BASKETBALL—NBA: NEW YORK (7-1) breezed past PHOENIX (2-4) for its fifth straight win 140-116, causing Sun Coach Johnny Kerr to observe, "They play championship-caliber basketball." But with such encomiums ringing in their ears the Knicks stumbled to a 112-109 loss to SAN FRANCISCO (3-1), the new Western Division leader, two nights later. The Warriors lost Nate Thurmond in the second quarter when he was tossed out of the game and still outrebounded the Knicks 68-42. The Knicks recovered, though, to win their remaining two games against the Bullets and DETROIT (2-2), holding both opponents to fewer than 100 points. The Warriors' three straight wins, which moved them from third to first, were against the Knicks, ATLANTA (3-2), 94-93 when Jeff Mullins scored on a 20-foot jump shot with seven seconds left, and the Bucks, 118-104. In that one, Jerry Lucas, playing his first game for the Warriors, outrebounded Lew Alcindor 22 to 5, and Nate Thurmond held the Bucks' prize rookie to only 16 points, his lowest total of the season. MILWAUKEE (3-2) began the week beating SEATTLE (0-5), then SAN DIEGO (1-3) 115-102 when Alcindor scored 36 points, but the main event was the third game, Alcindor's first against the Lakers and Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers won 123-112, and Chamberlain won the duel with Alcindor, but narrowly—25 points and 25 rebounds to 23 and 20. LOS ANGELES (4-2) won its first game of the season by handing BALTIMORE (3-2) its first loss 142-137 in overtime, then won twice more to move to second place behind the Warriors in the West. Chamberlain led the scoring with 43 points in the win over CINCINNATI (2-4), and the SuperSonics fell easily 130-106. PHILADELPHIA (3-1) picked up one more win and held second place in the East, CHICAGO (2-2) played once and won once and BOSTON (0-4) dropped two more (page 22).
ABA: DALLAS (5-1) won four straight games last week and assumed first place in the Western Division, thanks to the even scoring of its entire starting five—Glen Combs with 91 points, Cincy Powell, 73, John Beasley, 72, Manny Leaks, 56, and Ron Boone, 54. Powell not only accounted for 37 points against the Buccaneers but sank the three free throws in the last 49 seconds that won the game 115-114. INDIANA's (3-1) Bob Netolicky scored 32 points against DENVER (0-5) and another 32 against CAROLINA (2-1) as the Pacers picked up two wins and first place in the Eastern Division. KENTUCKY (2-1) beat WASHINGTON (3-2) and NEW ORLEANS (1-5) and moved into a tie for second with the Cougars. MIAMI (2-2), PITTSBURGH (1-1) and NEW YORK (1-2) each won one game and lost another, while LOS ANGELES (3-2) took only one of three games.
BOXING—The first dual meet of a two-part home-and-home series under Olympic rules between the national teams of the U.S. and U.S.S.R. was won by the Russians, six matches to five, in an improbable setting, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
FOOTBALL—NFL: Undefeated LOS ANGELES (6-0) beat winless Chicago (0-6), but not so easily as expected. The final score was 9-7, and the winning 11-yard field goal by Bruce Gossett, one of three, was set up by a fumble and a 15-yard penalty. Baltimore (3-3) dropped still further behind the front-running Rams in the Coastal Division with a 24-21 loss to SAN FRANCISCO (1-4-1). Substitute Quarterback Steve Spurrier engineered a 74-yard drive in 12 plays for one score, and less than a minute later substitute Cornerback Johnny Woitt intercepted a Unitas pass and ran it back 57 yards for another score. MINNESOTA (5-1) Quarterback Joe Kapp threw to Gene Washington on a 41-yard scoring play and by halftime had set up two other touchdowns with his fine passing, as the Vikings routed Detroit (3-3) by 24-10 (page 18). GREEN BAY (4-2) moved up to second in the Central Division with a 28-10 win over Atlanta (2-4). Donny Anderson, making his first start, rushed for 114 yards and scored the game's first touchdown with a 16-yard run. Herb Adderley broke his own NFL record when he got his seventh touchdown with an intercepted pass. WASHINGTON's (4-1-1) Quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, blanked by the Pittsburgh (1-5) defensive line in the first half, ran in from the 10 after leading the Redskins 80 yards in 10 plays in the third quarter, then threw to Charley Taylor for another touchdown and a 14-7 win. PHILADELPHIA's (2-4) 13-10 victory over New Orleans (0-6) was saved when the Saints' last try, a pass in the final minute by Jim Ninowski, was intercepted. Century Division leader CLEVELAND (4-1-1) was tied 21-21 by third-place ST. LOUIS (2-3-1) in the last eight seconds, when John Gilliam caught his third touchdown pass of the day.
AFL: Daryle Lamonica, who already led the league in scoring passes, added three for a total of 20 as OAKLAND (6-0-1) beat San Diego (4-3) 24-12. KANSAS CITY (6-1) stayed close behind the Raiders in the Western Division with a 42-22 victory over Cincinnati (3-4). With only a shaky 28-22 lead and 10 minutes to go, the Chiefs erupted in the last two minutes with an 80-yard scoring run by Warren McVea and a 19-yard touchdown dash by Goldie Sellers with a fumble recovery of the kickoff. NEW YORK (5-2), still the Eastern leader, had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to down last-place Boston (0-7) 23-17, and second-place HOUSTON (4-3) had to do the same to beat Denver (3-4) 24-21. MIAMI's (1-5-1) seventh game finally produced a win. Bob Griese threw for two touchdowns in a 24-6 victory over Buffalo (2-5). The Dolphin defense allowed O. J. Simpson only 12 yards in 10 carries.
GOLF—After five years on the tour STEVE SPRAY, 28, won his first tournament, the $100,000 San Francisco Open, with a birdie on the 72nd hole for a 269, one stroke ahead of Chi Chi Rodriguez.
HOCKEY—NHL: BOSTON (6-0-1) picked up eight points with four wins and pulled six ahead of its nearest rivals in the East. Bobby Orr, the Bruins' league-leading defenseman (14 points, 12 of them assists) registered a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win over MINNESOTA (3-4-0), two assists as the Bruins beat LOS ANGELES (2-4-0) 3-2 and three more in a 4-2 defeat of OAKLAND (3-3-1). Oakland's other game, a 4-3 win over PITTSBURGH (1-3-3), gave the Seals a tie for first in the Western Division with ST. LOUIS (3-2-1). The best the Blues could do was a 3-3 tie with MONTREAL (2-1-3), when Andre Bourdrias scored on a third-period power play. Their two losses were to TORONTO (2-3-1) and DETROIT (3-2-1). Bobby Hull is still missing (page 60), but CHICAGO (1-5-1) finally won a game, a 5-0 shutout of the Canadiens with five different Black Hawks scoring. NEW YORK (3-2-1), winning two and tying one, moved into a three-way tie for second behind the Bruins. PHILADELPHIA (1-1-3) won once, tied twice.
HORSE RACING—After opening up a 10-length lead with half a mile to go, ARTS AND LETTERS ($2.60) strolled on to win his sixth-straight stakes, the two-mile, $106,200 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Aqueduct, by 14 lengths over Nodouble (page 64).
HORSE SHOWS—The newest member of the U.S. EQUESTRIAN TEAM, Jared Brinsmade, won the Grand Prix of Harrisburg on the last night of the Pennsylvania National, and his teammates swept the other three places to overtake the Canadians for the international team-jumping championship.
MOTOR SPORTS—LEE ROY YARBROUGH won the American 500 at Rockingham and became the biggest season money winner in NASCAR history—$218,000 this year. DAVID PEARSON, who finished second, clinched the top place—worth $18,000—in the season point standings.