PRO BASKETBALL—As the 943-game NBA regular season came to an end on Sunday, the Pacific Division champion Los Angeles Lakers finally got back into gear after a six-week slump, winning all four of their games during the week. The victories gave the Lakers a 62-20 record and allowed them to set a league record: They became the first team to have four consecutive seasons of 60 or more wins. Utah also closed with a 4-0 rush. In the Jazz's 125-107 win over Houston, John Stockton made his 1,128th assist, which broke Isiah Thomas's 1984-85 NBA single-season record. Stockton also ended the year with a .574 field goal percentage and 2.95 steals per game to finish in the top four in three major statistical categories. Denver's Alex English scored at least 2,000 points for the seventh consecutive year—his total this time around was exactly 2,000—and the Nuggets held off Dallas to win the Midwest Division crown. "He was like Superman, and I didn't have any Kryptonite," said New York coach Rick Pitino as Michael Jordan scored 47 points in Chicago's 121-118 victory over the Knicks. That triumph helped the Bulls tie Atlanta for second place in the Central Division, four games behind first-place Detroit. Jordan, who averaged 35.0 points a game this season, won his second consecutive NBA scoring title. Despite losing two of its three games, New York tied Washington, also 1-2 for the week, and Indiana for the final two Eastern Conference playoff berths. Under the NBA's tie-breaking system, the Pacers, who had the worst record in games among the three teams, were eliminated. Cleveland was undefeated in its three games and clinched the Eastern's sixth playoff slot. Even though Charles Barkley was spectacular to the end—he had 130 points in four games last week—Philadelphia ended the season two games behind the deadlocked trio. It was the first time in 13 years that the Sixers had missed the playoffs. The season was harsh on traveling teams. While 19 of the 23 NBA clubs had winning records at home, only the Lakers (26-15 as visitors) and Atlantic Division champion Boston (21-20) were winners on the road.
BOWLING—TONY WESTLAKE rolled a 279 in the final match to beat Mats Karlsson by 61 pins and win the Greater Hartford Open. Westlake's victory was worth $23,000.
GOLF—CHIP BECK shot a 26-under-par 262 to beat Lanny Wadkins by seven strokes and win a PGA Tour event in New Orleans. Beck, who earned $135,000, broke Lee Trevino's 1974 tournament record by five strokes.
Rosie Jones defeated Kathy Postlewait on the first playoff hole to win $33,750 and an LPGA event in Gulfport, Fla. Each shot a 13-under-par 275 in regulation play.
May 1, 1988
GYMNASTICS—ALABAMA scored 190.05 points to edge Utah by .55 and win the NCAA women's team gymnastics championship in Salt Lake City. In the individual all-around competition, KELLY GARRISON-STEVES of Oklahoma won the title with 38.90 points, .70 ahead of UCLA's Jill Andrews.
HOCKEY—In the Norris Division playoff finals, Detroit took a 2-1 best-of-seven lead over St. Louis at week's end as the home team won each game. The Red Wings won a tight opener 5-4 and then humiliated the Blues 6-0 on Thursday. In that game, the Detroit defense was so strong that goaltender Greg Stefan had to make only 19 saves. On offense, Petr Klima scored a hat trick, giving him nine goals in eight 1988 playoff games. St. Louis retaliated with a 6-3 triumph in Game 3. Washington rallied to tie New Jersey at two games apiece in the Patrick Division playoffs. The Devils beat the Capitals 10-4 in Game 3 as the teams amassed a playoff-record 62 penalties worth 231 minutes. Devil Mark Johnson scored four goals in that game, yet was overshadowed by teammate Patrik Sundstrom's hat trick and five assists for eight points, another playoff mark. In the other two divisions, Calgary, which ended the regular season with the NHL's best record, fell behind Edmonton 3-0 in the Smythe finals, and Boston took a 3-1 lead over Montreal in the Adams matchup (page 42).
HORSE RACING—In another busy weekend of Kentucky Derby prep races for 3-year-olds: PROPER REALITY ($8.40), Jerry Bailey up, won the Arkansas Derby, beating Primal by 1¼ lengths. The victorious colt ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:48[2/5] and earned $300,000. ALL THEE POWER ($6.80), a colt ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., took the California Derby, covering the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles at Golden Gate Fields in 1:48[2/5]. Shortly after crossing the finish line, eight lengths in front, All Thee Power, who won $137,500, went lame with a broken foreleg. Slewbop placed second. In the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, the colt PRIVATE TERMS ($9.20), Chris Antley in the saddle, ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:47[1/5] to defeat Seeking the Gold by 1½ lengths and win $359,400.
INDOOR SOCCER—In the MISL's best-of-five divisional semifinal playoffs, Kansas City, in one Western pairing, took a 2-0 series lead over Los Angeles. Western Division champ San Diego, which set a league record with 42 regular-season wins, breezed to a 6-2 victory over Tacoma in Game 1 of their matchup. But two days later, the Stars stunned the Sockers 4-3 in overtime to tie the series. In the Eastern Division, Cleveland and Dallas were tied at one game apiece.
MARATHON—MARK CONOVER beat Ed Eyestone by 23 seconds to win the U.S. Olympic Men's Marathon Trials in Jersey City, in a time of 2:12:26. Conover and Eyestone, along with third-place finisher Pete Pfitzinger, landed berths on the U.S. Olympic team. Conover's victory earned him $50,000, the richest cash prize in marathon history (page 75).
MOTOR SPORTS—DALE EARNHARDT drove his Chevrolet to a 1.99-second victory over runner-up Sterling Martin, in an Oldsmobile, at a NASCAR event in Martinsville, Va. Earnhardt averaged 74.740 mph for 500 laps on the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway oval and earned $53,550.
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING—TRACIE RUIZCONFORTO of Redmond, Wash., outscored Kristen Babb of Clayton, Calif., 168.27-165.83 to win the solo title at the U.S. Synchronized Swimming National Championships in Indianapolis. In the duet competition, twin sisters KAREN and SARAH JOSEPHSON of Bristol, Conn., scored 166.81 points to beat Babb and Michelle Svitenko of Concord, Calif., by 3.38 points. Ruiz-Conforto and the Josephsons earned berths on the U.S. Olympic team.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL beat Martin Jaite 5-7, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to win the Monte Carlo Open in Monaco. The victory was worth $67,500 to Lendl.
Chris Evert defeated Martina Navratilova 6-0, 6-4 to win a women's tour event and $50,000 in Houston.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By Tulane University, that it would resume competition in men's basketball, probably in the 1990-91 season. Tulane president Eamon Kelly and the school's board of trustees eliminated the sport in April 1985 following a point-shaving and sports bribery scandal.
HIRED: As basketball coach at Providence College, RICK BARNES, 33, who in 1987-88, his only season as head coach at George Mason University, guided the Patriots to a 20-10 record.