PRO BASKETBALL—The road, generally hazardous to NBA teams, proved relatively hospitable. Visitors, who had won only 176 of 538 games entering the week, were 5-0 on Wednesday and 17-19 overall. Boston led the way, marching through Denver 119-105, Golden State 134-112 and Portland 131-116 before falling 106-103 to the Lakers in a clash of titans (page 20). In the Atlantic Division, the Celtics had a nine-game edge over Philadelphia, which lost Charles Barkley and three games. Detroit won twice on the road—123-113 in OT over Philadelphia and 113-109 over Cleveland—before coming home to a league-record crowd of 52,745 at the Pontiac Silverdome, where it took an outright Central Division lead with a 125-107 win over the Sixers. Atlanta was 1½ games back after losses to Golden State 103-96 and Portland 98-93. While visiting New Jersey, Houston coach Bill Fitch became the fifth NBA coach to win 700 regular-season games when the Rockets beat the Nets 121-99. Only Red Auerbach, Jack Ramsay, Dick Motta and Gene Shue have more. The Rockets were three games behind Utah and six behind Midwest Division leader Dallas, which sandwiched wins over Portland 135-115 and the Clippers 138-107 around a 129-125 loss to Sacramento. The Lakers led Portland by eight games in the Pacific, after beating the Kings 114-98 and Indiana 113-108.
BIATHLON—JOSH THOMPSON won the U.S.'s first medal ever in international competition by placing second in the 20-km race to FRANK-PETER ROETSCH of East Germany, who also won the 10-km event, at the world championships, in Lake Placid, N.Y. (page 54).
BOWLING—WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR. beat Marshall Holman 277-205 to earn $27,000 at a PBA event in Miami.
BOXING—EVANDER HOLYFIELD stopped Henry Tillman at 1:43 of the seventh round to retain his WBA junior heavyweight title, in Reno.
February 23, 1987
Francesco Damiani scored a first-round knockout of Eddie Gregg to win the WBC junior heavyweight title, in Lucca, Italy.
GOLF—GEORGE BURNS fired a 22-under-par 266 to win the Andy Williams Open by four strokes, at La Jolla, Calif. Craig Stadler, who finished tied with J.C. Snead and Bobby Wadkins for second, was disqualified for failing to assess a penalty on himself after he "built his stance" by kneeling on a towel to play a shot from beneath a tree.
HOCKEY—After the NHL All-Stars split their Rendez-Vous 87 series with the Soviets, winning 4-3, then losing 5-3 (page 12), league play resumed. Dave Poulin, who scored the game-winner for the All-Stars on Wednesday, tallied twice as Patrick Division-leading Philadelphia beat St. Louis 4-2 to avoid what would have been the Flyers' longest losing streak (5) in 15 years. Philly had a 17-point division lead over the Islanders. In the Smythe, Edmonton was comfortable, too, leading Winnipeg by 12 points despite losing to Washington 5-3. Detroit held on to a one-point edge in the Norris by winning its third straight (5-1 over New Jersey), while Minnesota split a pair, losing 3-2 to Calgary before edging St. Louis 3-2. The Adams remained a three-way battle: Montreal beat Winnipeg 5-2 to take sole possession of second, one point behind Hartford and two points up on Boston.
HORSE RACING—LAUNCH A PEGASUS ($7.80), a 5-year-old horse with Jorge Velasquez aboard, beat Creme Fraiche by four lengths to win $120,000 in the 1¼-mile Widener Handicap, at Hialeah.
INDOOR SOCCER—Cleveland's Kai Haaskivi scored 32 seconds into overtime in the Eastern Division's 6-5 win over the Western at the MISL All-Star Game, in Inglewood, Calif. Steve Zungul of Tacoma led the losers with a goal and two assists, boosting his All-Star career point total to a record 16. In regular-season play, Cleveland beat Dallas 6-4 and St. Louis 4-3 for a l½-game edge in the East, and Tacoma led the West by three games after losing to Wichita 8-7 and Chicago 7-5.
MOTOR SPORTS—BILL ELLIOTT, in a Ford Thunderbird, averaged 176.263 mph around the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway tri-oval to win $204,150 and the Daytona 500 (page 32).
SKIING—INGEMAR STENMARK of Sweden won his 40th World Cup slalom race, in Markstein, France; PIRMIN ZURBRIGGEN of Switzerland won a giant slalom in Todtnau, West Germany; and VRENI SCHNEIDER of Switzerland won the women's slalom and giant slalom in France.
SPEED SKATING—NIKOLAI GULYAEV of the Soviet Union set a world record of 1:52.70 in the 1,500 meters and took second in the 500 and 5,000 to win the overall men's world championship title, in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. LEO VISSER of the Netherlands established a world record in the 5,000 (6:47.01), and GEIR KARLSTAD of Norway set a world mark in the 10,000 (14:03.92).
TENNIS—STEFAN EDBERG won the U.S. National Indoor Championship and $45,000, in Memphis, when Jimmy Connors was forced to retire due to a knee injury. Edberg was leading 6-3, 2-1.
Zina Garrison beat Sylvia Hanika 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to win $33,300 and the Virginia Slims of California tournament, in San Francisco.
TRACK & FIELD—WERNER GUNTHOR of Switzerland set a world indoor shot-put record with a toss of 73'½", 4½" better than Ulf Timmermann's two-year-old mark, in Magglingen, Switzerland; IGOR LOTORYEV of the Soviet Union ran the 1,000 meters in 2:18.0 to shave .58 of a second off Sebastian Coe's four-year-old record, in Moscow; and YORDANKA DONKOVA of Bulgaria improved the women's 60-meter hurdles mark by .01 with a 7.74, in Sofia, Bulgaria.
MILEPOSTS—ARRESTED: Indianapolis Colts quarterback JACK TRUDEAU, 24, on charges of battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct, both of which he denies, following an incident outside an Indianapolis restaurant.
AWARDED: To Detroit Tiger pitcher JACK MORRIS, 31, the richest contract in salary arbitration history, by arbiter Richard Bloch. Morris, who had a 21-8 record with a major league-leading six shutouts, will receive $1.85 million for one season rather than the $1.35 million the Tigers offered.
FIRED: As head coach of the Sacramento Kings, PHIL JOHNSON, 45, who had a 14-32 record this season. Kings assistant JERRY REYNOLDS, 43, was named interim coach.
SIGNED: By the Baltimore Orioles, third baseman RAY KNIGHT, 34, who won 1986 World Series MVP honors with the New York Mets, to a one-year contract worth $500,000.
TRADED: By the San Antonio Spurs, forward-center MYCHAL THOMPSON, 32, to the Los Angeles Lakers for forward-center FRANK BRICKOWSKI, 27, center PETUR GUDMUNDSSON, 28, two draft choices and cash.
DIED: JOE YOUNG, 38, a race driver for 10 years; of multiple injuries incurred in a six-car crash during the Komfort Koach 200, a subcompact race; at Daytona International Speedway. Another driver, Duell Sturgill, suffered fractures to both legs in the crash.