PRO BASKETBALL—Houston was on its way to a resounding 130-93 defeat in Denver when Rocket player-cum-coach Elvin Hayes abruptly called time and removed himself from the game. Only 23 seconds short of surpassing Wilt Chamberlain's NBA career minutes record of 47,859, the 37-year-old Big E called it a night, explaining to reporters that he had "more friends" in Kansas City, the Rockets' next stop, and preferred to break the record there. That he did, but even his season-high 35 points, which moved him past John Havlicek into fourth on the career scoring list with 26,411, weren't enough to keep the Rockets from losing for the 35th time in 41 outings. At the other end of the Midwest Division, the Kings pulled to within one game of San Antonio. Los Angeles, the Pacific Division leader, enjoyed an unblemished week, beating San Diego 107-104, the Spurs 119-110 and Indiana 105-102 to open a six-game lead over Phoenix. Portland and Seattle stayed close behind the Suns, the Trail Blazers pressing on regardless of union problems. The Players' Association contract with the league specifies that players must travel first class on any flight longer than one hour. Because there weren't enough first class seats available on a flight to Dallas and because no coach was prepared to fly, uh, coach, the team traveled on separate aircraft. Divided, the Blazers were conquered as soon as they got back down to earth, losing 121-112 despite leading Maverick scorer Mark Aguirre's failure to score 30 points for the first time in six games. Two days earlier Dallas beat Golden State 112-102, making Dick Motta only the fifth coach in NBA history to win 600 games. In the Eastern Division, the leaders of the Atlantic and Central divisions met at the week's end. Philadelphia of the Atlantic hadn't lost in more than a month; its 14-game winning streak was a club record and the best in the league this season. But when the 76ers Andrew Toney went to the bench with four fouls early in the second half, Milwaukee's Sidney Moncrief, who'd had only six points in the first half, went on a binge. His 30 points and teammate Marques Johnson's 29 were too much for the 76ers, who lost 107-96. Their 34-6 record, however, is still the best in the league, although Boston scrappily remained within three games and New Jersey, winner of 14 of their last 16, within eight.
BOWLING—TOBY CONTRERAS defeated Charlie Tapp 221-212 to win a $135,000 PBA event in Alameda, Calif.
BOXING—Undefeated ROGER MAYWEATHER knocked out favored Samuel Serrano in the eighth round to win the WBA junior lightweight title in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
PRO FOOTBALL—The Washington Redskins defeated the Dallas Cowboys 31-17 to win the NFC title, while the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 14-0 in the AFC championship game (page 16).
January 31, 1983
GOLF—KEITH FERGUS won the $375,000 Bob Hope Desert Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. with a sudden-death victory over Rex Caldwell. Both finished the 90 holes of regular play at 335.
HOCKEY—Los Angeles Center Marcel Dionne, who has played 12 seasons in the NHL, took over seventh place on the league's career points list when he got the deciding goal in a 4-3 defeat of Hartford. Still, the Kings are firmly enthroned in the Smythe Division cellar. An 8-6 loss to Edmonton left them 26 points behind the front-running Oilers. Early in the week, Vancouver too fell to Edmonton, but three days later the Canucks overcame Wayne Gretzky's 41st goal of the season to avenge the 9-4 loss with a 4-3 home victory. Norris Division leader Chicago won twice, 3-2 over Toronto and 4-2 over Hartford, but lost 6-4 to revitalized Washington. The night before, the Capitals had broken a five-game winless streak by defeating Philadelphia, the leaders in the Patrick Division. Goalie Al Jensen turned aside 4-3 Flyer shots as Washington won 4-1 and moved past the New York Rangers, 0-3-1 on the week, into third. In second are the New York Islanders, 10 points back of the Flyers and 1-0 losers against Philadelphia on Darryl Sittler's 1001st NHL point (page 24). It was the second shutout and fifth win in five pro starts for the Flyers' rookie goaltender, Bob Froese. In the Adams Division, streaking Boston increased its lead over Montreal to eight points with wins over Minnesota, Buffalo and Detroit.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Cleveland, which began the week tied with Baltimore atop the Eastern Division, took a great fall. The Force scored seven times only to lose as the Arrows' Paul Kitson scored half his team's 10 goals. Two nights later, Baltimore dispatched Western Division leader Wichita 6-4, while Chicago stung Phoenix, second in the West, 13-6 to move past Cleveland into second. At week's end the Force had a chance to regain a tie for first at Baltimore, but the Blast held on for a 7-5 win. Memphis lost games to Buffalo (7-6) and Kansas City (4-3) to sink past Pittsburgh into Eastern oblivion, despite the three goals of Stan Stamenkovic, who leads the league in scoring with 62 points.
SPEED SKATING—ANDREA SCHONE set a women's world record of 7:40.97 in the 5,000 meters, shaving almost nine seconds from Karen Enke's month-old mark.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL beat John McEnroe 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to win the $400,000 Volvo Masters tournament in New York (page 26).
Gene Mayer beat Roscoe Tanner 7-6, 7-6 to win the men's title in a $100,000 event in Cincinnati, while HANA MANDLIKOVA won the women's crown with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Billie Jean King.
TRACK & FIELD—Three world indoor records were established in Los Angeles: BILLY OLSON pole vaulted 18'10¾" to surpass his own week-old record by ½ of an inch; EVELYN ASHFORD won the women's 50-yard dash in 5.77, .03 faster than the mark set by Andrea Lynch in 1978 and matched by Jeanette Bolden in 1982; MARY DECKER TABB broke Joan Hansen's 1982 women's two-mile record of 9:37.03 with a clocking of 9:31.7.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By the USSF and NASL, the formation of Team America, a national team which will be based in Washington and compete as a franchise in the league and as the U.S. representative in international competition.
RESTORED: By the International Olympic Committee, to the family of Jim Thorpe, gold medals that Thorpe won in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. In 1913 Thorpe was stripped of his medals when he admitted he had accepted money to play a few games of semipro baseball in 1909 and 1910.
SENTENCED: In Federal Circuit Court in Miami, to 20 years in prison for cocaine trafficking and five for conspiracy, former Miami Dolphins Running Back EUGENE (Mercury) MORRIS, 36.
TRADED: By the Los Angeles Dodgers, Third Baseman RON CEY, 34, to the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers; by the Oakland A's, Pitcher BRIAN KINGMAN, 28, to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later; by the Seattle Mariners, Catcher JIM ESSIAN, 32, to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later.
By the Chicago Bulls, Center-Forward COBY DIETRICK, 34, to the San Antonio Spurs in exchange for a fourth-round 1983 draft choice.
DIED: GARRINCHA (Manuel Francisco dos Santos), 49, former soccer star who overcame polio as a child and later led Brazil to the World Cup in 1958 and '62; of alcoholism; in Rio de Janeiro.
Bill Bonthron, 70, former world-record holder in the 1,500-meter run, American-record holder in the mile and Sullivan Award winner; of acute respiratory failure; in Princeton, N.J. Bonthron was most noted for his duels with Glenn (The Kansas Ironman) Cunningham: In 1934 he beat Cunningham with a lunge at the tape to win the Baxter Mile, edged him again while setting the 1,500 mark of 3:48.8 and finished second to Cunningham in the latter's world-record mile at Princeton.