PRO BASKETBALL—The Spurs and the Jazz took over coleadership of the Midwest Division from the Nuggets: Utah used a strong defense to defeat the Cavs 94-80, the Mavs 107-97 and the Rockets 104-90 and run its winning streak to four straight. David Robinson paced San Antonio with 28 points in a 121-119 win over Golden State, 29 as the Spurs charged from behind in the fourth period to beat the Mavericks 99-93 and 26 as San Antonio won its sixth in a row, 109-72 over the Nets. Patrick Ewing scored 20 of his 26 points in the third quarter as he led the Knicks, tops in the Atlantic Division and the only Eastern Conference team with a perfect record at home, to their eighth consecutive victory at Madison Square Garden, a 124-92 trouncing of the Celtics. That triumph avenged a 113-98 New York loss in Boston that marked the 16th consecutive time the Celtics had beaten the Knicks on the parquet floor. The Pacific Division-leading Lakers had wins over the Clippers (111-103) and the Suns (100-96) before the Bullets' Mark Alarie hit a layup with 22 seconds to go to give Washington a 103-101 victory over L.A. The Central Division-leading Pacers beat the Bulls 106-104 for a fifth consecutive victory, but the Pistons then halted Indiana's streak, 121-93.
BOXING—SUGAR RAY LEONARD retained his WBC super middleweight crown with a unanimous 12-round decision over Roberto Duran, in Las Vegas (page 24).
Mark Breland successfully defended his WBA welterweight crown against Fujio Ozaki in a scheduled 12-round bout that the referee stopped in the fourth round after Ozaki was cut above the right eye, in Tokyo.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—In Division I-A play, Navy defeated Army 19-17 when Frank Schenk booted a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to snap the Midshipmen's three-year losing streak against the Cadets, and Fresno State beat Ball State 27-6 in the California Bowl. In Division II, Mississippi College knocked off Jacksonville State 3-0 to win the national title, and in Division III, Dayton won its second national championship of the decade, with a 17-7 victory over Union College.
December 18, 1989
PRO FOOTBALL—The NFC West-leading 49ers clinched a playoff spot while awaiting a Monday-night game, courtesy of the Chiefs and their 21-3 defeat of the Packers. In the K.C. game, Steve De-Berg passed for two touchdowns as the Chiefs kept their playoff hopes alive. Pittsburgh's defense, led by linebacker Greg Lloyd, achieved its first shutout in more than four years as the Steelers beat the Jets 13-0. Mike Prior returned a pass interception 58 yards for a touchdown to give the Colts a 23-17 overtime victory over the Browns, whose kicker, Matt Bahr, missed on two chances to win the game. Marcus Allen scored from the one with 40 seconds left, to give the Raiders a 16-14 win over the Cardinals and keep L.A. solidly in the playoff race. Chris Doleman forced fumbles by Atlanta's Chris Miller that were returned for touchdowns by Keith Millard and Tim Newton as the NFC Central-leading Vikings beat the Falcons 43-17, moving within one victory of their first division title since 1980. Houston held on to its AFC Central lead with a tough defense, which batted down two punts, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in a 20-17 win over Tampa Bay. Sammie Smith scored on three short runs and Dan Marino passed for 300 yards as the Dolphins beat New England 31-10 to move into a first-place tie with Buffalo in the AFC East. In other games: The Saints stopped the Bills 22-19, but New Orleans was eliminated from the playoffs by a 20-10 Philadelphia victory over the Cowboys; after upsetting the Bills 17-16 on Monday, Dec. 4, Seattle scored a last-minute, 24-17 victory over the Bengals; Detroit stopped the Bears 27-17; the Redskins beat the Chargers 26-21; and the Giants, co-leaders in the NFC East, upset the AFC West's pacesetting Broncos 14-7 (page 26).
HOCKEY—There will be 28 teams in the NHL by the year 2000 under an expansion plan agreed to in principle by the owners at the December meeting. League president John Ziegler said the expansion will begin no earlier than the 1992-93 season. The price tag: at least $50 million a team. On the ice, rookie Jeremy Roenick's second goal of the game, with 1:04 remaining in regulation, broke a 4-4 tie, and the Blackhawks went on to win 6-4 over the Maple Leafs. The victory snapped a five-game Chicago losing streak. Another 6-4 victory, over the Penguins, allowed the Hawks to squeeze past the North Stars into first place in the Norris Division. Goalie Jacques Cloutier extended his home winning streak to eight games as Chicago beat the Canucks 7-1 to hold on to its lead. The Rangers maintained their place atop the Patrick Division by scoring three goals in their first five shots during a 5-3 victory over the Devils and then playing to the first scoreless tie of the NHL season, against the Islanders. That draw extended the Isles' unbeaten string to five games; they had lost 11 of 12 games before the streak began. The Oilers remained the pacesetters in the Smythe Division with a sixth straight win; center Mark Lamb scored at 2:03 of overtime to clinch the 5-4 victory over the Kings. Lamb had set up two earlier goals and the line of Lamb, Petr Klima and Jari Kurri picked up eight points. A 4-3 defeat of the Capitals kept the Sabres in the Adams Division lead and ran Buffalo's unbeaten streak at home to 13-0-1 (page 40).
HORSE RACING—FRANKLY PERFECT ($7.60), Chris McCarron up, won the Hollywood Turf Cup by 2¼ lengths over Yankee Affair. The 4-year-old colt ran the 1½ miles in 2:26[3/5] and won $275,000.
INDOOR SOCCER—Baltimore goalkeeper Scoop Stanisic made 22 and 11 saves, respectively, as the Blast swept a home-and-home series from St. Louis (5-2 and 5-1) and reclaimed the Eastern Division lead. Billy Ronson had a pair of goals in the second Baltimore victory. Dallas beat San Diego 4-1 to hold on to the Western Division lead.
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: By the Football Writers Association of America, to Brigham Young senior guard MOHAMMED ELEWONIBI, 24, the Out-land Trophy, as the nation's top college interior lineman.
FIRED: As coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, GENE UBRIACO, 51, under whom the Penguins were 10-14-2 this season and 50-47-9 since he took the job in 1988; and as general manager, TONY ESPOSITO, 46. Former New York Ranger general manager CRAIG PATRICK, 43, took over as general manager and interim coach.
TRADED: By the San Diego Padres, outfielder CHRIS JAMES, 27, and two minor leaguers to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder JOE CARTER, 29; by the New York Yankees, catcher DON SLAUGHT, 31, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher JEFF ROBINSON, 28, and a minor leaguer; by the Chicago Cubs, pitcher PAUL KILGUS, 27, to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher JOSE NUNEZ, 25; by the St. Louis Cardinals, first baseman-outfielder JIM LINDEMAN, 27, and a minor leaguer to the Detroit Tigers for three minor leaguers; and by the New York Mets, pitcher RANDY MYERS, 27, and a minor leaguer to the Cincinnati Reds for pitcher JOHN FRANCO, 29, and a minor leaguer (page 62).
DIED: DOUG SCOVIL, 62, Philadelphia Eagle quarterbacks coach; of a heart attack; in Philadelphia. From 1981 to '85, he was head coach at San Diego State, where he had a record of 24-32-3.