PRO BASKETBALL—The Celtics, still on top in the Atlantic Division, suffered a double loss as Larry Bird went down with an ankle injury in a 109-88 defeat by the Cavaliers—Boston's first loss of the season. A 116-85 pasting by the 76ers and narrow victories over the hapless Knicks and Nets showed how vulnerable Boston has suddenly become. The Bulls, 3-1 on the week, continued to lead the Central Division. Their loss was to the Pistons, 144-132 in overtime, as Detroit's Adrian Dantley scored 45 points to offset Michael Jordan's 49. The Hawks stayed close, one game behind Chicago, by winning two of three, including a 104-94 defeat of the Rockets in which Atlanta's Kevin Willis had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Despite the defeat, Houston held on to a share of first place in the Midwest Division. The Nuggets moved into a tie with the Hawks as Fat Lever posted a triple double—15 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds—in a 97-91 defeat of the Clippers. The Lakers continued to lead both the Pacific Division and the league: Their 2-1 week ran their season record to 8-1.
BOXING—JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ beat Edwin Rosario with an 11th-round TKO to become WBA lightweight champion, in Las Vegas (page 89).
Virgil Hill successfully defended his WBA light heavyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Rufino Angulo, in Paris.
PRO FOOTBALL—The game of who-wants-to-lead continued in the AFC East as losses for the Jets and Colts and victories for the Bills, Dolphins and Patriots left everyone in the division tied at 5-5. Buffalo beat New York 17-14 as Bills quarterback Jim Kelly extended his streak of games in which he has thrown a touchdown pass to 15. New England blanked Indianapolis 24-0 in spite of Eric Dickerson's 117 yards for the Colts, while Miami defeated the Cowboys 20-14. The Browns throttled the upstart Oilers 40-7 to take command, with a 7-3 record, in the AFC Central. Cleveland's Bernie Kosar threw and Earnest Byner ran for two touchdowns apiece. The Steelers beat the Bengals 30-16 to tie Houston for second in the division. The AFC West-leading Chargers were dumped 34-3 by the Seahawks, who thereby moved to within one game of San Diego. Seattle's Dave Krieg passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. The Broncos held off the Raiders 23-17 to stay in the AFC West race. Bo Jackson had 98 yards and two TDs for Los Angeles. The Bears remained on top in the NFC Central, holding the Lions to 30 yards rushing in a 30-10 victory. The Vikings stayed two games back with a 24-13 win over the Falcons. The 49ers, who lead the NFC West, beat the Buccaneers 24-10 as Joe Montana threw for 304 yards and Jerry Rice caught three TD passes. The Eagles and Giants sank in the NFC East, Philly losing 31-19 to the Cardinals and New York 23-14 to the surprising Saints. The Packers sent the Chiefs to their ninth consecutive loss, 23-3.
November 30, 1987
HOCKEY—The Islanders remained on top in the Patrick Division with victories over the Kings (4-3) and Flyers (6-4) and a 5-2 loss to the Canadiens. In beating Philadelphia, New York stormed back from a 4-1 deficit with five unanswered goals, two of them by Mikko Makela. The Devils stayed three points behind the Isles with a 2-1 week, including wins over the Flyers, 4-3, and Chicago, 5-2. Adams Division rivals Boston and Montreal continued to be the NHL's two hottest teams. The Canadiens held on to first by winning twice and tying once; one of the victories was a tense 2-1 defeat of New Jersey that was decided by Bobby Smith's 12th goal of the season. The Bruins went 4-0 to run their winning streak to seven. In a 1-0 victory over the Red Wings, Boston goalie Doug Keans made 28 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot by Steve Yzerman. The Oilers cemented their hold on the Smythe Division lead by going 2-1. The loss, 4-3 against the Jets, came in overtime; Dale Hawerchuk had the game-winning goal for Winnipeg. The Flames had only one win, 9-1 over the Nordiques, but may have unveiled a new star in rookie Joe Nieuwendyk, who scored four goals against Quebec. The parade of mediocrity marched on in the Norris Division as the Blackhawks moved in front of the Maple Leafs with a 2-1 week.
HORSE RACING—Stretch duels decided the two most important races at the Breeders' Cup at Hollywood Park: FERDINAND ($4), ridden by Bill Shoemaker, defeated Alysheba by a nose to win the $3 million Classic for 3-year-olds and up; and THEATRICAL ($5.60), with Pat Day up, beat Trempolino by half a length in the $2 million Turf for 3-year-olds and up. Other winners on the seven-race card were VERY SUBTLE ($34.80) in the Sprint; EPITOME ($62.80) in the Juvenile Fillies; SACAHUISTA ($7.80) in the Distaff; MIESQUE ($9.20) in the Mile; and SUCCESS EXPRESS ($10.20) in the Juvenile (page 36).
INDOOR SOCCER—Cleveland defeated Dallas 3-1 and Kansas City 4-1 to take over the lead in the Eastern Division. St. Louis was in front in the West after beating Tacoma 6-3 and losing to Chicago 6-5 in overtime. Last year's divisional champions, Tacoma and Dallas, both went 0-3, while Los Angeles overcame a shaky start with a 3-0 week.
MOTOR SPORTS—BILL ELLIOTT, in a Ford, defeated 1987 champion driver Dale Earnhardt, in a Chevrolet, by 12.94 seconds to win $74,200 and the Atlanta Journal 500, the final race on the NASCAR circuit. He averaged 139.047 mph around the 1.522-mile Atlanta International Raceway.
SOCCER—The North Carolina women's soccer team won its sixth national title in seven years by defeating Massachusetts 1-0 on a goal by Shannon Higgins, in Amherst, Mass.
TENNIS—STEFFI GRAF defeated Gabriela Sabatini 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 to win $125,000 and the Virginia Slims Championships, in New York City (page 92).
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As football coach at Ohio State, EARLE BRUCE, 56, who in his first eight seasons with the Buckeyes was 75-22 with eight bowl appearances but who was 5-4-1 this year going into Saturday's season finale with Michigan, which Ohio State won 23-20. Immediately after Bruce's firing, Buckeye athletic director RICK BAY, 45, resigned and was replaced by senior associate athletic director JAMES JONES, 51.
NAMED: By the Baseball Writers Association of America, as the American League's Most Valuable Player, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder GEORGE BELL, 28. Bell, who hit .308, with 47 home runs and a league-leading 134 RBIs, is the first MVP from a Canadian team; and as the National League's MVP, Chicago Cubs outfielder ANDRE DAWSON, 33. Dawson led the majors with 137 RBIs and the league with 49 home runs.
As manager of the Chicago Cubs, DON ZIMMER, 56, who had a record of 620-600 in his three previous managerial stints, with the San Diego Padres, the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers.
DIED: Former major league relief pitcher JIM BREWER, 50; of injuries suffered in an automobile accident; in Tyler, Texas. From 1960 through '76, Brewer had a record of 69-65, with 132 saves, for three teams. His 125 saves for the Los Angeles Dodgers make him their career-saves leader.
Dick Stello, 53, a National League umpire since 1968; in a traffic accident; in Lakeland, Fla.