BASEBALL—In the most significant trade of the major league winter meeting in Los Angeles, the rebuilding Chicago White Sox sent All-Star shortstop LUIS APARICIO to Boston for Second Baseman Mike Andrews and Shortstop Luis Alvarado.
Cuba took the first two games of a best-of-three playoff with the U.S. 3-1 and 5-3 to win the world amateur championship in Cartagena, Colombia.
BASKETBALL—NBA: That scourge of old, Boston, won its eighth straight last week and, with New York falling to Detroit and Buffalo, the Celtics were only one back of the Atlantic Division leaders in the loss column. Boston started the week with a pair of wins over Buffalo and added Los Angeles, Cleveland and Chicago as it successfully blended old and new talent. John Havlicek was the big scorer, averaging 33 points a game, but he was abetted by Jo Jo White, who tallied 37 in a 117-116 defeat of Buffalo and 27 more as Cleveland fell 118-107. The Los Angeles Lakers picked up two wins over their closest Pacific Division challengers, San Francisco and San Diego, and toppled Central leader Baltimore, 97-93, as well. Against San Diego, Jerry West equaled his previous season high of 41 points.
ABA: In basketball jargon "D" stands for defense, and in the American Basketball Association no team plays it better than the New York Nets. Coach Lou Carnesecca, who taught a little "D" while at St. John's, has three of his former Redmen with him in the pros. Last week the Nets took a firm hold on third place in the East Division and moved above the .500 level by continuing to get A's in "D." It came about with a trio of impressive wins—129-113 over Texas, 115-110 over Florida and 98-87 over Memphis. Virginia and Indiana continued to trail Kentucky and Utah, but when the division leaders met the Stars won 129-128 in overtime.
BOWLING—KLAUS MUELLER of West Germany won the world amateur title by taking three final games from Henry Tan of Singapore in Copenhagen, Denmark. The U.S. representative, Wayn Zmrhal of Berwyn, Ill., was eliminated in the semifinals.
BOXING—Southpaw BILLY BACKUS, a 9-1 underdog who once quit boxing over his failure to win, took the world welterweight title from champion Jos� Napoles on a fourth-round technical knockout in Syracuse, N.Y.
BRIDGE—BRAZIL became the sixth team to qualify for the world tournament in Taiwan next May by defeating Argentina 133-104 in the South American championship in Caracas.
FOOTBALL—With only two weeks to go the National Football League gets curiouser and curiouser. MINNESOTA finally did clinch the NFC Central title by edging Chicago 16-13, and BALTIMORE, following its 29-10 defeat of Philadelphia, was on the threshold of claiming the AFC Eastern crown. But elsewhere two NFC and AFC divisional races remained deadlocked. In the NFC West, LOS ANGELES drubbed New Orleans 34-16 and SAN FRANCISCO edged Atlanta 24-20, while in the AFC West KANSAS CITY blanked Denver 16-0 and OAKLAND pulled another out, 14-13 against the New York Jets. The NFC Eastern jigsaw became more puzzling when leader St. Louis fell to DETROIT 16-3. This drew NEW YORK (20-6 over Buffalo) and DALLAS (34-0 over Washington) within half a game. CINCINNATI evened up its won-lost record by defeating San Diego 17-14—and in the AFC Central Division that was good enough for first. Pittsburgh seemed to drop out of it by losing to GREEN BAY 20-12.
National Conference—Eastern: St. Louis (8-3-1), New York and Dallas (8-4-0), Washington (4-8-0), Philadelphia (2-9-1). Central: Minnesota (10-2-0), Detroit (8-4-0), Green Bay (6-6-0), Chicago (4-8-0). Western: Los Angeles and San Francisco (8-3-1), Atlanta (3-7-2), New Orleans (2-9-1).
American Conference—Eastern: Baltimore (9-2-1), Miami (8-4-0), New York (4-8-0), Buffalo (3-8-1), Boston (2-10-0). Central: Cincinnati (6-6-0), Cleveland (5-6-0), Pittsburgh (5-7-0), Houston (3-7-1). Western: Kansas City and Oakland (7-3-2), Denver (5-7-0), San Diego (4-6-2).