PRO BASKETBALL—Celtic great Bill Russell got a standing ovation when he returned to Boston Garden for the first time as Sacramento coach, but that was all the courtesy that the Celtics showed him; they demolished the Kings 122-86. Sacramento wasn't the only team Boston manhandled during a 4-0 week that increased its Atlantic Division lead over Philadelphia to seven games. The Celtics beat Chicago 104-97 and used a 43-point third quarter to humiliate Detroit 143-105; it was the Pistons' 20th straight loss at the Garden. And Boston defeated New Jersey 103-96 as Danny Ainge increased to 19 his NBA record for scoring a three-point field goal in consecutive games. Dominique Wilkins had the hot hand for Central Division leader Atlanta: He scored a season-high 48 points in a 120-110 Hawks win over San Antonio, had 34 more in a 115-112 loss to Denver and 34 again in a 101-98 defeat of Midwest Division—leading Dallas. Before their loss to Atlanta, the Mavs got a club-record 23 rebounds from forward Roy Tarpley in a 110-108 win over Indiana. That victory was Dallas coach John MacLeod's 600th in the NBA, a milestone reached earlier in the week by Cleveland coach Lenny Wilkens when the Cavaliers beat New York 119-111. In the Pacific Division the first-place Lakers won their 15th game in a row, beating Golden State 117-113, but fell the next night to the woeful Clippers, who had lost 11 straight.
BOWLING—JOE BERARDI beat Walter Ray Williams Jr. 248-227 in the title game to win $27,000 and a PBA event, in Torrance, Calif.
BOXING—WILFREDO VASQUEZ of Puerto Rico retained his WBA bantamweight crown by fighting to a 12-round draw with Takuya Muguruma of Japan, in Osaka.
PRO FOOTBALL—In the NFC title game, the Washington Redskins beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-10, and in the AFC championship playoff, the Denver Broncos defeated the Cleveland Browns 38-33 (page 10).
January 25, 1988
GOLF—STEVE PATE beat Larry Nelson by one stroke to win the $90,000 first prize at the rain-shortened Tournament of Champions in Carlsbad, Calif. Pate shot a 14-under-par 202 for 54 holes (page 42).
HOCKEY—Three of the four division races remained extremely tight. The lone exception was in the Norris, where Detroit finished the week eight points up on second-place St. Louis. The Red Wings beat the New York Rangers 7-4 and then split home and away games with Minnesota, edging the North Stars 2-1 in Detroit to extend their win streak to five games and then losing 4-2 on the road. Patrick Division-leading Philadelphia lost first place for one night—the Flyers were idle as Washington defeated Los Angeles 8-3—but regained it the next with a 3-1 win over Buffalo. Philadelphia went on to beat Pittsburgh 5-4, edge the Rangers 2-1 and take a three-point lead over the second-place New York Islanders. The highlight of the Islanders' 2-1-1 week came in an 8-5 win over Quebec: Denis Potvin became the first defenseman in NHL history to score 300 goals, when his 20-foot wrist shot from the slot beat Nordique goalie Ron Tugnutt. In the Adams Division, first-place Boston split a pair of games with second-place Montreal. The Bruins lost 5-4 to the Canadiens in the Forum and fell to second place, but turned things around at Boston Garden the next night by edging Montreal 3-2 in a game in which 142 penalty minutes were assessed. Boston then got a hat trick from forward Cam Neely to beat Buffalo 5-1. Edmonton, playing for the second week without the injured Wayne Gretzky, regained first place in the Smythe Division by beating Calgary 5-3 in a game in which the Oilers trailed 3-0 after just 4:10 of play.
HORSE RACING—ON THE LINE ($4.80), Jose Santos up, beat Candi's Gold by half a length to win the San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old colt ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:49 and earned $122,400.
INDOOR SOCCER—San Diego, paced by midfielder Branko Segota, continued to tear apart the Western Division. In the Sockers' 7-2 win over Baltimore, Segota's second-half hat trick gave him 545 career points, which moved him past Fred Grgurev and into second on the MISL's career points list. Only Steve Zungul, with 1,022, had more. Segota scored four more points in San Diego's 10-3 win over Tacoma, which lengthened the Sockers' winning streak to six games and gave them a six-game lead over second-place Los Angeles. In the Eastern Division, Cleveland maintained its 1½-game edge over Minnesota by beating St. Louis 7-1 and edging Dallas 3-2.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By WILLIAM BIDWILL, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals football team, that he intends to move the Cardinals to Phoenix before the start of next season.
ELECTED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame, WILLIE STARGELL, 47, a former first baseman-outfielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who in 21 major league seasons hit .282, with 475 home runs and 1,540 RBIs.
INDICTED: By a grand jury in Lee County, Ala., former agent JIM ABERNETHY, 50, on misdemeanor charges of tampering with a sports event, violating deceptive practices laws and commercial bribery, all stemming from his payment of performance bonuses to Auburn defensive back Kevin Porter in 1987.
NAMED: As football coach at Southern Methodist, FORREST GREGG, 54, who had been coach of the Green Bay Packers. Gregg, who played offensive and defensive tackle at SMU from 1953 to 1955, had a 25-37-1 record in his four seasons at Green Bay.
REFUSED: By the U.S. Supreme Court, a request by Passaic County, N.J., prosecutors that the triple-murder conviction against former middleweight boxer RUBIN (Hurricane) CARTER, 50, be reinstated. Carter's conviction was overturned in 1985, after he had served 19 years in prison for the 1966 murders.
SENTENCED: To a year in prison by a federal judge in San Diego, former major league pitcher LaMARR HOYT, 33, for testing positive for cocaine and thereby violating probation resulting from a 1986 conviction for trying to smuggle prescription drugs into the U.S. from Mexico.
SIGNED: By the St. Louis Cardinals, free agent infielder BOB HORNER, 30, who formerly played for the Atlanta Braves, to a one-year contract worth a minimum of $950,000. In nine seasons with Atlanta, Horner batted .278 with 215 home runs and 652 RBIs. Last year he played for the Yakult Swallows in Japan's Central League.
TRADED: By the Philadelphia 76ers, center TIM McCORMICK, 25, forward ROY HINSON, 26, and a 1989 second-round draft pick to the New Jersey Nets for center MIKE GMINSKI, 28, forward BEN COLEMAN, 26, and other considerations.
DIED: JOHNNY JOHNSON, 66, who as president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues had been the de facto commissioner of minor league baseball since 1979; of cancer; in St. Petersburg, Fla.