PRO BASKETBALL—The Lakers won three of four games against teams that have no chance to make the playoffs, but that was not enough to shake the Suns, who extended their winning streak to seven games to pull within a game of L.A. in the Pacific Division. On the same night that the Lakers were losing 119-107 to the Clippers, the Suns got 38 points in 28 minutes from Tom Chambers and beat the Spurs 137-91, the largest margin of victory in franchise history. The slumping Atlantic Division-champion Knicks fell to the Hornets 104-99 but ended their season series against the Central Division-leading Pistons undefeated (4-0), after a 104-100 win. New York was led by Patrick Ewing's 32 points and 19 rebounds. The Celtics, fighting the Bullets for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, beat the Nets 113-112 and the Cavaliers 113-104—Kevin McHale had 25 points in that one—but lost 132-118 to the Hawks, who won their fifth consecutive game. Washington defeated the Bucks 111-107 but lost twice to Detroit, 124-100 and 104-98, which left the Bullets 2½ games behind Boston with only four to play. In the fight for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Trail Blazers widened their lead over the Mavericks to 3½ games by going 2-1 for the week while the Mavs were losing three of four. The Jazz clinched the Midwest Division title, beating the Rockets 122-96 as Karl Malone scored 35 points for Utah.
GOLF—PAYNE STEWART shot a two-under-par 69 in the final round for a 16-under-par total of 268 to win a PGA event by five strokes over Kenny Perry at Hilton Head Island, S.C. The victory was worth $144,000.
Pat Bradley shot an eight-under-par 208 to beat Nancy Lopez and Hollis Stacy by one stroke to win an LPGA event and $67,500 in Los Angeles.
GYMNASTICS—At the NCAA women's championships in Athens, Ga., LUCY WENER of team-champion GEORGIA got the first 10.0 ever awarded in this meet, in winning the uneven parallel bars. The Lady Bulldogs beat UCLA 192.65-192.60 for the crown.
April 23, 1989
In the NCAA men's competition in Lincoln, Neb., ILLINOIS defeated Nebraska 283.40-282.30 to win the team title, and CHAD FOX of New Mexico became the first man to win the same event in this meet for four consecutive years when he placed first in the vault.
HOCKEY—The Blues and the Bruins wrapped up their respective division semifinal playoff series four games to one with easy wins in the fifth game. St. Louis got a hat trick from Peter Zezel in a 6-1 rout of the North Stars, and Boston's Randy Burridge broke a scoreless tie with a shorthanded goal in the second period to lead the Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Sabres. In the Patrick Division semis, the Flyers eliminated the Caps four games to two. In Philly's 8-5 Game 5 victory, Flyer Ron Hextall became the first goalie to score a goal in a playoff game, though the key score was a Pelle Eklund power-play goal that broke a 5-5 tie with 6:03 remaining. In Game 6 Rick Tocchet's second goal of the evening snapped a 3-3 tie with 3:19 to go, and Washington was eliminated in division play for the ninth straight season. The Blackhawks advanced to the Norris Division finals by winning their series against the Red Wings four games to two. In a 7-1 victory in Game 6, Chicago's Wayne Presley had a hat trick and tied an NHL record by scoring his third shorthanded goal of the series. In the two division semifinals that went seven games, the Kings beat the Oilers 6-3 in the deciding game, and the Flames eliminated the Canucks 4-3 in overtime in the final game of their series (page 18).
HORSE RACING—In Kentucky Derby prep races: The colt WESTERN PLAYBOY ($4), with Randy Romero aboard, ran 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:51[1/5] to beat Dispersal by half a length and win $185,900 in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland; and another colt, FAULTLESS ENSIGN ($26), Chris DeCarlo up, covered the same distance in the same time to beat Wind Splitter by the same margin in winning the Garden State Stakes, at Garden State Park. Faultless Ensign's purse was $90,000.
INDOOR SOCCER—At week's end only one game remained in the MISL season, and it would have no bearing on which five of the league's seven teams would make the playoffs. Los Angeles and Kansas City will sit out the postseason. Baltimore, which held first place from start to finish, won its finale 9-6 over K.C. to end with a 29-19 record.
MARATHON—BELAINE DENSIMO of Ethiopia won the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:08:39; KE-LEKE METAFERIA, of Ethiopia, won the IAAF men's World Marathon Cup in 2:10:28, in Milan; and ABEBE MEKONNEN of Ethiopia won the men's competition of the Boston Marathon in 2:09:06, and INGRID KRISTIANSEN of Norway finished first among the women in 2:24:33 (page 28).
MOTOR SPORTS—AL UNSER JR., driving a Lola-Chevrolet, beat Michael Andretti, also in a Lola, by 12.377 seconds to win the Grand Prix of Long Beach (Calif.). Unser averaged 85.503 mph for 95 laps of the 1.67-mile, 11-turn road circuit and earned $117,660 (page 33).
Dale Earnhardt, driving a Chevrolet, beat Alan Kulwicki, in a Ford, by 2.2 seconds to win a NASCAR race and $51,225 at the North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway.
TENNIS—GABRIELA SABATINI defeated Steffi Graf 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the final to win a women's tour event and $60,000 in Amelia Island, Fla. It was Graf's first loss in 32 matches.
MILEPOSTS—CONVICTED: In U.S. District Court in Chicago, on five counts of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud, sports agents NORBY WALTERS, 58, and LLOYD BLOOM, 29. The two were found to have defrauded two universities between 1984 and 1987 by signing, in violation of NCAA rules, 43 college athletes to contracts before their eligibility had expired. Bloom and Walters were acquitted of two mail-fraud charges. They said they would appeal (page 13).
RESIGNED: As coach of the Quebec Nordiques, JEAN PERRON, 42, who had a 16-26-5 record during his 3½ months at the helm; he was replaced by MICHEL BERGERON, 42.
SUSPENDED: For 90 days by The Athletics Congress, hurdler TONIE CAMPBELL, 29, because he failed to appear for a mandatory drug test after a Feb. 5 meet in Fairfax, Va.
DIED: Boxer SUGAR RAY ROBINSON, 67, former world welterweight and middleweight champion, who in a 25-year career had a lifetime record of 175-19-6; after suffering from Alzheimer's disease and diabetes; in Los Angeles (page 96).
Baseball Hall of Famer JOCKO CONLAN, 89, a National League umpire from 1941 to 1964; in Scottsdale, Ariz. Conlan, who had been an outfielder for two years (1934 and 1935) for the Chicago White Sox, worked in six All-Star Games and five World Series.
Ninety-four soccer fans, when spectators in an overcrowded standing area surged forward, crushing and suffocating those in front of them, at a soccer match in Sheffield, England (page 24).