BASKETBALL—NBA: Espousing the philosophy that has made Milwaukee famous, Buck Coach Larry Costello said last week. "If I geared our offense around those two guys and the other three stood around, we'd lose." That evaluation came only minutes after Milwaukee had defeated Boston 123-113 as "those two guys," NBA scoring-leader Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson, combined for 70 points. Once-beaten Milwaukee later extended its winning streak to eight with a 116-107 romp past Buffalo. Chicago earned two impressive victories during the week, 118-96 over Los Angeles, the Lakers' only loss in the last eight games, and 120-116 over Atlanta. The disappointing Hawks also lost to Buffalo, 134-118, the Braves' first win over an established team. Philadelphia had a bad week, falling lo Atlanta 109-104 and to New York 126-94. Ignominy followed defeat for the 76ers at Madison Square Garden, as sneak thieves broke into the 76ers' dressing room during the game and robbed the players of over $1,400. Cleveland tied a record with its 15th straight loss before finally defeating Portland 105-103.
ABA: Everyone was getting fat off Texas last week, including Utah, which set a club scoring record while registering a 146-127 triumph over the struggling Good Samaritans from Dallas. The West Division leading Stars then turned on two Eastern teams to run their record to 12-1, winning 125-115 over the Floridians and 106-102 over Pittsburgh, which went without the services of John Brisker. The high-scoring guard was sidelined with a wrist injury after scoring 50 points in a win over Texas and 53 in a loss to Indiana. The Pacers lost four straight before they blasted Kentucky 130-112. This was the Colonels' only loss but it was offset by a key victory over East Division leader Virginia 130-123. Kentucky then defeated Texas for its 10th win in 11 games. Memphis' winning string reached five games, and one of them—of course—was at the expense of Texas, 105-91.
FOOTBALL—While two National Conference division leaders were getting locks on their titles with Sunday victories, games in the American Conference tended only to confuse matters. Long passes by Quarterback Gary Cuozzo set up two fourth-quarter runs by Clint Jones as MINNESOTA came from behind to beat Detroit 24-20. The Vikings thus made their NFC Central Division lead over the Lions and GREEN BAY more comfortable. SAN FRANCISCO, with the help of the NEW YORK Jets, seemed on the verge of clinching the Western Division race. After an early tussle, the 49ers rapped Houston, 30-20, behind John Brodie's three touchdown passes, while second-place Los Angeles was battered by the Jets 31-20. Quarterback Al Woodall ended New York's six-game skid by also throwing for three scores. Only in the Eastern Division did an NFC race still seem in doubt, especially after the NEW YORK Giants won their sixth straight, 35-33 over Washington. Ron Johnson's nine-yard scoring run with one minute left kept it close between the Giants, St. Louis and Dallas. The race was so tight, in fact, that it seemed more appropriate to the situation in the American Conference, where four Central teams and three Western teams are bunched within two games of each other. One could even entertain a doubt or two about BALTIMORE's domination of the AFC East, after the Colts were tied 17-17 on a late field goal by BUFFALO's Grant Guthrie. Next week the Colts must go on the road to play second-place MIAMI, which handled New Orleans 21-10. The AFC Central remained in a tie as Virgil Carter ran for one touchdown and passed for the other in CINCINNATI's 14-10 upset of Cleveland. The Bengals trail the sub-.500 Browns and Pittsburgh by only one game. The Steelers could have taken the lead themselves but for KANSAS CITY, whose 31-14 victory over the Steelers, plus SAN DIEGO's 16-14 win over hapless Boston, maintained the AFC Western bottleneck behind OAKLAND. The Raiders stayed a stutter step ahead by defeating Denver 24-19 (page 30).
NATIONAL CONFERENCE—Eastern: St. Louis (6-2-0), New York (6-3-0), Dallas (5-3-0), Washington (4-5-0), Philadelphia (1-7-1). Central: Minnesota (8-1-0), Detroit and Green Bay (5-4-0), Chicago (3-6-0). Western: San Francisco (7-1-1), Los Angeles (5-3-1), Atlanta (3-4-2), New Orleans (2-6-1).
AMERICAN CONFERENCE—Western: Baltimore (7-1-1), Miami (5-4-0), Buffalo (3-5-1), New York (2-7-0), Boston (1-8-0). Central: Cleveland and Pittsburgh (4-5-0), Cincinnati (3-6-0), Houston (2-6-1). Western: Oakland (5-2-2), Kansas City (5-3-1), San Diego (4-3-2), Denver (4-5-0).
GOLF—AUSTRALIA's team of Bruce Devlin and David Graham fired a combined 32-under-par 544 to win the World Cup in Buenos Aires (page 28).
GYMNASTICS—TERUICHI OKAMURA led Japan to the men's title and LJUDMILA TURISHEVA starred for the championship Russian women's team at the World Invitational Tournament in Winnipeg.
HOCKEY—Chicago maintained a narrow West Division lead over St. Louis and remained unbeaten in seven home appearances. The Hull brothers, Bobby and Dennis, each scored twice to lead a 7-1 rout of Philadelphia, and Bobby also drove home the winner against New York. Most of the attention in the 2-1 victory over the Rangers went to Goalie Gerry Desjardins, who has not been beaten this year. St. Louis has not lost at home either, although what appeared to be the Blues' first win ever over Montreal in St. Louis was turned into a 1-1 tie on a Jacques Lemaire goal with 25 seconds left. Boston continued to lead the East Division despite a 3-2 letdown against Toronto, which had lost its previous four. One of those Maple Leaf defeats was 4-2 to Vancouver, the winner in all three of the teams' meetings. Buffalo, after seven straight losses, finally won one, 4-2 over California.
HORSE RACING—Three days after FORT MARCY ($4.20) became a millionaire with his one-length victory in the Washington, D.C. International at Laurel, Md. (page 22), another Rokeby Stable entry took the second-largest prize—$211, 392—in American thoroughbred history. Unheralded 2-year-old RUN THE GANTLET ($20.80) won the mile and 1/16th Garden State Stakes at Cherry Hill, N.J. after a fierce duel with Executioner.
Top Bid became the first American steeplechaser to win over $100,000 in a year by rallying to victory in the Colonial Cup in Camden, S.C.