PRO BASKETBALL—A Knick edge in a sibling rivalry helped New York beat the Hawks 113-109: The Knacks' Gerald Wilkins scored a season-high 29 points, four more than his older brother. Atlanta forward Dominique. The Knicks then defeated Seattle 118-97 to stay atop the Atlantic Division and extend their home record to 9-0. Meanwhile, the Pacific Division-leading Lakers spent the week on the road and also won, knocking off the Hornets 103-89, the Heat 102-75, the Celtics 119-110 and the Nets 99-92. In the Midwest, the Jazz started the week by losing to the Cavaliers 113-110 as Cleveland's Craig Ehlo sank two three-pointers in the last 4.3 seconds of overtime. Utah won its next three games to overtake the Spurs for the division lead. The Bulls also won three in a row as—who else?—Michael Jordan scored a total of 112 points in victories over the Mavs (105-97), the Magic (124-113) and the Hornets (115-104). Those triumphs moved Chicago a half game past the Pacers for the Central Division lead (page 34).
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—GEORGIA SOUTHERN defeated Stephen F. Austin 37-34 for its third Division I-AA title in five years, in Statesboro, Ga.
At the Independence Bowl, in Shreveport, La., Oregon rallied to beat Tulsa 27-24.
PRO FOOTBALL—Only one of the eight remaining playoff berths was claimed: The Giants clinched a wild-card spot by beating the Cowboys 15-0. The shutout was the first in four years for New York, which took a half-game lead over the Eagles in the NFC East. Mark Rypien threw a 60-yard touchdown pass and ran for another score as the Redskins rallied to defeat the Falcons 31-30. Washington was eliminated from postseason contention, nonetheless, when Jim Everett threw for 273 yards and two TDs as the Rams beat the Jets 38-14. The AFC West-champion Broncos locked up the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by crushing the Cards 37-0. The Colts created a logjam atop the AFC East by defeating the Dolphins 42-13 behind Jack Trudeau's career-high four touchdown passes. The victory left Indianapolis tied with Miami and Buffalo for the division lead. The Packers' 40-28 win over the Bears guaranteed Green Bay, the NFC Central coleader with the Vikings, its first winning season since 1982. Barry Sanders rushed for 104 yards and a TD to lead the surging Lions to a 33-7 trouncing of the Bucs. The Seahawks stayed mathematically alive in the playoff hunt by upsetting the Raiders 23-17. David Krieg threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns for Seattle. Roy Bennett intercepted a Steve DeBerg pass in the end zone with 12 seconds left to preserve the Chargers" 20-13 victory over the Chiefs. In other games: The NFC West-champion 49ers beat the Bills 21-10; the Steelers downed the Patriots 28-10; the Bengals buried the AFC Central-leading Oilers 61-7; and the Browns defeated the Vikings 23-17 in overtime (page 26).
December 25, 1989
HOCKEY—It took skill, teamwork and a bit of luck, but the Oilers stayed atop the Smythe Division. After Edmonton escaped with a 3-3 tie with the Flames—Oiler rookie forward Martin Gelinas scored with 28 seconds left in the third period to pull Edmonton even—five different Oilers scored in a 5-1 drubbing of Quebec. Then Blues defenseman Paul Cavallini accidentally put the puck into his own net with 6:55 remaining in regulation to give Edmonton a 3-3 tie with St. Louis. The Oilers finished the week by losing 6-5 to the Norris Division-leading Blackhawks. Earlier in the week Chicago had defeated the Canadiens 3-1, but then its four-game winning streak was snapped as center Steve Yzerman's hat trick helped the lowly Red Wings to an 8-4 victory. The hottest team in the NHL was New Jersey, which swept the Islanders in a home-and-away series, 7-2 and 5-2, and then beat the Kings 7-5 and the Bruins 3-1. In the Adams Division, the first-place Sabres had a 2-1 week, splitting with Boston and defeating the Flyers 4-3. Despite that loss, Philadelphia took the lead in the Patrick Division from the Rangers, who fell to the Blues (3-1), the Islanders (4-3, after having led 2-0) and the Canadiens (2-0).
HORSE RACING—GRAND CANYON ($3.60), Angel Cordero Jr. up, won the Hollywood Futurity by 6½ lengths over Farma Way. The 2-year-old colt ran the mile at Hollywood Park in 1:33 and earned $495,000.
INDOOR SOCCER—Dallas increased its Western Division lead to 2½ games over San Diego when the Sidekicks beat Tacoma 5-4 in overtime—Mark Karpun got the game-winning goal at 3:09 into sudden death—and the Sockers lost by the same score to Wichita. In the Eastern Division, Baltimore held on to its one-game lead by defeating Kansas City 4-3.
SKIING—PIRMIN ZURBRIGGEN won a World Cup men's Super G event in Sestriere, Italy, beating Lars-B‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√†√árje Eriksson by .11 of a second, and a downhill, outracing Franz Heinzer by .54 of a second in Val Gardena, Italy.
In women's World Cup action, PETRA KRON-BERGER won a downhill in Panorama, B.C.
TENNIS—WEST GERMANY defended the Davis Cup by defeating Sweden 3-2, in Stuttgart.
VOLLEYBALL—LONG BEACH STATE defeated Nebraska 15-12, 15-0, 15-6 to win the NCAA women's title, in Honolulu.
MILEPOSTS—FINED: By the NBA, for fighting in a game on Dec. 12, Charlotte Hornets center STUART GRAY, $5,000; Los Angeles Laker guards BYRON SCOTT, $2,000, and MICHAEL COOPER, $1,000; and Laker forward JAMES WORTHY, $500. Gray was also suspended for one game.
FIRED: As football coach: at Navy, ELLIOT UZELAC. 58, who guided the Midshipmen to an 8-25 record over the past three years; at Rutgers, DICK ANDERSON, 48, under whom the Scarlet Knights were 27-34-4 since 1984; and at Pitt, MIKE GOTTFRIED, 45, who had a 26-17-2 mark in his four seasons with the Panthers (page 21).
PLACED ON PROBATION: For two years by the NCAA, the NORTH CAROLINA STATE basketball program, for violations involving the players' selling or exchanging complimentary tickets and basketball shoes. The Wolfpack is also banned from this season's NCAA tournament.
TRADED: By the Cincinnati Reds, righthanded pitcher TIM LEARY, 31, and a minor leaguer to the New York Yankees for two minor leaguers; by the Atlanta Braves, first baseman GERALD PERRY, 29, and a minor leaguer to the Kansas City Royals for lefthanded pitcher CHARLIE LEIBRANDT, 33. and righthander RICK LUECKEN, 29; by the Toronto Blue Jays, catcher ERNIE WHITT, 37, and a minor leaguer to the Atlanta Braves for a minor leaguer.
By the Charlotte Hornets, forward KURT RAMBIS, 31, and two second-round draft picks to the Phoenix Suns for forward ARMON GILLIAM, 25.
By the Boston Bruins, left wing BOBBY JOYCE, 23, to the Washington Capitals for right wing DAVE CHRISTIAN, 30; by the Hartford Whalers, right wing PAUL MACDERMID, 26, to the Winnipeg Jets for center RANDY CUNNEYWORTH, 28; and by the St. Louis Blues, goalie GREG MILLEN, 32, and center TONY HRKAC, 23, to the Quebec Nordiques for defenseman JEFF BROWN, 23.