BASKETBALL—ABA: Indiana, now the Eastern Division leader by a three-game margin over Kentucky, opened the week against Western co-leader Los Angeles. The Pacers' 6'9" forward. Bob Netolicky, scored a career-high 43 points, 17 of them in the second period, as the Stars lost the game 129-113 and first place, temporarily. Washington, which started the week tied for first, lost three of its four games and wound up in third, while the New Orleans Buccaneers, who began in fourth, surprised even themselves by winning twice and finishing tied with L.A. for first. Steve Jones was high man for New Orleans with 32 points when the Bucs upset the Caps 122-115 for their sixth straight win at home. The game was tied 68-68 in the third period but was broken apart at that point by an 11-point New Orleans streak.
NBA: Lost in the glare of the New York Knicks' record run of wins is the Baltimore Bullets' own hot streak. Their three victories last week gave them six in a row and nine in their last 10 games, and still they are second in the East, six games out. Rookie Guard Mike Davis scored 40 points, his career high, in leading the Bullets to a 142-138 overtime win against San Diego. Baltimore beat Phoenix easily 133-118 on Wednesday, but at home two nights later had serious trouble with the same Suns. Scoring on 12 of their first 14 shots, the Bullets built a 15-point lead, then blew it and had to come from behind to finally win 126-116. Kevin Loughery was injured and Gus Johnson was out on fouls for more than half the game, leaving it to Wes Unseld and Jack Marin, with 26 points each, to play home-town heroes.
ABA—East: Indiana (2-0), Kentucky (1-1), Carolina (1-2), Pittsburgh (2-1), New York (2-1), Miami (1-2). West: Los Angeles (1-2), New Orleans (2-0), Washington (1-3), Dallas (0-2), Denver (2-1).
NBA—East: New York (3-0), Baltimore (3-0), Milwaukee (2-2), Cincinnati (1-2), Philadelphia (1-4), Detroit (0-2), Boston (2-2). West: Atlanta (2-2), Los Angeles (5-0), Chicago (2-2), San Francisco (2-2), San Diego (2-2), Phoenix (1-4), Seattle (0-2).
BOATING—The Columbia-57 sloop CONCERTO, skippered by John J. Hall of Newport Harbor ( Calif.) Yacht Club, was declared winner on corrected time of the 960-mile Long Beach to La Paz yacht race. Windward Passage, a 73-foot ketch, finished first.
BOXING—At 1:08 of the 11th round of the world middleweight title fight in Rome, champion NINO BENVENUTI knocked out challenger Luis Rodriguez with a left hook to the jaw (page 24).
FOOTBALL—AFL: The Oakland Raiders intercepted two of Len Dawson's passes for touchdowns and recovered a fumble that led to a field goal as they beat Kansas City 27-24 and took over first place in the Western Division by half a game. Houston, second in the East behind New York, pulled farther ahead of the rest of the field and closer to the playoffs with a 32-7 win over Miami. With the Boston-Buffalo score 21-21 in the third quarter, Boston's Mike Taliaferro threw 18 yards to Ron Sellers and 27 to Jim Nance, before Nance scored the tie breaker from the two on the first play of the fourth quarter. The final score was 35-21 and gave the previously last-place Patriots a tie for third in the East with the Bills.
NFL: Detroit, which did all its scoring in the first half on three field goals by Errol Mann and a Greg Landry touchdown, beat Green Bay 16-10 for its fourth straight win. The Packers' loss—their third in a row, the first time that has happened since 1959—virtually assured them of a third-place finish in the Central Division for the second straight year. In Chicago the Bears had a 21-14 lead over Baltimore with 7:40 left to play when Johnny Unitas, who had watched the game from the sidelines, was brought in to relieve Earl Morrall. Unitas moved the Colts 67 yards in seven plays for the tie, and Lou Michaels' field goal from the 17 with 12 seconds left won it 24-21.
AFL—East: New York (8-3), Houston (5-4-2), Boston (3-8), Buffalo (3-8), Miami (2-8-1). West: Oakland (9-1-1), Kansas City (9-2), San Diego (5-6), Cincinnati (4-6-1), Denver (4-6-1).
NFL—East: Century—Cleveland (7-2-1), St. Louis (3-6-1), New York (3-7), Pittsburgh (1-9). Capitol—Dallas (8-2), Washington (5-3-2), Philadelphia (4-5-1), New Orleans (3-7). West: Central—Minnesota (9-1), Detroit (7-3), Green Bay (5-5), Chicago (1-9). Coastal—Los Angeles (10-0), Baltimore (6-4), Atlanta (3-7), San Francisco (2-7-1).