BASKETBALL—NBA: Milwaukee opened the championship round of the playoffs with two victories over Baltimore, 98-88 and 102-83. In the first neither team was quite ready—the Bullets tired from their seven games with the New York Knicks and without Gus Johnson, and the Bucks rather surprised to be facing the Bullets. Johnson returned to the Baltimore lineup after a six-day rest, but a 27-point performance by Lew Alcindor and an uneven match-up between Oscar Robertson, who scored 22 points, and Earl Monroe, who was held to 11, clinched the Bucks' second win.
ABA: In the East, Kentucky came from behind to win its semifinal playoff series with Virginia four games to two. The Squires moved ahead 2-1 with a 150-137 victory in which Ray Scott and Charlie Scott (no relation) each scored 30 points. Then came three straight wins for the Colonels, by 128-110, 115-107 and 129-117, on some hot shooting by Dan Issel and rugged defense. It was turnabout in the West, too, as Utah spurted ahead 3-1 on a 126-99 romp, then permitted Indiana to even the series with 127-109 and 105-102 victories.
BOXING—The Houston Astrodome announced the scheduling of a bout between Muhammad Ali and Wilt Chamberlain, the Los Angeles Lakers' 7'2" center, but within 24 hours the bizarre match-up was called off when Chamberlain demanded a $500,000 guarantee—after taxes.
Bob Foster, although extended a full 15 rounds for the first time in his 10-year career, kept his world light heavyweight title with a one-sided decision over Ray Anderson in Tampa, Fla.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS conquered the exacting La Costa ( Calif.) Country Club course to win the Tournament of Champions with a nine-under-par 279, eight strokes ahead of Gary Player, Bruce Devlin and Dave Stockton (page 16).
Barbara McIntire, 36-year-old former U.S. and British amateur champion from Colorado Springs, routed Hollis Stacy, 17-year-old defending champ, in the North and South Amateur in Pinehurst, N.C. 6 and 5.
HARNESS RACING—Favored SUPER WAVE ($5) took the $25,000 O'Brien Hanover Pace at New York's Roosevelt Raceway by three-quarters of a length over Leroy N. At Hawthorne in Chicago, SONG CYCLE ($6.80) won the first division of the Suburban Downs Pacing Derby; RUM CUSTOMER ($4) won the second.
HOCKEY—The Minnesota- Montreal semifinal series opened with a 7-2 Canadien victory highlighted by Jacques Lemaire's three goals in the second period. Next the North Stars contrived a 6-3 upset—the first playoff victory ever for an expansion club against an established team. Montreal came back with a 6-3 win of its own, Defenseman Jacques Laperriere scoring two goals for the Canadiens, only to have Minnesota jolt the favorites again, 5-2. In the seesaw New York- Chicago match-up (page 22) each team won and lost a game on home and enemy ice. Goalie Tony Esposito had a shutout for Chicago; Vic Hadfield scored the hat trick for New York.
HORSE RACING—IMPETUOSITY ($10.40) scored a three-length victory in the 1?-mile $34,525 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, a major prep for the Kentucky Derby (page 32). His stablemate Twist The Axe was second, and favored Dynastic finished third.
Bold And Able ($2.80) took the Stepping Stone Purse at Churchill Downs by three lengths over List.