U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM QUALIFIER
This is an article from the May 14, 1984 issue
ROWING—SINGLE SCULL: John Biglow, Bellevue, Wash.
PRO BASKETBALL—After suffering early knockdowns, three playoff underdogs, New York, New Jersey and Dallas, fought back in their respective best-of-seven conference semifinal playoff battles against Boston, Milwaukee and Los Angeles. In the Knicks-Celtics series, the combination of Larry Bird (60 points and 20 rebounds) and Kevin McHale (23-of-28 shooting and 49 points) in the first two games had New York on the ropes. Then the Knicks regrouped. Guard Ray Williams, to that point a playoff lightweight—he had converted only 22 of 74 shots—scored 22 in a 100-92 victory that cut the Celtics' edge to 2-1. Bernard King, who under Bird's close guarding had scored just 63 points the first three games, then followed with 43 points on 17-for-25 shooting as the Knicks won the series-tying fourth game 118-113. Also in the East, the Nets won their first home playoff game in seven years. Trailing the Bucks 2-1 after 98-94 and 100-93 losses earlier in the week, New Jersey rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit for a 106-99 victory. "If we had lost that game we'd have been in the freezer," said New Jersey forward Buck Williams, who thawed out in the final quarter, scoring 11 of his 18 points. In the Western Conference, the Mavs KO'd the Lakers 125-115, as Mark Aguirre, who had been held to just 30 points in the first two games, shook off Kurt Rambis and James Worthy long enough to score 21 points. "A win like that can do a lot for our team," said Dallas coach Dick Motta. "We know now what it takes to win." Unfortunately, nobody passed the word to Mavs' rookie guard Derek Harper. With the score tied at 108 and, about five seconds left in regulation of Game 4, Harper, thinking his team was ahead, dribbled out the clock. Dallas eventually lost 122-115 in OT to trail the Lakers 3-1 in the series. In the other Western semi, Phoenix led 3-1 over Utah (page 74).
BOWLING—KAREN ELLINGSWORTH defeated Lorrie Nichols 236-217 for her first pro victory in the women's $50,000 U.S. Open in Chesterfield, Mo.
BOXING—OSVALDO OCASIO retained his WBA junior heavyweight title with a 15th-round TKO of John Odhiambo in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: In the 1983 Heisman Trophy balloting, quarterback Steve Young, then of BYU, played second fiddle to Nebraska's Mike Rozier, but it was Young who called the tune in their first professional meeting. In leading Los Angeles past Pittsburgh 20-12, Young completed 12 of 24 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. In his first six games Young has delivered for the Express, connecting on 58.7% of his 189 passes for 1,486 yards and seven TDs. That's good enough for the second best quarterback rating in the West. Rozier, meanwhile, has been playing as if he were carrying the Heisman Trophy: He has gained over 583 yards on 163 carries, a 3.6 average. L.A. is now in second place, behind Pacific Division-leading Denver, a 20-17 loser to Oakland, whose Kevin Shea nailed a 27-yard field goal in OT. In Birmingham, two division leaders with 9-1 records squared off, with the Stallions (Southern) losing to Philadelphia (Atlantic) 43-11. Tampa Bay won its fifth straight, 31-13 in Jacksonville before 71,174 fans, the second-largest crowd in league history. In other games, first-place Michigan broke a four-game losing streak and a three-way tie for the Central Division lead by handling erstwhile co-leader Houston 31-28 in OT. New Jersey trumped Oklahoma, another former Central pacesetter, 49-17. San Antonio defeated Chicago 30-21; and in the battle of cellar-dwellers, Memphis, now 4-7 in the Southern Division, waxed Washington, last in the Atlantic, 13-10 in OT.
GOLF—TOM WATSON shot a 14-under-par 274 to win the $400,000 Tournament of Champions in Carlsbad, Calif. by five strokes over Bruce Lietzke.
HOCKEY—Edmonton advanced to the Stanley Cup finals for the second consecutive year with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota that completed the Oilers' sweep of their best-of-seven Campbell Conference championship round (page 41). The four-time defending Cup champion Islanders finished off their rally from an 0-2 deficit to defeat Montreal in six games in their Wales Conference series (page 36).
HORSE RACING—SWALE ($8.80), Laffit Pincay Jr. up, thundered to a 3-length victory over Coax Me Chad in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old colt covered the 1¼ miles in 2:02[2/5] to win a Derby-record $537,400 (page 26).
MOTOR SPORTS—Pole-sitter CALE YARBOROUGH charged past Harry Gant on the final lap to win a $475,715,500-mile NASCAR race at the Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega. Yarborough, in a Chevy, averaged a race-record 172.988 mph on the 2.66-mile oval course to beat Gant, who also drove a Chevy, by a car length.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: "Playoffs in this league don't mean as much as they do in the NHL or NBA," said Kansas City general manager Tim Leiweke, explaining a sudden decline in ticket sales from the regular season to the postseason. "We're so new, the excitement isn't generated until the final round." Whether K.C. will still be selling tickets by then is debatable. Despite the Komets' 2-1 win at home Saturday night before 15,007 fans, 779 less than their league-leading attendance average of 15,786, they trailed St. Louis two games to one in their best-of-five Western Division semifinal. In the other divisional semifinal, Wichita defeated Los Angeles 6-5 on Sunday to close out that series 3-1. Cleveland beat Pittsburgh 5-3 to finish off that series in four games. A 4-3 Baltimore win over New York gave the Blast a 2-1 edge in the other Eastern semifinal series.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT LLOYD beat Andrea Jaeger 6-3, 6-0 to win the $150,000 South African Open in Johannesburg.
TRACK & FIELD—SABINE PAETZ of East Germany broke the world heptathlon record in Potsdam, East Germany with 6,868 points, eclipsing the mark set in 1983 by countrywoman Ramona Neubert by 32 points.
VOLLEYBALL—UCLA won its fourth straight NCAA men's title by defeating Pepperdine 15-11, 15-13, 16-18, 15-12 in Los Angeles.
MILEPOSTS—GRANTED: U.S. citizenship to middle-distance runner SYDNEY MAREE, 27, a native of South Africa. Maree, now eligible for a spot on the U.S. 1984 Olympic track and field team, called the occasion "the most important of my life."
SENTENCED: To a mandatory one-year jail term after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in Salem, Mass. Superior Court, Boston Bruin forward CRAIG MacTAVISH, 25. The charge resulted from a car accident last Jan. 25 in which Kim Radley, 26, of Newfield, Maine, was killed after the car she was driving was hit by one operated by MacTavish. He is scheduled to surrender to the Essex County sheriff May 14.
DIED: J.C. (AGGIE) AGAJANIAN, 70, the so-called dean of Indianapolis 500 car owners who had sponsored cars annually at Indy since 1948; of complications arising from a two-year battle with pneumonia; in Los Angeles. Agajanian's cars, traditionally No. 98, twice won the 500, in 1952 with Troy Ruttman at the wheel and in 1963 with Parnelli Jones driving. Agajanian Enterprises will cosponsor driver Kevin Cogan at Indy this year.