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BASKETBALL—NBA: The season opened slowly as SAN FRANCISCO crushed Seattle, one of the two new expansion teams, 144-116; BOSTON beat Chicago 105-90; and ST. LOUIS edged the other expansion team, San Diego, 99-98 and defeated the Warriors 107-102.
ABA: The new American Basketball Association also had a quiet first week with OAKLAND defeating Anaheim 134-129, INDIANA beating Kentucky 117-95 before a sellout crowd of 9,135 in Indianapolis, and DENVER defeating Anaheim 110-105.
BOATING—Miamian ALLAN BROWN piloted his 28-foot twin-engine Donzi Baby in a record time of 3:18:45 to clip Don Aronow's 1965 mark by 51 seconds and beat Odell Lewis of Fond du Lac, Wis. by 28 minutes in the 184-mile Miami-to-Nassau race.
FOOTBALL—NFL: LOS ANGELES (3-1-1) came from 10 points behind early in the fourth quarter to tie BALTIMORE (4-0-1), the Coastal Division leader, 24-24 (page 18). SAN FRANCISCO (4-1) was also losing in the final period, but Ken Willard plunged for a touchdown and the 49ers edged Philadelphia (3-2) 28-27. DALLAS (4-1) gained undisputed possession of first place in the Capitol Division with a 14-10 victory over winless New Orleans (0-5), but it was no easy matter. The Saints were moving to what could have been the game-winning touchdown when Bill Kilmer fumbled on the Cowboys' seven-yard line with only one minute left in the game. Dallas' Dave Edwards recovered, and that was that. ATLANTA (0-4-1) finally broke its four-game losing streak by tying WASHINGTON (2-2-1) 20-20 on Wade Traynham's 31-yard field goal with just two seconds remaining. Sonny Jurgensen, who completed 29 passes for 334 yards, accounted for all three Redskin TDs with his tosses. NEW YORK (3-2) moved into a three-way share of first place in the Century Division with a 27-24 come-from-behind victory over Pittsburgh (1-4). Trailing 24-14 at the start of the fourth quarter, Fran Tarkenton scored one touchdown on a seven-yard run and won the game with his second TD pass to Joe Morrison—this one a 59-yarder off a double reverse with less than two minutes to play. Kent Nix, the Steelers' rookie quarterback, also tossed two TD passes and scored a touchdown. CLEVELAND (3-2) threw the Century Division lead into the three-way tie by beating St. Louis (3-2) 20-16 as Frank Ryan threw two TD passes and 43-year-old Lou Groza, playing his 17th season, booted his first two field goals—40 and 34 yards—of the year. Central Division leader Green Bay (3-1-1) held a 7-0 lead over MINNESOTA (1-4)—on a second-period 86-yard TD pass from Zeke Bratkowski to Carroll Dale—until late in the fourth quarter when, suddenly, two Viking interceptions scuttled the Packers. The first set up a touchdown plunge by Bill Brown and the second set up the winning 12-yard field goal by Fred Cox with eight seconds remaining. An intercepted pass clinched the game for CHICAGO (2-3) when Bennie McRae ran it back 29 yards for a touchdown to beat Detroit (2-2-1) 14-3.
AFL: Eastern Division leader New York (3-1-1) scampered to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter but had to scramble for its life in the final period to gain a 28-28 tie with Houston (2-2-1). The Oilers intercepted six of Joe Namath's passes, including three that scored two TDs and set up another in the third quarter to put the Oilers eight points ahead. Emerson Boozer's touchdown—his second of the game and tenth of the season—and a two-point conversion on a pass by Namath tied the game, but the Jets were not home free yet. On the last play of the game the Oilers made their last interception and only Namath's tackle on the Jets' four-yard line prevented a game-winning TD by the Oilers. Babe Parilli made it easy for BOSTON (2-3-1) when he tossed five touchdown passes in a 41-10 rout of Miami (1-4). Undefeated SAN DIEGO (4-0-1) held first place in the West with a 45-31 win over defending champion Kansas City (3-2) as John Hadl completed 17 of 32 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns. Charger Defensive Back Speedy Duncan set the tone of the game in the first half when he recovered a fumble and ran 35 yards for a TD, and minutes later intercepted a pass at the goal line and raced a record 100 yards to score. In a rough game for the quarterbacks—Daryle Lamonica of the Raiders was dumped five times for a loss of 50 yards and the Bills' Jack Kemp was caught 11 times for a loss of 96 yards—second-place OAKLAND (4-1) defeated Buffalo (2-4) 24-20. Nonetheless, Lamonica and Kemp each managed to toss two TD passes.
HARNESS RACING—Kennilworth Farms' brown filly FLAMBOYANT ($4.20) earned a record top prize of $91,731.90 when Billy Haughton guided him to a half-length victory over Halifax Hanover in the one-mile, $183,463.80 Dexter Cup trot—the world's richest harness race at Roosevelt Raceway.
HOCKEY—The 51st National Hockey League season opened with six new teams, all in the newly formed Western Division. In the Eastern Division, which is composed of the established teams, MONTREAL started quickly with victories over Pittsburgh and Detroit. In the first meeting between the old and the new, the Canadiens edged the Penguins 2-1 on Jean Beliveau's 400th career goal in the second period. Against an old foe, the Canadiens had an easier time as they crushed the Red Wings 6-2, with Yvan Cournoyer scoring two goals and assisting on two others. Jean Ratelle also scored two and had two assists in NEW YORK's 6-3 win over Chicago. TORONTO whacked the Black Hawks, too, beating them 5-1 with a four-goal outburst in the second period as 43-year-old Johnny Bower smothered the Hawks in the nets. Detroit tied BOSTON 4-4 when Dean Prentice slapped in the puck with two minutes to play, while in the Wings' loss to the Canadiens 39-year-old Gordie Howe, the NHL's alltime scoring leader, began a record 22nd season by knocking in his 650th career goal. League champion CHICAGO dropped both of its games. In the West, CALIFORNIA defeated Minnesota 6-0 on five third-period goals and Philadelphia 5-1. The other West coast team, LOS ANGELES, also found Philadelphia an easy mark and defeated the Flyers 4-2. St. Louis split two games with Pittsburgh, winning one 4-2 and losing the other 3-1. The Blues also tied Minnesota 2-2 when Wayne Rivers scored a goal with less than two minutes left in the game. MINNESOTA tied one and lost one, PITTSBURGH won a game and dropped two, while PHILADELPHIA lost both its games.
HORSE RACING—VITRIOLIC ($5), Braulio Baeza up, gained a two-length victory over Iron Ruler to take the one-mile $179,500 Champagne Stakes.