PRO BASKETBALL—The Pistons and the Bulls, tied for first in the Central Division as the week began, faced off on Detroit's home floor, and the Pistons walked away with a 100-90 victory and sole possession of the Central lead. Detroit held on to it despite a 104-97 loss to the Celtics, who were coming off one of their worst offensive outings ever, an 87-78 defeat by the Nets in which Boston scored only six points in the second period. That dropped the Celtics four games behind the Knicks, who remained atop the Atlantic Division by beating the Bullets 131-127 in overtime, the Pacers 101-96 in overtime and the Spurs 107-101. Even with that defeat and a 111-102 loss to the Magic, San Antonio remained the leader in the Midwest Division. The Spurs beat the Celtics 97-90 for their first win over Boston in a decade. The Pacific Division-leading Lakers bounced back from a 121-118 OT loss to the Suns with wins over the Magic (121-106) and the Rockets (107-98).
BOWLING—Ron Williams defeated Mark Thayer 232-212 to win a PBA event and $35,000 in Torrance. Calif.
PRO FOOTBALL—In the NFC title game, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 30-3; in the AFC final, the Denver Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns 37-21 (page 12).
GOLF—ROBERT GAMEZ shot an 18-under-par 270 to defeat Mark Calcavecchia and Jay Haas by four strokes and earn $162,000 in the Tucson Open.
HOCKEY—The Oilers spent the week on the road and stayed atop the Smythe Division by beating the Flames 3-2, as Martin Gelinas scored with 2:11 left in overtime, and tying the Kings 3-3. The Norris Division-leading Blackhawks also had a win and a tie on the road: They tied the Rangers 2-2 and then defeated the Flyers 5-4 on A1 Secord's hat trick. Chicago returned home and lost to the Flames 6-5. The Bruins continued to be the Adams Division leaders by beating the Nordiques 3-1 before having their five-game winning streak snapped when Ranger forward Tomas Sandstrom scored with 34 seconds remaining in the third period to give New York a 3-2 win. The hottest team in the league, the Islanders, won three games to move within four points of the Patrick Division-leading Devils (page 34).
HORSE RACING—FLYING CONTINENTAL ($16.80), with Corey Black up, won the San Fernando Stakes by three lengths over Splurger at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old colt covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47 1/5 to earn $128,600.
INDOOR SOCCER—Eastern Division pacesetter Baltimore had its lead over Wichita cut to a half game as the Wings beat the Blast 4-3 in two overtimes. In the West, first-place Dallas swept a home-and-home series from Kansas City, 5-4 in OT and 8-2.
TENNIS—YANNICK NOAH defeated Carl-Uwe Steeb 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to win the men's championship and $21,600 at the New South Wales Open, in Sydney. NATALIA ZVEREVA beat Barbara Paulus 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to win the women's title and $45,000.
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: To the baseball Hall of Fame, JOE MORGAN, 46, who played second base for five teams in 22 years (1963-84), and former Baltimore Oriole pitcher (1965-84) JIM PALMER. 44. Morgan, a .271 career hitter with 268 home runs, 1,134 RBIs and 689 steals, was the National League MVP in 1975 and '76. Palmer, who had a 268-152 record, a 2.86 ERA and 2,212 strikeouts, won three Cy Young Awards ('73, '75 and '76) and won 20 or more games eight times.
FINED: By the NBA, Indiana Pacers coach DICK VERSACE, $3,500, for verbal abuse of referees, failing to leave the court in a timely manner and having to be forcibly restrained after a game on Jan. 6; and for making an informal wager with one another on a Jan. 10 game between their teams, Philadelphia 76er forward CHARLES BARK-LEY and New York Knick guard MARK JACKSON, $5,000 each (page 7).
NAMED: As football coach at Alabama, GENE STALLINGS, 54, whose record with the Phoenix Cardinals was 23-34-1 over 3½ seasons before he was fired on Nov. 20; he replaces BILL CURRY, 47, who left Alabama after a three-year record of 26-10 to become the coach at Kentucky (page 48); at Houston, JOHN JENKINS, 37, who had been the Cougars' offensive coordinator the past three seasons; at Navy, GEORGE CHAUMP, 53, who had guided Marshall to a 33-16-1 record in four years; and at Rutgers, DOUG GRABER, 45, who had been the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive coordinator for the last two years.
As coach of the Houston Oilers, JACK PARDEE, 53, who had a 22-11-1 record at the University of Houston over the past three seasons; and as coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Pardee's predecessor with the Oilers, JERRY GLANVILLE, 48.
As winners of the 1989 Eclipse Awards, by members of the Daily Racing Form staff, the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and the National Turf Writers Association: 2-year-old colt, RHYTHM; 2-year-old filly, GO FOR WAND; 3-year-old colt, SUNDAY SILENCE; 3-year-old filly, OPEN MIND; older male horse, BLUSHING JOHN; older filly or mare, BAYAKOA; sprinter, SAFELY KEPT; steeplechaser, HIGHLAND BUD; male turf horse, STEINLEN; female turf horse. BROWN BESS: owner. OGDEN PHLPPS, 81; breeder, NORTH RIDGE FARM; and apprentice jockey, MICHAEL LUZZI, 20.
RULED: By an administrative law judge in Newark, N.J., that PARK AVENUE JOE and PROBE were cowinners of the 1989 Hambletonian. The two horses had finished in a dead heat in the race-off for trotting's most prestigious race, but Park Avenue Joe had been declared the winner by judges at the Meadowlands, based on his record in all three of the event's heats (SI, Aug. 14, 1989).
SUSPENDED: By the NBA, for the rest of the season. New Jersey Nets forward STANLEY BRUNDY, 22, for failing a drug test.
TRADED: By the Vancouver Canucks, right wing TONY TANTI, 26, center BARRY PEDERSON, 28, and defenseman ROD BUSKAS, 29, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for center DAN QUINN. 24, right wing ANDREW McBAIN, 25, and a minor leaguer.
By the Cleveland Indians, lefthanded pitcher SCOTT BAILES, 27, to the California Angels for two minor leaguers; and by the Baltimore Orioles, outfielder/DH LARRY SHEETS, 30, to the Detroit Tigers for infielder MIKE BRUMLEY, 26.
DIED: Football Hall of Famer BRONKO NAGURSKI, 81; in International Falls, Minn. He played for eight seasons with the Chicago Bears as a fullback and a linebacker, and was one of college football's greatest stars, at Minnesota.
Former New York Yankee pitcher SPURGEON (Spud) CHANDLER, 82. Chandler, the league MVP in 1943, was 190-43 with the Yankees.
Former New York and San Francisco Giants owner HORACE STONEHAM, 86; of natural causes; in Scottsdale, Ariz. Stoneham, who in 1957 moved the Giants to the West Coast, was the club's president and principal owner for 40 years.