PRO BASKETBALL—As the 42nd NBA season opened, the Los Angeles Lakers appeared eager to show that they could do what no team has done since the Boston Celtics of 1968-69: repeat as NBA champions. Led by Magic Johnson's 26 points—10 in the fourth quarter—the Lakers began their quest with a 113-109 defeat of the Sonics and added a 101-92 win over the Rockets. In Boston's 125-108 defeat of the Bucks, Larry Bird had 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists—and he was just warming up. The next night he scored 19 fourth-quarter points, including a running one-hander from 24 feet that sent the game into overtime, and then hit a 20-foot jump shot at the end of the second OT period to give the Celtics a 140-139 win over the Bullets. The Doctor-less 76ers, paced by Charles Barkley's 29 points, beat the Pacers 108-95 but lost 104-94 to the Bulls, who got 36 points from Michael Jordan and 21 rebounds from Charles Oakley. Sparked by 53 points from Dominique Wilkins, the Hawks opened with a pair of wins, 114-97 over the Bullets and 113-105 over the Cavaliers. In the Midwest the Nuggets opened with a club-record 46-point thrashing of the Clippers, 139-93, and then squeaked by the Warriors 103-99. The Trail Blazers also went 2-0, beating the Suns 118-104 and the Clippers 124-99. Otis Thorpe had 31 points as the Kings beat the Warriors 134-106 in Bill Russell's debut, but the next night Sacramento made 31 turnovers and lost to Utah 121-100 (page 36). The Knicks dropped their first two games under Rick Pitino, 110-99 to the Pistons and 108-95 to the Pacers.
PRO FOOTBALL—For the third week in a row the Chicago Bears rallied to win in the fourth quarter. This time Kevin Butler's 52-yard field goal on the game's final play beat the Packers 26-24 and made the Bears 7-1 (page 28). When San Diego's Vince Abbott booted a 39-yard field goal in the waning seconds to beat Indianapolis 16-13, it marked the fifth time in six weeks that the Chargers had come on to win in the fourth quarter or in overtime. Joe Montana threw three TD passes as the 49ers, leaders in the NFC West, won their seventh straight, 27-20 over the Oilers. Washington went to Philadelphia with a five-game winning streak but lost 31-27 when Randall Cunningham threw a 40-yard TD pass to Gregg Garrity with 1:06 remaining. Wade Wilson came off the bench in the second half to pass for two touchdowns and run for another as the Vikings sent the Raiders to their fifth consecutive defeat, 31-20. Earnest Byner scored three TDs in the third quarter to lead the Browns to a 38-3 trouncing of the Falcons. The Saints were 31-14 winners over the 1-7 Rams, while Detroit's regulars won their first, beating Dallas 27-17. The Bills upset the Broncos 21-14; the Dolphins beat the Bengals 20-14; St. Louis recovered from a 25-point fourth-quarter deficit and put together the best final period comeback in league history to beat the Bucs 31-28; the Giants defeated the Patriots 17-10; and Gary Anderson's 44-yard field goal with 4:02 left gave the Steelers a 17-16 win over the Chiefs, whose seven straight losses tied the franchise record.
GOLF—The U.S. team of Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Kite, Scott Simpson, Payne Stewart, Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins beat Europe 10-2 in the finals of the World Championship of Golf, and each earned $60,000, in Inagi, Japan.
HOCKEY—Until last week Gordie Howe was the only NHL player with 1,000 career assists. Now there are three, as both Wayne Gretzky and Marcel Dionne reached that milestone. Gretzky got his 1,000th in Edmonton's 7-2 defeat of the Rangers. The Oilers, whose 2-0-1 week also included a 4-4 tie with the Flames and Grant Fuhr's 5-0 shutout of the Sabres, led the Smythe by three points (page 26). Dionne's historic assist came in the Rangers' sixth straight defeat, a 5-4 loss to the Kings. The Rangers finished the week tied with the Flyers, who were 1-7-2 in their last 10 games. Elsewhere in the Patrick, the Devils, whose 9-4-1 record tied them with the Islanders for the division lead, traveled from the charmed confines of the Brendan Byrne Arena, where they had gone 6-0 this season, to the Nassau Coliseum, where they had won just once in their history. They lost 6-3 but bounced back at home to beat the Blues 5-3 and the Capitols 4-1, before tying the Flyers 3-3. The Islanders' 2-1 week included a 4-2 home loss to the Penguins, who had been 0-12-1 in their previous 13 games at the Coliseum, and a 4-3 OT defeat of the Red Wings. The Canadiens stretched their Adams lead to four points, sandwiching a 4-4 tie with Chicago between wins of 6-4 over the Blues and 5-4 over the Flyers. Norris Division leader Toronto ran its string of victories to five, with wins over Winnipeg, 7-3, and Boston, 7-6, before losing to St. Louis 4-3.
November 16, 1987
HORSE RACING—At Aqueduct, GOODBYE HALO ($76), with Angel Cordero Jr. in the saddle, finished 10 lengths ahead of Tap Your Toes to win $142,080 and the Demoiselle Stakes. The 2-year-old filly ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:53. BATTY ($8.20), with Jose Santos aboard, beat Old Stories by seven lengths in the Remsen Stakes. The 2-year-old colt covered the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:52[2/5] and won $176,400.
Steve Cauthen of the U.S. won his third British Jockeys' Championship in four years. Cauthen, who also won in 1984 and '85, finished with 197 victories, two more than Pat Eddery of Ireland.
INDOOR SOCCER—For the first time in its 10-year history, the MISL started a new season with the same teams that finished the previous one. The season opener was a rematch between last year's championship finalists, the Dallas Sidekicks and the Tacoma Stars. Though the Sidekicks beat the Stars 4-3 on two goals by Mark Karpun, the win was a costly one for the champions, as Tatu, their top scorer, injured ligaments in his right knee. He is out indefinitely.
TENNIS—TIM MAYOTTE defeated Brad Gilbert 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 to win the Paris Open and $140,000.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year in the American League, by the Baseball Writers Association of America, MARK McGWIRE, 24, whose 49 home runs led the league and smashed the rookie record of 38 that had been shared by Wally Berger and Frank Robinson; as Rookie of the Year in the National League, BENITO SANTIAGO, 22, who batted .300 with 21 stolen bases and established another rookie mark by hitting in 34 consecutive games. Both players were unanimous choices.
SIGNED: By the San Antonio Spurs, former Navy center DAVID ROBINSON, 22, the No. 1 pick in the 1987 NBA draft. Robinson, whose eight-year contract is reportedly worth $26 million, won't be eligible to play until the 1989-90 season because of Navy commitments.
TRADED: By the Golden State Warriors, forward PURVIS SHORT, 30, to the Houston Rockets for center DAVE FEITL, 25, a future first-round draft pick and cash.
By the Kansas City Royals, lefthanded pitcher DANNY JACKSON, 25, and shortstop ANGEL SALAZAR, 26, to the Cincinnati Reds for shortstop KURT STILL WELL, 22, and righthanded pitcher TED POWER, 32.
DIED: JIM FITZGERALD, 65, the winningest driver in the history of the Sports Car Club of America and a racing partner of actor Paul Newman; following a crash in Florida's St. Petersburg Grand Prix.