PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: "Winning close games is Raider tradition, it doesn't matter who's wearing the uniform," said quarterback Jim Plunkett after Los Angeles overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat San Diego 33-30 for the Raiders' 21st victory in 24 Monday night appearances. The uniforms that mattered most were filled by Plunkett, who completed 24 of 33 passes for 363 yards, and Marcus Allen, who had 109 total yards and four touchdowns. Then on Sunday, L.A. broke tradition by losing a close one to Denver 16-13 (page 16). Miami remained undefeated as quarterback Dan Marino ran up a Dolphin single-game passing yardage record of 424 yards on 24 completions in 36 attempts against a makeshift St. Louis secondary, which was missing two injured starters. Marino, the NFL's top-rated passer, had three TD throws, to run his season's total to 15, in the Dolphins' 36-28 win. The league's only other unbeaten team, the 49ers, featured the sore-ribbed Joe Montana in a custom-made flak jacket passing for 149 yards and two scores in a 14-5 victory over Atlanta. Another sterling quarterback performance was turned in by second-year man Tony Eason of the Patriots, who threw three TD passes and ran for a fourth as New England beat the Jets 28-21. At the other end of the experience spectrum, 18-year veteran Jan Stenerud of the Vikings kicked four field goals—giving him 14 in 15 attempts this season—but Minnesota still came up short in a 20-12 loss to Seattle. Cleveland's Paul McDonald had a Sunday to forget, but he probably won't be able to. He completed passes of 67 and 22 yards to Deron Cherry and Ken McAlister, respectively, but they both play for Kansas City. He was also sacked 11 times, one short of the NFL record, as the Browns lost to the Chiefs 10-6. The Giants set a record for futility as they were nailed for three safeties in their 33-12 loss to the Rams. Walter Payton had a day that was typical of his frustrating career with Chicago; he rushed for 155 yards while the Bears lost to Dallas 23-14. He now needs only 66 yards to overtake Jim Brown as the career rushing leader. Washington continued to rebound from its poor start by shutting out Philadelphia 20-0. Joe Theismann passed for only 114 yards but he ran six times for 56 more, and John Riggins rambled for 104 as the Skins won their third straight. Another improving team is Tampa Bay, which equaled last year's win total, two, with a 30-27 overtime victory against Green Bay. Obed Arid kicked a 48-yard field goal for the Bucs to win it. Elsewhere, San Diego outlasted Detroit 27-24; Houston remained winless, losing 27-10 to New Orleans, and the Colts conquered Buffalo 31-17 to win their first game in Indianapolis.
GOLF—CURTIS STRANGE shot a final-round 71 to finish with a 15-under-par 273 and beat Mark O'Meara by two strokes in a $350,000 PGA tournament in Abilene, Texas.
Severiano Ballesteros defeated Bernhard Langer 2 and 1 to win the $183,000 World Match Play championship in Virginia Water, England.
HARNESS RACING—BROADWAY EXPRESS ($18.40), driven by Mickey McNichol, defeated Praised Dignity by 1½ lengths to win the $611,800 Peter Haughton Memorial Pace at Roosevelt Raceway. The colt covered the mile in 1:58, a track record for 2-year olds.
HORSE RACING—SLEW O' GOLD ($3.60), with Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, beat Carr de Naskra by 1¾ lengths to win the $400,000 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park. The 4-year-old ran the 1¼ miles in 2:02[2/5] (page 24).
MOTOR SPORTS—The team of RANDY LANIER and DALE WHITTINGTON, driving a March 84G Chevrolet, finished 93.4 seconds ahead of John Kalagian and John Lloyd, also in a March-Chevy, to win the New York 500 at Watkins Glen. The winners averaged 98.607 mph for the 500 kilometers on the 3.377-mile circuit, and the victory clinched the International Motor Sports Association's GT series championship for Lanier.
Mario Andretti, in a Lola T-800, finished 1.4 seconds ahead of Tom Sneva, in a March 84C, to win a $302,000 CART event in Brooklyn, Mich. Andretti averaged 168.506 mph for the 100 laps around the two-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway in the rain-interrupted race. Earlier, JOHNNY RUTHERFORD, driving a March 84C, qualified on the pole at 215.189 mph, a record for Indy Cars.
SOCCER—NASL: Chicago, paced by two goals from Pato Margetic and a goal and two assists from Karl-Heinz Granitza, beat Vancouver 4-3 to win their semifinal playoff series two games to one. The Sting thus advanced to the Soccer Bowl against Toronto.
TENNIS—In the semifinals of the Davis Cup, the UNITED STATES beat defending champion Australia 4-1 in Portland, Ore., and SWEDEN qualified for the final for the second straight year with a 5-0 defeat of Czechoslovakia in Bastad, Sweden.
Martina Navratilova defeated Zina Garrison 6-4, 6-3 to win a $150,000 WTA event in New Orleans and extend her streak of consecutive match victories to 65.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As manager of the Milwaukee Brewers, GEORGE BAMBERGER, 59, who also was the Brewers' skipper in 1978-80. He replaces RENE LACHEMANN, 39, who was fired after one season and a 67-94 record.
INDUCTED: Into the NHL Hall of Fame, PHIL ESPOSITO, 42, high-scoring center for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers from 1963-64 to 1980-81; JACQUES LeMAIRE, 39, center for the Montreal Canadiens from 1967-68 to 1978-79; BERNIE PARENT, 39, goaltender for the 1974 and '75 Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers; PUNCH IMLACH, 66, who coached Toronto from 1958-59 to 1968-69 and again in 1979-80, and won four Stanley Cups during that time; and JAKE MILFORD, 68, longtime executive with the Vancouver Canucks.
NAMED: As manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, JOHN FELSKE, 42, a coach this past season, replacing PAUL OWENS, 60, who will stay with the organization as an administrative assistant. Owens had a record of 128-111 since taking over the club in July of 1983.
As Most Valuable Player of the NASL, STEVE ZUNGUL of the Golden Bay Earthquakes, who led the league in scoring with 50 points on 20 goals and 10 assists.
PLACED ON PROBATION: For two years by the NCAA, the UNIVERSITY OF AKRON basketball program, for rules violations that included illegal financial assistance and improper academic credits. Akron will be ineligible for postseason play in 1985, and the number of its scholarships will be reduced from 15 to 13.
TRADED: By the Milwaukee Bucks, forward MARQUES JOHNSON, 28, swingman JUNIOR BRIDGEMAN, 31, and center HARVEY CATCHINGS, 33, to the San Diego Clippers for forward TERRY CUMMINGS, 23, and guards CRAIG HODGES, 24, and RICKY PIERCE, 25.
By the San Diego Chargers, four-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman GARY JOHNSON, 32, to the San Francisco 49ers for two 1986 draft choices.