BASKETBALL—NBA: With a 119-103 victory over the San Diego Rockets, the New York Knicks capped the most successful season in their history by clinching the Eastern Division title for the first time in 16 years. The Knicks missed being in first place only two days this season, back in October, and every win added to the 59 they now have sets a new club mark. The other playoff teams in the East are Milwaukee, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Western Division championship is still to be settled. Los Angeles pulled within one game of first-place Atlanta after the Hawks lost 130-119 to fourth-place Phoenix. Chicago, Phoenix and Seattle are battling for the last two playoff spots.
ABA: It was a high scoring week in the West with Denver's star rookie, Spencer Haywood, starting things off by making 46 and 47 points in two consecutive games, a 108-103 Rocket win over New Orleans and a 124-116 defeat by Dallas. Then Haywood, the league's leading scorer (28.6 average) and rebounder (19.6), hurt his foot and hit for 14, 26, and 31 in his next three games. Meanwhile, third-place Washington, led by Rick Barry, who had 42, defeated second-place Dallas 162-158 in double overtime. It was the highest-scoring game in ABA history. In the East, Carolina gained a tie for second place with Kentucky, but both teams are 16� games behind division-leader Indiana.
NBA—East: New York (2-2), Milwaukee (2-1), Baltimore (2-1), Philadelphia (2-1), Cincinnati (1-2), Boston (1-3), Detroit (1-1). West: Atlanta (2-1), Los Angeles (3-0), Chicago (3-0), Phoenix (1-0), Seattle (1-3), San Francisco (1-2), San Diego (0-5).
ABA—East: Indiana (3-0), Carolina (2-1), Kentucky (2-2), New York (1-2), Pittsburgh (1-1), Miami (0-4). West: Denver (3-2), Dallas (1-3), Washington (1-1), New Orleans (2-1), Los Angeles (2-1).
COLLEGE: Berths in the semifinals of the NCAA championship were won by ST. BONAVENTURE, which trounced Villanova 97-74 for the East Regional title; JACKSONVILLE, with a 106-100 win over Kentucky in the Mideast; UCLA, beating Utah State 101-79 in the West; and NEW MEXICO STATE with an 87-78 victory over Drake in the Midwest (page 26). In the early rounds of the NIT scores were: MARQUETTE over Massachusetts 62-55; UTAH over Duke 78-75; MANHATTAN over North Carolina 95-90; ARMY over Cincinnati 72-67; ST. JOHN'S over Miami of Ohio 70-57; GEORGIA TECH over Duquesne 78-68; LOUISIANA STATE over Georgetown 83-82; and OKLAHOMA over Louisville 74-73. The NAIA title was won by KENTUCKY STATE over Central Washington 79-71 in Kansas City.
BOWLING—MIKE LIMONGELLO of North Babylon, N.Y. bowled a final-match 228 to beat Mike McGrath of EI Cerrito, Calif., who had a 192, for the $7,500 first-prize check at the $60,000 Don Carter Classic at Madison Square Garden. Carter, who dominated the game from 1952 to 1962, failed to make the semifinals because, "The ball doesn't go where I want it to anymore."
BOXING—After losing his last four bouts, TOM (The Bomb) BETHEA of New York knocked out World Middleweight Champion Nino Benvenuti when Benvenuti quit in the eighth round of a non-title fight in Melbourne, Australia. It was the first knockout of Benvenuti's career.
Five-time World Champion EMILE GRIFFITH scored a unanimous decision over Carlos Marks of Trinidad in a 12-round match in New York.
In Tampa, Fla., Light Heavyweight Champion BOB FOSTER scored his 11th consecutive knockout when he floored Cookie Wallace of Dallas with a looping right at 1:36 of the sixth round.
GOLF—DICK LOTZ won the $150,000 Monsanto Open at Pensacola, Fla. with a nine-under-par 275 to register his second win in seven years (page 60).