BASKETBALL—With a week to go, BOSTON split a two-game series with CINCINNATI to increase its lead to three games and come within whispering distance of its eighth straight NBA Eastern Division title. In the West ST. LOUIS moved in to cut SAN FRANCISCO's lead to a single game.
BILLIARDS—And still world pocket billiards champion, LUTHER LASSITER of Elizabeth City, N.C. beat Art Cranfield of Syracuse, N.Y. in a playoff game in New York. Lassiter and Cranfield broke out of a four-way tie by outshooting Irving Crane of Rochester, N.Y. and Frank McGown of New York. Lassiter won the final game in 11 innings, closing out with an uncompleted run of 44.
BOWLING—TOMMY TUTTLE of King, N.C. defeated Dick Downey 245-212 in the finals of the $32,000 Baltimore Open for his first PBA tournament victory.
BOXING—In a clumsy, colorless match in Madison Square Garden 6-foot-6 ERNIE TERRELL of Chicago, the third-ranked heavyweight, cut down Germany's 6-foot-7 Champion Gerhard Zech twice in the first round and gained a unanimous 10-round decision for his eighth straight victory.
CURLING—The DULUTH, MINN. rink, skipped by Robert H. Magie Jr., slid to the U.S. men's championship in Utica, N.Y. with 10 victories and only one loss (to Grafton, N.D.) in the six-day bonspiel. Detroit, the defending champion rink which was beaten by Duluth on the 10th round, finished with an 8-3 record in a tie for second.
FENCING—Defending Champion COLUMBIA defeated Princeton 19-8 in New York City to take its eighth Ivy League title (including one tie) in nine years, and in the midwest ILLINOIS wrapped up an unbeaten season by winning the Big Ten championship on its own campus.
HARNESS RACING—Italian-owned trotter NIKE HANOVER ($4.20), recent winner of the Prix d'Am�rique at 81 to 1, captured the $16,000 Prix de la C�te d'Azur in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France.
HOCKEY—For the first time in seven weeks CHICAGO, with a win, a loss and a tie, stood alone at the top of the league. But its two-point lead over MONTREAL (two defeats and a tie) was anything but decisive, with two weeks yet to play in the NHL. Third-place TORONTO won, lost and tied twice, yielding ground to resurgent DETROIT, which had three victories and a loss to move from five points to within two of the Maple Leafs. Relieved of the possibility of making the playoffs, NEW YORK beat the Black Hawks and the Canadiens and then tied the Canadiens 0-0 in a game that marked Jacques Plante's third and Charlie Hodge's eighth shutouts, while BOSTON, with two ties and a loss, still languished in last place.
HORSE RACING—Canadian-bred NORTHERN DANCER ($4), owned by E.P. Taylor and ridden by Willie Shoemaker, came from behind in the stretch to capture the 1?-mile Flamingo Stakes for 3-year-olds at Hialeah.
Mrs. Marion du Pont Scott's MONGO ($4.60), with Johnny Rotz aboard, survived a closing drive by Gun Bow and finished first by a nose in the $109,400 John B. Campbell Handicap at Bowie, Md.