PRO BASKETBALL—Favorites prevailed in all but one of the first-round series in the NBA playoffs. The week's only upset, and a mild one at that, took place in the West, where Utah knocked off Portland in four games; although the Trail Blazers had the better regular-season record by three games, the Jazz had won four of the teams' five meetings before the playoffs. Utah forward Karl Malone, who averaged 31.5 points and 12 rebounds against Portland, scored 38 points—18 in the fourth period—in the Jazz's series-deciding 111-96 win in Game 4. It was the first time in the franchise's 14-year history in New Orleans and Salt Lake City that it won three playoff games in a row in a single series. Alas for the Jazz, their victory over the Blazers only led to a matchup with the mighty Los Angeles Lakers, who were fresh from a three-game sweep of San Antonio. Magic Johnson, who did in the Spurs with 25 points in Game 3, delivered more of the same against Utah, pouring in 19 points and dishing off for nine assists as the Lakers won the first game of the seven-game series 110-91. Denver and Seattle battled to the wire in their series before the Nuggets, powered by 23 points and seven assists by forward Alex English, won the series-clinching fifth game 115-96. Dallas, Denver's second-round opponent, had less trouble with Houston, winning both games last week to close out the Rockets, three games to one. Maverick forward Mark Aguirre had 38 points in Game 4, a 107-97 Dallas triumph. In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta had to go the limit in its series against Milwaukee before finally prevailing 121-111 in Game 5. Hawks forward Dominique Wilkins had 33 points and 10 rebounds in Game 5. In Round 2, Atlanta will face Boston, which, as expected, advanced against New York, although the Knicks gave the Celtics a scare by winning Game 3 109-100, behind forward Johnny Newman's career-high 34 points, and by hanging tough before losing Game 4 102-94. As usual, it was Larry Bird, with 28 points on the night, who led Boston's comeback—after New York had forged a fourth-period 83-77 lead in the finale. Detroit barely got by surprisingly tough Washington in that series. In Game 5, which the Pistons won 99-78 to wrap up the series, Detroit guard Isiah Thomas scored 16 points and center Bill Laimbeer had 11 rebounds. The Pistons' next opponent is Chicago, the survivor of a tough series against Cleveland in which the home team won every game (page 32).
GOLF—GARY KOCH fired a final-round 67 for a 14-under-par total of 274 to defeat Mark O'Meara and Peter Jacobsen by one stroke in the Las Vegas Invitational. Koch got $250,000 for the victory.
Juli Inkster sank a four-foot putt for an eagle on the first hole of sudden death to defeat Betsy King, Rosie Jones and Nancy Lopez in an LPGA event in Suffolk, Va. The four had finished regulation play tied at seven-under-par 209. Inkster's win was worth $45,000.
HOCKEY—In the Campbell Conference finals, Edmonton took a 2-1 series lead by winning the first two games at home before losing Game 3 in Detroit. Wayne Gretzky assisted on three of the Oilers' four goals in leading Edmonton to a 4-1 Game 1 victory. In Game 2 the Oilers trailed 3-1 after two periods but stormed back with three goals in the first 5:01 of the third period and went on to win 5-3. Mark Messier led Edmonton to that victory with two goals. The Red Wings eliminated the possibility of a sweep with a 5-2 win in the third game of the series. Detroit was powered by two goals by Brent Ash ton. In the Wales Conference the week produced a split of the four games between New Jersey and Boston and a controversy swirling around Devils coach Jim Schoenfeld and the officials (page 40).
May 15, 1988
HORSE RACING—WINNING COLORS ($8.80), with Gary Stevens aboard, became the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, defeating Forty Niner by a neck. The 3-year-old covered the 114 miles in 2:02[1/5] and earned $611,200 (page 24). Also at Churchill Downs, GOODBYE HALO ($3.80), ridden by Pat Day, drew away from Jeanne Jones to win the Kentucky Oaks for 3-year-old fillies by 3¾ lengths. The winner ran the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:50[2/5] and won $156,715.
Gulch ($6.40), Jose Santos up, tied the stakes record of 1:20[2/5] for the seven-furlong Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in defeating Afleet by 1¼ lengths. The 4-year-old earned $174,300 for the win.
INDOOR SOCCER—Kansas City jumped to a 1-0 lead in the Western Division finals against San Diego as Barry Wallace blasted home a 30-foot power-play goal with 10 seconds remaining to seal the 5-4 victory. In the East, Minnesota defeated Baltimore 9-5 to advance to the finals against Cleveland. But the Force was mightier than the Strikers in Game 1 as Cleveland came away with a 7-5 victory. Minnesota struck back with a 7-0 win in the second game, getting two goals from Hector Marinaro and shutout goaltending from Tino Lettieri.
TENNIS—ANDRE AGASSI defeated Slobodan Zivojinovic 7-5, 7-6, 7-5 to win the Tournament of Champions and $127,600 in New York City.
Gabriela Sabatini beat Helen Kelesi 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 to win the women's Italian Open and $40,000 in Rome.
TRACK & FIELD—TOM McCANTS and JEROME CARTER both jumped 7'9¼" to set a U.S. record in the high jump at a meet in Columbus, Ohio, surpassing the previous mark of 7'8½", set by Jim Howard in 1985. McCants won the event on fewer misses. RAMONA PAGEL established a U.S. women's record in the shot put with a toss of 64'2½", eclipsing her own mark of 63'6¼" set two weeks ago.
In a meet in Modesto, Calif., JACKIE JOYNER-KERSEE established a U.S. women's record in the 100-meter hurdles with a clocking of 12.70. She outdid by .01 of a second the record set by Gail Devers last month.
VOLLEYBALL—Jen-Kai Liu had 32 kills and 22 digs in leading SOUTHERN CAL to a 15-17, 14-16, 15-10, 15-11, 15-9 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the finals of the NCAA men's volleyball championships, in Fort Wayne, Ind.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By Boston Celtics coach K.C. JONES, 55, his retirement to accept the position of Celtics vice-president and player personnel director, effective after the playoffs. Boston, which had a regular-season record of 308-102 during Jones's five years, is seeking its third NBA title during his tenure. His primary assistant, JIMMY RODGERS, will take over as coach next season.
FIRED: By the Phoenix Suns, coach JOHN WETZEL, 43, after guiding the Suns to a record of 28-54 in his only season.
SUSPENDED: By the NHL for his involvement in an altercation with referee Don Koharski after the New Jersey Devils' 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on May 6, New Jersey coach JIM SCHOENFELD, 35, for at least one game. Some six hours after the suspension was announced, the Devils obtained a temporary restraining order from a New Jersey Superior Court judge that permitted Schoenfeld to coach Sunday's game.
UPHELD: By the National League executive committee, the 30-day suspension of Cincinnati Reds manager PETE ROSE, 47, imposed by league president A. Bartlett Giamatti, for shoving umpire Dave Pallone during a game on April 30.