PRO BASKETBALL—"It was devastating," said Portland forward Clyde Drexler after fast-breaking Los Angeles thrashed the Trail Blazers 125-101 in the opening round of their Western Conference semifinal series. Earlier in the week the Lakers swept Phoenix from the playoffs, while Portland eliminated Dallas 3-1. Blazer forward Mychal Thompson said, "Playing the Mavericks is like playing chess. The Lakers are like the 100-yard dash." Also in the West, Houston and Utah split their first four games before the Jazz won the series final 104-97 (page 22). Utah will now face Denver, which also needed five games to oust San Antonio. Back East, Bulls guard Michael Jordan has been sporting some fancy footwear but not the glass slipper Chicago needed; Milwaukee overpowered the Bulls 105-97 on Friday to win their series 3-1. Philadelphia eliminated Washington 3-1 before routing Milwaukee 127-105 in their first East semifinal match. With Boston forward Larry Bird sidelined with an elbow injury, Cleveland won Game 3 105-98—the Cavaliers' first win in their last 17 games against the Celtics. Bird returned for Game 4, scored 34 points, and the Cavs were dead. "I was so sky high, I didn't even think about my elbow," said Bird, who averaged 35 points-per-game against the Cavaliers. On Sunday the defending champion Celtics beat Detroit 133-99 in the first game in their Eastern semifinal series.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: The league's owners, who had been supporting the financially beleaguered Los Angeles Express, met to consider disbanding the franchise but decided to continue subsidies. On the field, the Express beat Portland 17-12. The USFL's financial problems weren't limited to Los Angeles. Birmingham, coleader in the East, succumbed to Jacksonville 27-17, after asking the city for a $1 million loan to stay afloat. The Bulls have lost $7.4 million since 1983. Baltimore, considered one of the league's more stable franchises, has lost even more since '83—$10 million; the Stars were defeated by Tampa Bay 28-14. Denver (whose home attendance is down 29,000 a game from two years ago) lost 33-17 to Memphis (which has had a 21% attendance increase) and relinquished its Western Conference lead. Oakland (down at the gate 17%) beat San Antonio 27-20 and Arizona 27-11. During Monday night's game against the Gunslingers, Invader offensive tackle Ray Pinney caught a three-yard touchdown pass. He has just four career receptions and has averaged only 2.2 yards per catch, but all have been for TDs.
GOLF—RAYMOND FLOYD shot an 11-under-par 277 to win the $500,000 Houston Open. Bob Lohr and David Frost tied for second place, one stroke back.
Alice Miller shot a 16-under-par 272, six strokes better than runners-up Kay Kennedy and Mindy Moore, to win a $175,000 LPGA event in St. Petersburg, Fla.
May 5, 1985
Gene Littler and partner Don January defeated three other twosomes by a single stroke to win the $500,000 Legends of Golf tournament in Austin, Texas. Littler and January shot a 23-under-par 257 in the better-ball senior event (page 62).
HOCKEY—Team USA, with a 1-1-1 record for the week, earned a medal-round berth in the World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague along with Czechoslovakia, Canada and the Soviet Union.
PRO HOCKEY—All four of 1984's division champs made it to the division finals again, but only defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton has survived for sure. The Oilers swept Winnipeg for the Smythe crown to remain unbeaten in the '85 playoffs. In the 8-3 clincher over the Jets, Edmonton's Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky each had a hat trick, the Great One in a seven-point performance that tied his own NHL playoff record. In the Patrick race, Philadelphia eliminated the Islanders 4-1. Quebec, which had gone 1-6-1 against Montreal all season, held a surprising 3-2 advantage over the Canadiens in the battle for the Adams Division title. Former Norris Division champ Minnesota trailed Chicago 3-2 (page 30).
HORSE RACING—Kentucky Derby favorite CHIEF'S CROWN ($2.60), Don MacBeth in the saddle, outdistanced Floating Reserve by 5½ lengths to win the $201,600 Blue Grass Stakes in Lexington, Ky. (page 18).
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Top-seeded San Diego swept Kansas City in their best-of-five quarterfinal series. "You don't coach them," coach Ron Newman bragged about his Sockers, "you coax them." Also advancing to the semifinals were Baltimore, which blasted Los Angeles three straight, and Cleveland, which eliminated Chicago in four. Wild-card entry Minnesota led Las Vegas two games to one in the one unresolved quarterfinal series.
MOTOR SPORTS—Harry Gant, in a Chevrolet, beat Ricky Rudd by three seconds to win a $278,000 NASCAR event in Martinsville, Va. Gant averaged 73.02 mph for 500 laps on the .526-mile oval.
TENNIS—JOHN McENROE beat Paul Annacone 7-6, 7-6, 6-2 to take a $375,000 WCT tournament in Atlanta.
Martina Navratilova crushed 15-year-old Katerina Maleeva 6-1, 6-0 to finish first in the $200,000 Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Fla.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As manager of the New York Yankees, YOGI BERRA, 59. He will be replaced by BILLY MARTIN, 57, who takes the Yankee helm for the fourth time (page 14).
As coach of the Seattle SuperSonics, LENNY WILKENS, 47, following a 31-51 season in which the team failed to qualify for the playoffs. Wilkens, a 13-year NBA coaching veteran who guided Seattle to the 1979 league championship, will replace Les Habegger as general manager.
HIRED: As basketball coach at Tulsa, J.D. BARNETT, 41, who had a 132-48 record in six seasons at Virginia Commonwealth. Barnett replaces Nolan Richardson, who resigned to take the head coaching job at Arkansas.
SENTENCED: To 23 years in prison following conviction on racketeering, extortion, conspiracy and drug-trafficking charges, DENNY McLAIN, 41, in Tampa. McLain, a two-time Cy Young Award winner and the last major league pitcher to win 30 games in a season (he won 31 for Detroit in 1968) will be eligible for parole after serving one-third of the sentence. His lawyer said he would appeal.
TRADED: By the Denver Broncos, quarterback SCOTT BRUNNER, 28, to the Green Bay Packers for an undisclosed 1986 draft choice.
By the New Orleans Saints, running back GEORGE ROGERS, 26, and the club's fifth-, 10th- and 11th-round choices in this week's NFL college draft to Washington in exchange for the Redskins' first-round choice. Rogers, the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner, rushed for 4,267 yards in four seasons with the Saints.
DIED: RIVA RIDGE, the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner, at 16, apparently from a heart attack on April 21, at Claiborne Farm near Lexington, Ky. The bay stallion, former stablemate of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat, retired to stud late in '73.