BASKETBALL—NBA: PHILADELPHIA (20-8) shoved BOSTON (18-7) out of first place in the Eastern Division and took a half-game lead when the 76ers won three and lost in overtime to the Lakers 128-122, while the Celtics took two and lost to the Royals 108-104. DETROIT (17-11) beat San Diego 111-110 on Dave Bing's basket with four seconds to play and the Bulls 135-121 on Bing's 40 points to run the Pistons' winning Streak to four before they split two games. NEW YORK (12-17) walloped the Bullets 148-117 and then dropped three in a row. All was not gloom for the Knicks, however, for Bill Bradley finally played his first game (page 18). CINCINNATI's (10-16) losing string reached seven games with three more defeats before the Royals, led by Oscar Robertson's 40 points, beat the Celtics for the second straight time. BALTIMORE (9-16) replaced the Royals in the cellar by losing four in a row. ST. LOUIS (21-7) won two and increased its Western Division lead to one game over SAN FRANCISCO (21-9), which won two and lost one. LOS ANGELES (17-11), four games behind, won four; CHICAGO (9-21) won its third straight game—105-104 over the Royals—and then dropped three of its next four; SEATTLE (7-21) lost three and SAN DIEGO (7-24) split four.
ABA: MINNESOTA (17-6) retained its lead in the Eastern Division by splitting two games with Houston—100-133 and 99-96—and beating Dallas 136-135 in two overtime periods and New Orleans 119-113 in overtime. Ron Perry's three-pointer with 19 seconds to play won the game with Houston and Gary Keller's free throw after time ran out won the game with Dallas. INDIANA (18-8), half a game back in second, sandwiched two losses around three victories, and PITTSBURGH (15-12) broke a five-game losing streak with four consecutive wins. NEW JERSEY (10-12) dropped its only game of the week, while KENTUCKY (8-16), in the cellar, 9� games out, lost three of four. NEW ORLEANS (18-6) lost only one of four and boosted its Western Division lead to 5� games, while second-place DENVER (14-13) lost three of five. DALLAS (10-10) split two games and OAKLAND (9-15) lost one. But the Oaks retained the use of Levern Tart, the ABA's high scorer, until an appeal is heard next month on an Eastern League team's injunction prohibiting him from playing with Oakland. HOUSTON (7-16) dropped three after upsetting Minnesota 133-100. and ANAHEIM (8-20) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 124-100 win over Houston before suffering two more defeats.
BOWLING—Southpaw DAVE DAVIS of Phoenix, Ariz. defeated Pete Tountas of Tucson, Ariz. 216-191 in the final of the $70,000 PBA National Championship at New York's Madison Square Garden Center and, with the $10,000 first-prize money, increased his tour earnings to $54,115—tops for the year. It was Davis' second National Championship win—a record—and his sixth tournament victory of the season, also a record.
FOOTBALL—NFL: LOS ANGELES (10-1-2) edged Central Division champion Green Bay (9-3-1) 27-24 when Roman Gabriel tossed his third touchdown pass with only 34 seconds left in the game (page 12). The victory left the Rams a game behind Coastal Division leader BALTIMORE (11-0-2), which methodically beat New Orleans (2-11) 30-10. CLEVELAND (9-4) won the Century Division title by beating runner-up St. Louis (6-6-1) 20-16; while DALLAS (9-4), the Capitol Division champion, rolled to a 31-3 lead over Philadelphia (5-7-1) after three quarters and coasted to a 38-17 victory; MINNESOTA (3-7-3) tied CHICAGO (6-6-1) 10-10; and WASHINGTON (5-5-3) defeated Pittsburgh (3-9-1) 15-10. Quarterback George Mira started his first game of the season and completed 20 passes for 324 yards and two TDs as SAN FRANCISCO (6-7) beat Atlanta (1-11-1) 34-20, breaking the 49ers' six-game losing streak. DETROIT (4-7-2), which had not won in five games, upset New York (6-7) 30-7 when Karl Sweetan threw three touchdown passes.
AFL: George Blanda booted four field goals as OAKLAND (11-1) clinched the Western Division title by beating Houston (7-4-1) 19-7. The loss left the Oilers tied for first place in the Eastern Division with New York (7-4-1), which lost its second game in a row, to KANSAS CITY (8-5) 21-7. In one of the biggest upsets of the season, the Dolphins' defense intercepted five passes, and rookie Bob Griese threw two TD passes and ran for another touchdown in leading MIAMI (3-9) to a 41-24 come-from-behind victory over San Diego (8-3-1), the Western Division runner-up. Interceptions also ruined Boston (3-9-1) as BUFFALO (4-9) picked off five to beat the Patriots 44-16.
COLLEGE: MIAMI defeated Florida 20-13 as Linebacker Ken Corbin ran back two intercepted passes for touchdowns; small-college champion SAN DIEGO STATE gained its 26th victory in 27 games and its second straight Camellia Bowl win with a 27-6 rout of San Francisco State; and FAIRMONT (W. Va.) STATE won the NAIA championship by beating Eastern Washington State 28-21.
GREYHOUND RACING—O.K. Duke's 2-year-old ABSTAINED ($6) became the youngest racer ever to win the $112,000 International Classic when he sprinted to a three-length victory over Go Norma at the Flagler Kennel Club in Miami.
HOCKEY—NHL: BOSTON (15-5-4) extended its unbeaten streak to eight games and its lead in the East to three points when the Bruins won one and tied one. In a 3-1 victory over the Rangers, John Bucyk scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season, breaking Milt Schmidt's club career mark of 575 points by one. Two other unbeaten strings also continued as second-place TORONTO (13-7-5) made it seven in a row with two ties and DETROIT (12-8-6), tour points behind in third, raised its total to six straight with two ties and a victory. Last season' scoring champion, Stan Mikita, knocked in four goals and this season's scoring leader, Bobby Hull, two as CHICAGO (10-9-7) crushed Pittsburgh 7-2. The Black Hawks then played a tie game with last-place MONTREAL (8-11-7), which had tied the Red Wings earlier in the week. Slumping NEW YORK (11-10-4) lost two and tied one and slipped to fifth place, three points out of the cellar. PHILADELPHIA (12-8-4) held its one-point lead over LOS ANGELES (12-10-3) in the West as both teams split two games. PITTSBURGH (10-12-3) also split two; MINNESOTA (7-11-6) lost one and tied one; and both OAKLAND (6-15-5) and St. LOUIS (6-16-2) split two.
RODEO—LARRY MAHAN, 24, of Brooks, Ore. won a record $51,996 in gaining the World Champion All-Around Cowboy title for the second year in a row at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City (page 20). On his way to the championship, Mahan took bull-riding honors with $21,653, while GLEN FRANKLIN, 31, of House, N. Mex. won his second calf-roping title, breaking his own single-event mark with $31,715. Other world champions are: ROY DUVALL, 25, of Boynton, Okla., steer wrestling with a record $30,715; SHAWN DAVIS, 26, of Whitehall. Mont., saddle bronc riding ($25,277); CLYDE VAMVORAS, 25, of Burkburnett, Texas, bareback riding ($24,228); JOE GLENN, 53, of Phoenix, Ariz., team roping ($11,084); and JIM BOB ALTIZER, 35, of Del Rio, Texas, steer roping ($5,696).
TENNIS—SPAIN defeated South Africa 3-2 in the Davis Cup interzone finals in Johannesburg and won the right to meet defending champion Australia in the Challenge Round in Brisbane at the end of the month.