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BASKETBALL—NBA: Coach Joe Mullaney of the Los Angeles Lakers was up against it—he had to meet the league's four toughest teams without the services of Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Keith Erickson. Despite the brilliant effort of Jerry West to carry the load all by himself, the Lakers lost 129-97 to Baltimore which was in the middle of a seven-game winning streak. West was high scorer with 38 points. Next came the New York Knicks, working on the longest winning streak in NBA history (page 16). New York won 103-96 despite West's 41 points and Mullaney's attempt to grab an edge, or maybe just a respite, with a controversial play that caused the Knicks to resort to an illegal zone defense and thereby acquire technical fouls. On Wednesday the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Lakers 100-81 after the tireless West sprained his ankle in the first period. He sat on the sidelines with an ice bag and only five points. Against San Francisco West was back with 43 points, but Warrior Joe Ellis sank 14 of 17 field-goal tries, scored 31 points in all, and the Lakers lost for the fourth time, 114-108. Embattled Mullaney, trying his zone-defense gimmick again, was called "a disgrace to basketball" by Coach George Lee of the Warriors.
ABA: New Orleans, tied at one point during the week by both Washington and Los Angeles for first place in the West, won three straight and wound up alone on top. The last of the three wins, 105-101 over Denver, was the Bucs' 10th consecutive victory at home and their 12th in 14 games. Regulation play ended with the score 88-88, and the first overtime 94-94. With 1:25 remaining in the second overtime, the Bucs' Red Robbins made a field goal and a free throw to give New Orleans the lead for good. Denver's Spencer Haywood was the game's high scorer with 33 points, just as he was with 38 points when the Rockets beat Dallas 109-103. Chaparral Coach Cliff Hagan said. "I don't think the loss can be attributed so much to what we did wrong as to whit Spencer did right...he is the best player in the league right now."
NBA—East: New York (3-1), Baltimore (3-1), Milwaukee (2-2), Philadelphia (3-0), Cincinnati (2-2), Detroit (2-2), Boston (2-2). West: Atlanta (2-2), Chicago (2-1), Los Angeles (0-4), San Francisco (3-1), San Diego (1-2), Phoenix (0-3), Seattle (1-3).
BOATING—Though 22-mph winds snapped his mast near the end of the final race of the six-day Lightning class world championship in Buenos Aires, BRUCE GOLDSMITH, in Snoopy, won with two seconds, a fourth and a fifth.
CROSS-COUNTRY—GERRY LINDGREN, making his final appearance for Washington State, won the NCAA championship over a field of 274 in New York. His time, 28:59.2, bettered Mike Ryan's course record by 17.6 seconds. The UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO squad, four of them freshmen, outscored Villanova for the team title in both the NCAA meet and the U.S. Track and Field Federation meet in State College, Pa. two days later. The AAU women's championship (page 69), contested on a two-mile course in Inglewood, Calif., was won for the third time by DORIS BROWN of Seattle's Falcon Track Club. Six-foot-six Olympic 5,000-meter man JACK BACHELER of Birmingham, Mich. covered a tough 10,000-meter course in Bloomfield Hills in 30:49.8, beating a field of 60 for the AAU men's title.
FOOTBALL—NFL: Three of the four divisional titles were settled last week when Cleveland of the Century pulled out a 28-24 win over Chicago, unbeaten and untied Los Angeles of the Coastal put down Washington 24-13 and Minnesota of the Central shut out Detroit 27-0. The Bears, led by Gale Sayers, who gained 126 yards in 20 carries, were leading the Browns by three points until the last minutes of the fourth quarter. But then Cleveland Quarterback Bill Nelsen moved his team 80 yards with passes to Gary Collins, Leroy Kelly and Collins again, and Ron Johnson ran seven yards for the winning score. Chicago has now guaranteed itself its worst season ever. Los Angeles, conversely, has its best record since joining the league as Cleveland in 1937.
AFL: Oakland, the Western leader, took on New York, the Eastern leader, on the Jets' home turf before a record crowd of 63,865 and won 27-14 on better passing and a better defense. Daryle Lamonica completed 19 of 28 passes for 334 yards while Joe Namath could manage only 10 of 30 for 169 yards. While Jim Turner missed three times for the Jets, Oakland Kicker George Blanda scored field goals from the 23 and the 37. The win gave the Raiders a half-game lead in the West; the Jets, still first, have yet to clinch their division title.