BASKETBALL—NBA: There were just about two minutes remaining in the third period and already the young giant sat on the bench, his team hopelessly trailing in its final bid for the NBA Eastern championship. New York fans were on their feet, chanting "Goodby Lewie, we hate to see you go." And Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., who later said it would have been "redundant to put me back in," watched silently as the Knicks put together an invincible 132-96 effort and took the series from Milwaukee, 4-1. "We've got nothing to be ashamed of," said Alcindor, and, indeed, with the Knicks conducting a blitzkrieg in every department, it seemed doubtful anyone could have stopped them. Only the Lakers, surprise winners of seven straight playoff games, now stood between them and their first world title. For Willis Reed, it was a dual challenge; had any previous center been forced to battle the likes of Alcindor and Wilt Chamberlain in consecutive series? But Willis had a plan. Sensing that Chamberlain's knee injury had slowed him somewhat on defense, he decided to go right at Wilt. The results, although he suffered a shoulder injury that could hamper him the rest of the way, showed 37 points and a Knick playoff record of 16 field goals for Reed. Still, the Lakers steadily shaved a 20-point Knick lead and, with 11:05 left, surged ahead by five on a Chamberlain stuff. Now it was up to the Knick defense—unanimous NBA All-Star Jerry West found himself bottled by Dick Barnett; the other Knicks clung like glue to their opponents and the Lakers managed but two field goals in the next seven minutes of play. And there were Cazzie Russell, Dave DeBusschere and Walt Frazier, combining for 10 straight points. The final score was 124-112, and New York, in the playoff finals after 17 years of frustration, seemed primed for the challenge.
ABA: Freddie Lewis, a 6-foot guard whose 16.4 average was only the league's 24th best during the regular season, suddenly turned into a scoring demon for Indiana, his efforts of 29, 26, 20 and 31 leading the Pacers to a 4-0 series sweep over Carolina in the first round of playoff action. Lewis played all-league ace Bob Verga even as Indiana moved into the Eastern semifinals against either New York or Kentucky, knotted at 2-2 in their series. In the West, Los Angeles surprisingly opened a 3-2 lead over Dallas while Washington pulled the biggest upset, closing a 2-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie with division champion Denver. A 40-point effort by Rick Barry pulled the Caps from a halftime tie to a 116-111 victory in the sixth game.
GOLF—HOLLIS STACY, a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Savannah, Ga., became the youngest champion ever to win the 68th North and South women's amateur tournament by defeating Mrs. Paul Dye, 6 and 4, in Pinehurst, N.C. MILLER BARBER sank a birdie on the 2nd hole of a sudden-death playoff for the New Orleans Open prize while FRANK BEARD followed with a weekend victory in the $150,000 Tournament of Champions.
HOCKEY—While Boston was scoring in the final moments to take a 4-0 sweep over Chicago (page 18), St. Louis claimed the early edge over Pittsburgh for the right to meet the Bruins for the NHL championship. The Penguins, who scored only two goals at the St. Louis Arena all season, found the going rough again as the Blues claimed 3-1 and 4-1 victories. But when the series went to Pittsburgh, rookie Center Michel Briere scored once and added an assist as the Penguins won 3-2.
HORSE RACING—Exploding in the stretch and atoning for a fourth-place finish in his season debut, ARTS AND LETTERS ($4.20) won the $84,650 Grey Lag Handicap at Aqueduct by half a length, Braulio Baeza easing Rokeby Stable's 1969 Horse of the Year home in 1:48[2/5] for the 1? mile race.
Though largely overlooked by the crowd of 50,000, Chilean-bred QUILCHE ($31.80) sped to an American record for 1? miles in the $80,500 Century Handicap at Hollywood Park, Jerry Lambert pushing him to 2:11[3/5].
In final preps for the Kentucky Derby, DUST COMMANDER ($72.80) astonished with a victory in the Blue Grass Stakes (page 61) while MY DAD GEORGE ($7.40), the Raymond Curtis colt ridden by Ray Broussard, edged Terlago in the seven-furlong Stepping Stone.
Son of the owner, R. Penn-Smith Hannum, guided MORNING MAC to victory by 2� lengths in the 74th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup at Glyndon, Md. The 8-year-old gelding, competing in the grueling four-mile, 22-jump timber race for the first time, clocked 9:38[2/5] over the soft course.
LACROSSE—While Army dropped from the unbeaten ranks in a 9-8 loss to Johns Hopkins, Navy remained the only undefeated team in the nation with an 11-7 victory over Virginia. Steve Soroka replaced injured All-America Lennie Supko in the goal and contributed 13 saves, while Harry MacLaughlin had three unassisted goals in sparking the Middies to their sixth straight victory. For Johns Hopkins, upset by Virginia a week ago, a goal by Doug Honig in the last five seconds provided the one-point margin.
MOTOR SPORTS—Porsche maintained its lead over Ferrari in the battle for the world championship of sports car manufacturers as the Mexican-Finnish team of Pedro Rodriguez and Lee Kinnunen won the 1,000-kilometer Monza, Italy auto race.