BASKETBALL—NBA: PHILADELPHIA won three games in a row to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven games Eastern Division finals. The 76ers, with Wally Jones popping in 24 points, beat the Celtics 115-106 in Boston in the second game of the series. In Philadelphia a night later Hal Greer scored 31 points and Jones 20 as the 76ers took the third game 122-114. John Havlicek tossed in 29 points for the Celtics (he had 28 the night before), but the team lost all chance of winning when Bill Russell was benched by fouls in the final quarter. Back in Boston, the Celtics overcame a 15-point deficit in the second quarter, but Greer scored 28 points and Wilt Chamberlain, Luke Jackson and Chet Walker each pitched in with 22 and the 76ers muscled through to a 110-105 victory. In the Western finals, LOS ANGELES, on the high scoring of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, took three straight games to sweep San Francisco 4-0. Baylor and West popped in 36 points apiece as the Lakers won the second game of the finals 115-112. Then West tossed in 40 and Baylor 27 for a 128-124 win, while in the final game West scored 29 and Baylor 28 to lead the Lakers to a 106-100 victory.
ABA: Going into the week with a 1-0 lead in the Western Division finals, champion NEW ORLEANS dropped the second game of the series to Dallas 112-109, then swept the last three games—110-107, 119-103 and 108-107—to win the finals four games to one. In the Eastern finals, champion PITTSBURGH also split the first two games, then rolled over Minnesota in three straight to take the series 4-1. Connie Hawkins, the ABA scoring leader, threw in 32 points, Chico Vaughn tallied 28 and Charlie Williams added 23 in a 107-99 Pipers win in the third game; Hawkins scored 38 and Williams 34 as the Pipers won the fourth game 117-108; and Hawkins tossed in 24 more points in the 114-105 final-game victory.
GOLF—BOB GOALBY of Belleville, Ill. won the $100,000 Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga. with a 72-hole total of 277, finishing one stroke ahead of Argentina's Roberto de Vicenzo, who actually tied Goalby on the course but inadvertently signed an incorrect scorecard (page 14).
Larry Mowry of Las Vegas parred the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Chris Blocker of Jal, N. Mex. by one stroke in the $20,000 Rebel Yell Open in Knoxville, Tenn. (page 61).
GYMNASTICS—At the AAU Championships in Long Beach, Calif., MAKOTO SAKAMOTO of USC gained his fifth All-Around title in the last six years. Sakamoto also took first place in the parallel bars, the horizontal bars and the long horse. TOBY TOWSON of Michigan State won the floor exercise event; JOHN RUSSO of the University of Wisconsin the side horse; STEVE COHEN of Philadelphia the rings; DOUG BOGER of Pasadena City College, tumbling; and DAVE JACOBS of Michigan, trampoline. In the women's events, LINDA METHENY of Southern Illinois University won the All-Around for the second time in three years, as well as the balance beam and free exercises. DORIS BRAUSE of Southern Connecticut took the uneven bars, JUDY WILLS of SIU the trampoline and JOYCE TANAC of the Seattle YMCA the side horse vault.
HOCKEY—NHL: CHICAGO led New York three games to two in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs as the Rangers took the second game 2-1 and dropped the next three—7-4, 3-1 and 2-1 (page 20). In the other East semifinal, champion MONTREAL completed a 4-0 sweep of Boston by winning the third game of the series 5-2 and taking the final game 3-2 on Claude Larose's two goals. In the West playoffs, ST. LOUIS led champion Philadelphia three games to two. The Blues won the third game of the playoffs 3-2 when Larry Keenan scored a goal at 4:10 of the second overtime period and took the fourth game 5-2 as Red Berenson slapped in two goals. The Flyers kept the series going, however, by walloping the Blues 6-1 on Rosaire Paiement's hat trick. Paiement had been recalled from the Flyers' Quebec farm team a few hours earlier. LOS ANGELES, which had taken the first two games of the other West Division playoff, dropped the next two to Minnesota 7-5 and 3-2 before winning the fifth game 3-2.
HORSE RACING—VERBATIM ($19), ridden by Johnny Rotz, won the $60,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct by 2� lengths over Wise Exchange (page 66).
In reality, ridden by substitute Jockey Chuck Baltazar, beat Barbs Delight by 3� lengths and set a track record of 1:41[3/5] in a 1[1/16]-mile allowance race at Bowie, taking one second off the mark set by Social Outcast 13 years ago.
SOCCER—NASL: After two weeks of play 16 of the 17 teams in the North American Soccer League had finally played at least one game. The VANCOUVER ROYALS whacked the Toronto Falcons 4-1 and edged the Baltimore Bays 2-1; the SAN DIEGO TOROS shut out the Washington Whips 2-0; and the CLEVELAND STOKERS came from behind to beat the Chicago Mustangs 2-1. In other games the ATLANTA CHIEFS defeated the St. Louis Stars 3-1 before an opening-day Busch Memorial Stadium crowd of 11,021, and the TORONTO FALCONS, after losing to the Royals earlier in the week, were tied 1-1 by the Dallas Tornado.
SWIMMING—CHARLIE HICKCOX of Indiana (SI, April 8) won three events in the AAU short-course championships at Greenville, N.C., taking the 200-yard individual medley, the 100-yard backstroke and the 200-yard backstroke to become the first swimmer ever to win three individual titles at both the AAU and NCAA indoor championships in the same year. INDIANA gained the team title with 334 points, followed by the Santa Clara Swim Club with 269. Other individual winners included Mark Spitz of the Santa Clara SC in the 100-yard butterfly, Mike Burton of UCLA in the 1,650-yard freestyle and Brian Job of Santa Clara in the 200-yard breaststroke.