BASKETBALL—NBA: Last week belonged to the New York Knicks. Of their four wins, which made them the Eastern leader by six full games, probably the most satisfying was the last—they beat Boston in their first meeting of the season 113-98. It was New York's 17th win in 18 games, a league record for the start of the season and the team's 12th in a row, a club record. The Knicks, who had watched helplessly for 13 years as the Celtics rolled to 11 NBA championships, had prepared for a much tougher game than they got. They forgot, as Boston General Manager Red Auerbach said before the game, that Bill Russell was no longer there. "The opposition puts a shot up and four of our guys start breaking down the floor. I have to scream at them, 'Hey, we haven't got the ball yet!' " Dave DeBusschere broke his nose on Rick Robertson's fist when the Knicks beat L.A. 112-102 but came back taped like a mummy two nights later and played his best game of the season—24 points and 16 rebounds in the 116-103 win over San Francisco.
ABA: Warren Armstrong led the Washington Caps in scoring, rebounds and assists for the third game in a row when they beat New York 102-101, but he injured an ankle in the process and joined Rick Barry on the sidelines as the Caps went on the road. Without Armstrong or Barry, the team lost to Dallas 122-104 and barely beat New Orleans 101-99. The Caps moved into a tie for first with Los Angeles in the Western Division, however, thanks to a truly heroic performance by Dallas' Cincy Powell. To the delight of his personal, 25-member L.A. rooting section of relatives he scored 26 points, including the final-second free throw that beat the Stars 96-94, their first loss in five games. All this in spite of a not-yet-mended cheekbone, a sprained ankle and two days in bed with the flu.
NBA—East: New York (4-0), Baltimore (3-0), Milwaukee (2-2), Philadelphia (1-2), Cincinnati (1-1), Detroit (2-3), Boston (0-4). West: Atlanta (3-1), Chicago (2-2), Los Angeles (1-3), Phoenix (2-2), San Francisco (0-4), San Diego (4-0), Seattle (2-2).
ABA—East: Indiana (3-1), Kentucky (3-1), Carolina (1-1), Pittsburgh (0-4), Miami (1-3), New York (0-4). West: Washington (2-1), Los Angeles (3-1), Dallas (2-2), New Orleans (3-1), Denver (2-1).
FOOTBALL—NFL: Dallas virtually clinched the Capitol Division by beating second-place Washington 41-28. As President Nixon watched, rookie Calvin Hill gained 150 yards in 27 carries (both club records) and ran for two touchdowns while Craig Morton completed eight of 17 passes for 156 yards, including one for 65 yards to Lance Rentzel for a score. Virtually assured, too, was Minnesota's title in the Central Division after Sunday's game. An underthrown pass from Green Bay's Bart Starr to Dave Hampton was intercepted in the final minutes by Viking Bobby Bryant, cutting off the Packers' last chance to score. Minnesota won 9-7 on three Fred Cox field goals, from 10, 12 and 20 yards.
AFL: Buffalo moved from fourth to third in the Eastern Division by beating Miami 28-3, while Boston, the underdog, had its day, upsetting Cincinnati 25-14 for its second win of the season. In Buffalo O. J. Simpson returned the opening kickoff 73 yards and scored two plays later on an eight-yard pass from Jack Kemp. Marlin Briscoe caught a 12-yarder in the second quarter, Bill Enyart ran in from the one in the third and Simpson did it again in the fourth on Kemp's 55-yard pass. Boston's defense picked off three Greg Cook passes, recovered two of three Cincinnati fumbles and tackled Jess Phillips in the Bengals' end zone for a safety. The offense did its share, too, with 19 points in the first quarter alone. Fullback Jim Nance gained 125 yards, putting him over 100 for the second game in a row.
NFL—East: Century- Cleveland (6-2-1), St. Louis (3-5-1), New York (3-6), Pittsburgh (1-8). Capitol- Dallas (8-1), Washington (4-3-2), Philadelphia (3-5-1), New Orleans (2-7). West: Central-Minnesota (8-1), Detroit (6-3), Green Bay (5-4), Chicago (1-8). Coastal- Los Angeles (9-0), Baltimore (5-4), Atlanta (3-6), San Francisco (2-6-1).
AFL—East: New York (7-3), Houston (4-4-2), Buffalo (3-7), Miami (2-7-1), Boston (2-8). West: Kansas City (9-1), Oakland (8-1-1), Cincinnati (4-5-1), Denver (4-5-1), San Diego (4-6).
HARNESS RACING—Ending his career with his 22nd consecutive victory, OVERCALL ($2.80) took the $100,000 American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park by 3� lengths over Sunnie Tar and Rum Customer. Overcall retires to stud in 1970 with career earnings of $800,000.
HOCKEY—NHL: Montreal extended its winning streak to eight, taking three more games and first place in the Eastern Division from New York after beating Los Angeles 6-3 on a night when the Rangers were idle. The Rangers won their next two games, but so did the Canadiens, and the one-point lead held up. Montreal Goalie Rogatien Vachon registered his first shutout of the season and Claude Provost scored twice in a 5-0 victory in Oakland, while three nights later in St. Louis Yvan Cournoyer's third-period goal beat the Western Division-leading Blues 3-2. St. Louis and Montreal have now met 22 times, including playoffs and exhibitions, and the Blues' record stands at 0-17-5.