PRO BASKETBALL—With only four games in two weeks, the Hawks played .500 ball and remained in first in the Central Division. But the Bucks, who won four of five, and the red-hot Pistons, who won six of seven, were gaining ground. Detroit has now won 13 of its last 16 games. For the Bulls, Michael Jordan, averaging 38 points a game, proved only that when he's hot, he sizzles, as he netted 44 in a 105-93 win over the Pacers, despite a fever of more than 100°. The Celtics stayed atop the East, winning four of six, and widened the gap over the second-place 76ers, who went three for eight, in spite of some sparkling performances from Charles Barkley. Philadelphia fans gave a standing O to an old favorite when the Bullets' Moses Malone visited the Spectrum for the first time since his off-season trade. Malone showed his appreciation by scoring 28 points and pulling down 21 boards in the 102-97 Washington victory and capped his performance with three steals and no turnovers in 41 minutes. In the Midwest the Mavericks overtook the Jazz for the top spot, but not by much. The highlight of Dallas's 5-1 stretch came in a 130-119 thumping of the Lakers, courtesy of Rolando Blackman, who netted 39. Utah trails by only half a game, having won 11 of its last 13. In the West the Lakers went six for seven to stay in first. And a bit of sunlight crept into the East's basement and subbasement as the Knicks won three straight (they hadn't won two straight since last March), and the Nets won three of their last four.
BOXING—BOBBY CZYZ retained his IBF light heavyweight title by stopping David Sears in the first round, in West Orange, N.J.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—BOSTON COLLEGE beat Georgia 27-24 in the Hall of Fame Bowl; ALABAMA routed Washington 28-6 in the Sun Bowl; CLEMSON downed Stanford 27-21 in the Gator Bowl; ARIZONA beat North Carolina 30-21 in the Aloha Bowl.
PRO FOOTBALL—In the final week of the regular season the Redskins, who had already clinched a wild-card berth, topped the Eagles 21-14. The Patriots beat Miami 34-27 to win the AFC East title, leaving the Jets, who were routed by the Bengals 52-21, with a wild-card spot. The 49ers won the NFC West crown with a 24-14 victory over the Rams, but L.A. got a wild-card spot. And Kansas City won the fourth wild-card place by downing the Steelers 24-19. The NFC East champion Giants trounced the Packers 55-24 to give New York the home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bears, the NFC Central champs, edged the Lions 16-13 on Monday and six days later subdued the Cowboys 24-10. The Seahawks trounced the AFC West champion Broncos 41-16, and the AFC Central champion Browns trampled the Chargers 47-17. Elsewhere the Colts beat the Raiders 30-24; the Cardinals sank the Buccaneers 21-17, giving the Bucs the No. 1 draft pick; the Oilers drubbed the Bills 16-7; the Vikings beat the Saints 33-17; and the Falcons overcame the Lions 20-6. In the wild-card playoffs (page 12), the Jets defeated the Chiefs 35-15 in the AFC, and in the NFC the Redskins beat the Rams 19-7.
January 5, 1987
HOCKEY—The Adams race heated up a bit when the upstart Whalers went 4-1-2 to move past the Bruins and Canadiens for a taste of life at the top. In the first game of a home-and-home series against Montreal, Whaler center Doug Jarvis played in his 915th consecutive regular season game to set an NHL record; the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Hartford then lost to Montreal 6-2 on Saturday and had to share the division lead with the Habs. The Flyers (3-2) stayed on top in the Patrick, paced by Tim Kerr, who had a couple of hat tricks: the first in a 9-4 win over the Islanders and the second three nights later in a 7-6 victory over the Blues. The Isles, meanwhile, moved into second in the Patrick, past the slumping Penguins, who are playing without their star, Mario Lemieux, who has been sidelined with a knee injury. Only one point separates the five teams in the Norris, with Detroit (3-2-2), Toronto (2-3-1) and Minnesota (3-4) all tied at 33 points. Things are not so cozy in the Smythe, where the Oilers went 3-1-1 to keep a firm hold on the lead. They started with a 5-3 win over the Nordiques, a victory powered by Wayne Gretzky, who scored four goals and set up the fifth. Three nights later everyone got in on the act in a wild 8-8 tie between the Oilers and the Kings, in which 13 players scored.
INDOOR SOCCER—Baltimore remained on top in the East with two wins and a loss as the Blast continued to get strong goaltending from Keith Van Eron, who leads the league with a 2.67 GAA. Tacoma stayed atop the West with a perfect 4-for-4 record, 2 of those wins coming in overtime against defending champion San Diego.
SAILING—America's Cup: In the best-of-seven semifinal challenger series Stars & Stripes was leading USA 2-0, and New Zealand was leading French Kiss 2-0. In the defender's semifinals, Australia IV was tied with Kookaburra III (59 points) followed by Kookaburra II (52 points) and Steak 'n Kidney (12 points) (page 46).
SKIING—TAMARA McKINNEY won a World Cup women's slalom race in Courmayeur, Italy.
TENNIS—Australia won the Davis Cup title by defeating Sweden 3-2 in Melbourne (page 26).
MILEPOSTS—BARRED: By the NCAA from participation in the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl between Arkansas and Oklahoma, Oklahoma All-America linebacker BRIAN BOSWORTH, two other Sooners and an Arkansas player, after they tested positive for anabolic steroids (page 20).
FIRED: As football coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, DAN KENNING, 44, who had a 7-8-1 record this season and was 22-41-1 in four years with the team. As football coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LEEMAN BENNETT, 48, who was 2-14 this season and 4-28 in two years with the team.
NAMED: As coach of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, TED SATOR, 37, who had held that position with the New York Rangers before being fired on Nov. 21. He succeeds Craig Ramsay, who served as coach after Scotty Bowman resigned on Nov. 5.
As football coach of LSU, MIKE ARCHER, 43, who had been the team's defensive coordinator. He succeeds Bill Arnsparger, who resigned effective Jan. 2. As football coach of Iowa State, JIM WALDEN, 48, who resigned that position at Washington State. He succeeds Jim Criner, who was fired on Nov. 12. As football coach at Navy, ELLIOT UZELAC, 45, who was an assistant coach at Michigan. He succeeds Gary Tranquill, fired on Dec. 7. As football coach of Virginia Tech, FRANK BEAMER, 40, who had held that position with Murray State. He succeeds Bill Dooley, who resigned effective Jan. 1. As football coach at Dartmouth, BUDDY TEEVENS, 30, who had held that position at Maine. He succeeds Joe Yukica, who resigned on Nov. 24.
SIGNED: By the Oakland A's, free agent REGGIE JACKSON, 40, who played for the team from 1967 to '75.
TRADED: By the Philadelphia Flyers, goalie BOB FROESE, 28, to the New York Rangers, for defenseman KJELL SAMUELSSON, 30, and a second-round draft pick in 1989.