BASKETBALL—NBA: With Billy Cunningham scoring seven points in overtime to beat the Knicks 148-142 and with Chet Walker getting two quick field goals to defeat the Bullets 121-115 in overtime, PHILADELPHIA (38-4) won three of four to widen its Eastern Division lead to eight games over BOSTON (28-10), which lost three of four by a total of six points. Walt Bellamy scored 32 points as NEW YORK (22-21) beat the Royals 107-103 and the Knicks went over .500 for the first time since 1959. After two defeats, the Knicks snapped the 76ers' 11-game win streak 112-104 and, with Willis Reed scoring 35 points, beat the Bullets 129-126 to go over .500 again. It took 43 points by Oscar Robertson against the Bulls for CINCINNATI (14-23) to gain its lone victory in three tries, while four more losses extended the BALTIMORE (8-35) winless streak to 12. SAN FRANCISCO (26-14), ahead in the Western Division by eight games, lost to the Celtics 126-121, then took three straight, including a 110-108 victory over Boston. In the scramble for second place both ST. LOUIS (17-21) and DETROIT (17-24) split four games, while LOS ANGELES (16-24) won three of four and climbed out of last place to join the fray. Two of the Laker victories were over the Celtics, 111-110 as Elgin Baylor sank a foul shot with two seconds left, and 102-99. CHICAGO (17-27) won two, lost two and skidded back into the cellar.
BOWLING—JOHN JUNI of Hollywood, Fla. beat Tommy Tuttle of King, N.C. in the finals 179-171 to win the $35,000 PBA Tucson Open.
BOXING—A heavy assault to the body helped MASAHIKO (Fighting) HARADA of Japan retain his world bantamweight title with a unanimous 15-round decision over Jose Medel of Mexico in Nagoya.
COURT TENNIS—JIMMY BOSTWICK defeated his brother Pete Jr., the defending champion, in the finals of the U.S. Open 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3, in New York.
FOOTBALL—NFL: Tom Matte scored a touchdown from the one-yard line with 14 seconds to go in the Playoff Bowl to give BALTIMORE a 20-14 victory over Philadelphia.
COLLEGE: The running of Charlie Brown (111 yards and two touchdowns) and the passing of Bob Griese (14 of 21 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns) led the NORTH to a 28-27 win over the South in the Hula Bowl in Honolulu. At the Senior Bowl in Mobile another all-star team representing the NORTH held the South to 23 yards rushing while its own runners picked up 264 yards in a 35-13 victory.
HOCKEY—NHL: Bobby Hull scored five goals as CHICAGO (18-9-5) won twice and tied once in four games and climbed into a tie for the lead with the Rangers. Two of Hull's goals against the Canadiens, one coming when he skated through the entire team and rifled in a 10-footer, were scored within 68 seconds in the third period and helped salvage a 2-2 tie. NEW YORK (17-11-7) sagged slightly after holding a four-point lead over the Hawks and lost two before tying the Maple Leafs 1-1. In that one Phil Goyette scored the tying goal with 2:17 left, and Goalie Ed Giacomin, knocked unconscious in the second period when hit on the cheek by a shot, made 37 saves. TORONTO (15-10-8), only three points behind in third place, and MONTREAL (15-13-4), four points farther back in fourth, each had two wins, a tie and a loss. Fifth-place DETROIT (11-20-3) won three in a row at home and moved out of the cellar. On the road, however, where they are winless in 17 games, the Red Wings blew a 2-0 lead and lost to the Canadiens 4-3. Gordie Howe's two goals in a 6-4 victory over the Black Hawks lifted his 21-year-career total to 700, the most ever in the NHL. BOSTON (7-20-7) lost three straight and dropped to last place.
HORSE RACING—In his first race since July, 8-year-old NATIVE DIVER ($6.40) won the $62,050 San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita by four lengths over Hoist Bar for his 29th stakes win.
MOTOR SPORTS—PEDRO RODRIGUEZ of Mexico won the South African Grand Prix, the first championship race of the year, averaging a slow 97.096 miles per hour over the sweltering 203.5-mile Johannesburg course, which only six of 18 cars could complete. John Love of Rhodesia was second, and John Surtees of England third, while last year's Formula I champion, Jack Brabham of Australia, came in sixth.
SKIING—French skiers excelled at the Adelboden ( Switzerland) International Meet, finishing 1-2-3-4 in the first giant slalom race and first and fourth in the second. World Champion GUY PERILLAT took the first race, followed by JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY, who won the second race the next day. The only non-Frenchmen to crack the top four places were Switzerland's Willy Favre and Austria's Heini Messner, who finished second and third in the final race. In Oberstaufen, Germany, NANCY GREENE of Canada was first in both the special slalom and the giant slalom and won the Oberstaufen Cup with a perfect low score of zero. Second place went to Fernande Bochatay of Switzerland, while France's Florence Steurer came in third.