PRO BASKETBALL—Last season the Dallas Mavericks lost 24 times before getting their eighth win. This year Dallas split its first 16 games, and folks in the Big D are talking playoffs. Only a 115-105 loss to Washington kept the Mavs from a perfect week. In Dallas' other games, 64 points from Forward Mark Aguirre helped it to drill Denver 140-129 and Golden Stale 110-100, moving the Mavs within two games of Midwest Division leader Kansas City (page 26). The Nets capped a perfect week by beating Milwaukee, front-runner in the Central Division, 108-103 as Mickey Johnson scored 20 points. Larry Bird had 30 points and Nate Archibald 23 as Boston won its 10th straight on the Pistons' home floor, 119-112. As a result of a 114-104 win at Los Angeles, Philadelphia went a game up on Boston in the race for the Atlantic Division lead. Seattle stayed on top in the Pacific Division, a half-game ahead of Los Angeles.
BOXING—THOMAS HEARNS outpointed defending champion Wilfred Benitez to win the WBC super welterweight crown in New Orleans (page 24). On the same card, WILFREDO GOMEZ retained his WBC super bantamweight title with a 14th-round TKO of Lupe Pintor.
Hilario Zapata retained his WBC light flyweight title with an eighth-round TKO of Tadashi Tomori in Tokyo.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—WEST GEORGIA defeated Augustana 14-0 to win the NCAA Division III title in Phenix City, Ala.
PRO FOOTBALL—Tampa Bay, 0-3 as the week began, bounced into the NFC playoff picture with two wins in seven days. On Monday night against Miami, Bucs Safety Neal Colzie set up the winning touchdown in a 23-17 victory with a 51-yard interception return. He then recovered two fumbles deep in Tampa Bay territory to secure a 13-10 win over New Orleans. The New York Giants also joined the playoff race, jolting Houston 17-14 on two fourth-quarter touchdowns by rookie Running Back Butch Woolfolk. Chicago blew past New England 26-13 as Jim McMahon, the Bears' first-year quarterback, tossed two touchdown passes. Dallas tied Green Bay and Washington atop the conference standings, at 4-1, by beating the 'Skins 24-10. The Cowboys sacked Washington Quarterback Joe Theismann seven times and intercepted three passes. The Packers blitzed Buffalo 33-21. Del Rodgers recovered a fumble in the end zone for one Green Bay score and Jan Stenerud had four field goals. William Andrews' 86-yard pass reception-run keyed Atlanta's 34-27 comeback win over Denver. St. Louis edged past struggling Philadelphia 23-20. And on Thursday night, San Francisco beat Los Angeles 30-24. In the AFC, Cincinnati beat Baltimore 20-17 to tie Miami, Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Raiders, all 4-1, for the conference lead. Miami defeated Minnesota 22-14, while Pittsburgh got three first-half touchdown passes from Terry Bradshaw en route to a 35-14 rout of Kansas City. The Raiders edged surprising Seattle 28-23 (page 18), while Dan Fouts' 186 yards passing in the first half set up four first-half scores as San Diego romped 30-13 at Cleveland.
HOCKEY—Minnesota, 3-0-1 on the week, relied mainly on the line of Right Wing Dino Ciccarelli, Center Neal Broten and Left Wing Tom McCarthy for its success. That threesome got 22 points last week, including 11 in a 4-1 waxing of Winnipeg. That helped Minnesota move within two points of first-place Chicago in the Norris Division. The Black Hawks, unbeaten in their previous six games, missed an opportunity to widen that margin when they lost 4-2 to Washington. Montreal maintained its hold on the Adams Division lead, but the Canadiens may be hearing footsteps. Boston, unbeaten in seven straight, closed to within two points of first, largely because of a 6-4 win over the Canadiens which was the Bruins' first in Montreal since Oct. 30, 1976. The uninspired—yet still Patrick Division-leading—New York Islanders had a 1-2 week, leaving them 1-4-3 in their last eight starts. Philadelphia, which beat Edmonton 4-2 on two goals from Bill Barber (playing in his 800th NHL game) finished the week three points back of the Isles. The New York Rangers moved to within six points of first, despite falling to Hartford 5-2 as Blaine Stoughton (page 60) scored twice for the Whalers. Edmonton won a Smythe Division showdown with Los Angeles and retained first place by three points over the Kings. Wayne Gretzky set another NHL record. By getting a goal and four assists against L.A., he broke Guy Lafleur's 1976-77 record of scoring at least one point in 28 consecutive games.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: San Diego moved into second place, behind Phoenix (4-2), in the Western Division by beating Chicago 11-5 and Memphis 6-4, sandwiched around a 10-4 drubbing of Los Angeles. A 6-3 win over St. Louis kept Eastern Division-leading Baltimore (7-1) one game ahead of Cleveland, which ran its record to 5-1 with a 9-8 decision over Pittsburgh.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT LLOYD beat Martina Navratilova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to win the $350,000 Australian Open in Melbourne. It was her first victory in that Grand Slam event.
In the finals of a $300,000 WCT tournament in Chicago, WOJTEK FIBAK beat Bill Scanlon 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The Heisman Trophy, to Georgia's junior Running Back HERSCHEL WALKER, 20, who gained 1,752 regular-season yards this year on 335 carries. Stanford Quarterback John Elway finished second in the balloting.
FIRED: As football coach at South Carolina, RICHARD BELL, 45, following a 4-7 season. He was replaced by JOE MORRISON, 45, who coached New Mexico to a 10-1 record this year; DON FAMBROUGH, 60, as Kansas' football coach, after a 2-7-2 season in 1982.
NAMED: As football coach at Michigan State, GEORGE PERLES, 48, former defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who in July had signed on as head coach of the USFL Philadelphia Stars.
RESIGNED: Following a 4-7 season, Tulane Football Coach VINCE GIBSON, 49, who had a three-year, 17-17 record with the Green Wave; North Carolina State Football Coach MONTE KIFFIN, 42, after a 6-5 season in 1982 and a three-year 16-17 mark; WALT NADZAK, 46, Connecticut football coach, who was 5-6 this season and had a six-year record of 24-39-2.
SELECTED: By TAC, LOS ANGELES as site of the 1984 U.S. Olympic track and field trials from June 16 to 24, and Buffalo and Olympia, Wash, as sites of U.S. men's and women's Olympic marathon trials, respectively.
SIGNED: By the New York Yankees, free agent Designated Hitter DON BAYLOR, 33, formerly of the California Angels, to a four-year contract with a one-year option for a reported $800,000 to $900,000 per season plus incentives; by the Pittsburgh Pirates, free agent Utilityman GENE TENACE, 36, late of the St. Louis Cardinals, to a multiyear contract for an undisclosed sum; by Atlanta, free agent lefthanded Relief Pitcher TERRY FORSTER, 30, an erstwhile Los Angeles Dodger, to an estimated three-year, $1.5 million contract.
DIED: Former TCU football coach and National Football Hall of Fame member LEO ROBERT (Dutch) MEYER, 84, of natural causes; in Fort Worth. During his 19 seasons at TCU Meyer had a 109-79-13 record and won the mythical national championship in 1938 and Southwest Conference titles in '38, '44 and '51.