60), ridden by Jeffrey Fell, defeated Star Gallant by two lengths to win the $250,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 1:49[3/5] for the Wt miles (page 26).
Air Forbes Won ($7), Mike Venezia up, beat odds-on-favorite Shimatoree by 3¼ lengths to win the $84,600 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:35[3/5].
Muttering ($11.80), Laffit Pincay up, won the $301,300 Santa Anita Derby for 3-year-olds by a nose over fast-closing Prince Spellbound. The colt covered the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:47[3/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—NIKI LAUDA drove a McLaren to victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Calif., averaging 81.4 mph over the 2.13-mile circuit. He beat Keke Rosberg of Finland, driving a Williams, by 14.66 seconds.
Dale Earnhardt, driving a Thunderbird at an average speed of 123.554 mph, won the Rebel 500 at Darlington, S.C. He beat Cale Yarborough, in a Buick, by half a car length.
SOCCER—As the NASL opened its 16th season, with the number of franchises down from 21 a year ago to 14, Tampa Bay defeated Tulsa 3-1 on two unassisted goals by Luis Fernando; Vancouver lost 1-0 at San Diego; and Jacksonville beat Fort Lauderdale 3-1.
INDOOR SOCCER—Forward Steve Zungul scored three goals in 37 seconds, an MISL record, and two other goals as the Eastern Division-leading New York Arrows defeated Baltimore 8-6. Zungul also had one goal as the Arrows beat Buffalo 7-4 and five in a 12-3 victory over New Jersey. The 11-goal spree raised Zungul's league-leading total to 92. In the West, Wichita cut first-place St. Louis' margin to three games by whipping Denver twice, 6-3 and 5-4, in overtime, while the Steamers suffered their fourth and fifth consecutive losses, 4-2 to Kansas City, and 5-4 to Phoenix.
STEEPLECHASING—GRITTAR, ridden by Dick Saunders, defeated Hard Outlook by 15 lengths to win the Grand National at England's Aintree race-course. The 9-year-old gelding was one of only eight horses out of 39 starters to finish the 4½-mile race.
TENNIS—BILL SCANLON beat Vitas Gerulaitis 7-5, 7-6, 1-6, 0-6, 6-4 to win a $300,000 WCT tournament in Zurich.
Ivan Lendl defeated Peter McNamara of Australia 6-2,6-2 in the finals of a $250,000 Grand Prix tournament in Frankfurt.
Chris Evert Lloyd defeated Andrea Jaeger 6-1, 7-5 to win the $200,000 Citizens Cup in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The Wade Trophy, as college basketball's best female player, 6-foot senior Center PAM KELLY of NCAA champion Louisiana Tech.
HIRED: As basketball coaches: at Stanford, TOM DAVIS, 43, who had a 100-47 record in five seasons at Boston College; at Arizona, BEN LINDSEY, 42, replacing Fred Snowden, who left after amassing a 167-108 record over 10 seasons. In 16 years at Grand Canyon College, Lindsey had a 317-137 record and won two NAIA championships; at Duquesne, JIM SATALIN, 35, whose nine-season record at St. Bonaventure was 156-93; and at Texas, BOB WELTLICH, 37, who had a six-season record of 83-88 at Mississippi.
TRADED: By the Texas Rangers, Outfielder AL OLIVER, 35, to the Montreal Expos for Third Baseman LARRY PARRISH, 28, and a minor-leaguer; by the San Francisco Giants, Pitcher VIDA BLUE, 32, and a minor-leaguer, to Kansas City for pitchers RENIE MARTIN, 26, and ATLEE HAMMAKER, 24, a minor-leaguer and a player to be named later, and Pitcher DOYLE ALEXANDER, 31, to the New York Yankees for two minor-leaguers; by the New York Mets, Outfielder LEE MAZZILLI, 27, to Texas for two minor league pitchers; by the Yankees, Pitcher GENE NELSON, 21, a minor-leaguer and a player to be named later, to the Seattle Mariners for Reliever SHANE RAWLEY, 26; by the Toronto Blue Jays, Third Baseman AURELIO RODRIGUEZ, 34, to the White Sox for Outfielder-Catcher WAYNE NORDHAGEN, 33; by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Reliever VICTOR CRUZ, 24, to Texas for Shortstop NORMAN NELSON, 23; by the Houston Astros, Infielder-Catcher DAVE ROBERTS, 31, to Philadelphia for a minor-leaguer; by the Chicago White Sox, Outfielder BOBBY MOLINARO, 31, to the Chicago Cubs to complete an earlier, deal.
By the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Linebacker DEWEY SELMON, 28, to the San Diego Chargers for an undisclosed draft pick.
DIED: Panamanian Jockey AMADO CREDIDIO JR., 26, of injuries suffered in a spill at Aqueduct.
Former welterweight champion (1927-29) JOE DUNDEE, 78, who, with brother Vince, middleweight champion in 1933, became the first pair of brothers to hold world titles; after a long illness; in Baltimore.