PRO BASKETBALL—The Los Angeles Lakers, the Pacific Division leaders, who had won 82% of their games this season, began the week in familiar fashion with victories over Philadelphia (110-104) and New York (104-99). But in Chicago, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got just one rebound. Magic Johnson aggravated a groin pull that put him out of action for three games, and L.A. lost 128-107. Then the Lakers lost at home to Dallas by a score of 110-101. Still, coach Pat Riley, whose team had a 49-12 record at week's end, was anything but daunted by defeat. "This season is not about winning back-to-back titles: it's about greatness." he said. "I honestly think this could be the best team ever." Pacesetting Boston won all three of its games, while Washington. New York and Philadelphia remained jammed within half a game of each other in second through fourth places in the Atlantic Division. During a 124-118 beating of Sacramento, Sixers forward Charles Barkley received two technicals and was ejected by referee Ken Mauer for unsportsmanlike conduct. "He got upset because I told him I make more money than he does," Barkley said of Mauer. Evidence that the Knicks are competitive again was apparent when the Lakers arrived in New York: Scalpers were getting $200 apiece for courtside seats. Knick guard Mark Jackson, the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, was the key man in two wins, hitting late shots to beat the Bulls 110-98 and the Jazz 108-105. Dallas retained its Midwest Division lead, but runner-up Denver dropped three of its four games and suddenly found itself in a dogfight with Houston for second place. Central Division leader Detroit exploded to a 17-point first-period lead over Phoenix and coasted to a 116-88 triumph, but Piston center John Salley missed the second half because of an irregular heartbeat. "It's nothing to worry about," he said, "except it's my heart."
BOWLING—BRIAN VOSS defeated Todd Thompson 246-185 to win $51,000 and the PBA's national championship tournament, in Toledo.
BOXING—JOSE LUIS RAMIREZ retained his WBC lightweight title with a 12-round split decision over Pernell Whitaker, in Paris.
GOLF—JOEY SINDELAR shot a 12-under-par 276 to win $126,000 and a PGA Tour event in Coral Springs, Fla. Sindelar beat runners-up Payne Stewart, Sandy Lyle and Ed Fiori by two strokes.
March 21, 1988
HOCKEY—"It has been 314 days since I played." said Philadelphia right wing Tim Kerr after the Flyers won their first game in four tries, beating streaking Washington 5-2. "It was actually fun being out there with guys hanging all over me." Kerr, who underwent five shoulder operations during his hiatus, couldn't have returned at a better time. The Flyers are locked in a flip-flopping battle with the Capitals—who went 1-2 on the week after going five games without a loss—for first place in the Patrick Division. At week's end Washington was on top by one point. Smythe Division leader Calgary struggled early, losing to Pittsburgh 5-4 and tying Winnipeg 6-6, and then rebounded with a vengeance, ripping the Jets 5-3 and thrashing Buffalo 10-4. With less than three weeks remaining in the regular season, 10 of the 16 playoff berths remained up for grabs, but Detroit and Montreal seemed locked in on the Norris and Adams division titles, respectively. The Red Wings were undefeated for the week, beating Boston 2-0, Vancouver 5-2 and the New York Islanders 4-3 and 5-1. The Canadiens were also unbeaten in two games and stretched their winning streak to 10 (page 20). Boston, which trailed Montreal by six points at week's end, got a lift from center Craig Janney, fresh from the U.S. Olympic team, who scored his first NHL hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 4-3 victory over Quebec.
INDOOR SOCCER—When St. Louis beat Wichita 4-3, Slobo Ilijevski became the first MISL goaltender to win 150 games. Unfortunately for him, he's also the league's biggest career loser, with 133 defeats through week's end. On Sunday, Wichita upset Eastern Division leader Minnesota 8-7 to end the Strikers' 12-game home winning streak. San Diego, atop the West with a 32-10 record, is by far the MISL's best club. The Sockers beat Tacoma 7-2 and Dallas 2-1. Second-place Kansas City, third-place Los Angeles and fourth-place Tacoma are all within half a game of one another, but each trails San Diego by at least 10 games.
TENNIS—ANDREI CHESNOKOV beat Miloslav Mecir 7-6, 6-1 to win $59,000 and a Grand Prix tournament in Orlando, Fla.
Gabriela Sabatini defeated Steffi Graf 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 to earn the $60,000 winner's check at a women's tour event in Boca Raton, Fla.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The Sullivan Award as America's outstanding amateur athlete in 1987, to baseball pitcher JIM ABBOTT, 20, a junior at Michigan. Abbott, who was born without a right hand, had an 11-3 record for the Wolverines last spring and led the U.S. team to a silver medal in the Pan American Games last summer.
FINED: Twenty-five thousand dollars by the NBA, the NEW JERSEY NETS, for failing to inform the league office that team officials had questioned Orlando Woolridge last fall about suspected drug use. Woolridge is currently undergoing treatment for cocaine abuse.
FIRED: As basketball coach at Weber State, LARRY FARMER, 37. The Wildcats were 9-21 this season and 34-54 during Farmer's three years.
PLACED ON PROBATION: For two years by the NCAA, the basketball program at Minnesota, for various violations by players and coaches between 1981 and '87. The penalty was reduced from three years to two because of the university's thorough in-house investigation as well as its cooperation with the NCAA.
REJECTED: By the San Diego Yacht Club, a proposal by New Zealand syndicate chief Michael Fay to stage the 27th America's Cup defense in San Diego in the spring of 1989 instead of in September '88 in Long Beach, Calif. The proposal also would have opened the regatta to half a dozen other challengers from abroad. Although the SDYC still plans to race this September, it has decided to switch the venue to San Diego.
REMOVED: As coach of the Sacramento Kings, BILL RUSSELL, 54, who was transferred to the front office and appointed vice-president in charge of basketball operations. One of Russell's assistants, JERRY REYNOLDS, 44, replaced him.
DIED: Boston Marathon runner, coach and organizer for 58 years, JOHN (Jock) SEMPLE, 84; of cancer; in Peabody, Mass.
Former University of Kansas track star GLENN CUNNINGHAM, 78, of an apparent heart attack; in Menifee, Ark. Cunningham, the 1933 Sullivan Award winner, won the 1,500-meter silver medal at the 1936 Olympics and ran a world-record 4:06.8 mile in '34.
At least 70 people, during a stampede in which 15,000 spectators rushed to escape a sudden hailstorm at a soccer tournament in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was reported that all but one of the stadium's eight exits were locked and the victims were either trampled to death or died of suffocation.