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BASKETBALL—ABA: Commissioner Jack Dolph ruled that Jimmy Jones and Larry Cannon were Free agents, and let Jones move from Memphis to Utah and Cannon from Denver to Memphis. But he fined their new employers and took away the clubs' first-round draft choices for 1972. Vince Boryla, Utah's general manager, immediately termed the decision "immature, illogical, irresponsible and to the detriment of the ABA and the Utah Stars." adding, " Dolph isn't qualified to run a kindergarten class." Whereupon the commissioner immediately threatened a large fine. Despite the brouhaha, the Stars set a club record for points with a 150-93 win over Carolina, making their record 3-0. Then the defending league champions fell with a thud. They lost to Indiana 125-122, and the next night New York beat them 111-100 even though Nets high-scorer Rick Barry was out with an injury. A night later Utah met Carolina again and lost 101-99 as rookie Jim McDaniels scored 31 points. Indiana ran its winning streak to five before losing to Dallas 105-93, but still held first place in the West by two games over the Stars. Kentucky won two of three to lead the East.
NBA: It began to look as if no one would survive the season as Dave Bing, Jerry West, Keith Erickson, Gus Johnson, Wes Unseld, Mike Riordan, Pete Maravich, Wall Frazier and rookies Austin Carr, Ken Durrett and Howard Porter were sidelined with various injuries and illnesses. Even some healthy stars did not show up to play ball. Baltimore starting Guards Earl Monroe and Archie Clark skipped two games, Monroe because he was unhappy in Baltimore and Clark because he was unhappy with his contract. The Bullets, who earlier in the week had lost to Boston 134-114 with Monroe (he scored 28 points), dropped two more—110-87 to New York and, more embarrassing, 109-101 to Cleveland—to fall to the bottom of the Central Division, in which every team is a loser. Don Smith held Elvin Hayes to two points in the first half and nine overall as Seattle beat Houston 110-91. Some 750 fans saw the first, and probably the last, pro game ever played in Waco, Texas, where Chicago defeated Houston 125-110. The hapless Rockets, at 0-5, were the league's only winless team. Defending champion Milwaukee coasted to four easy wins, holding its opponents below 100 points in three of them, and held first place in the Midwest with a 6-0 record. The Bucks, the only unbeaten team in the league, handed Philadelphia its first loss with a 110-88 drubbing as Kareem Jabbar scored 40 points and gathered in 29 rebounds.
FOOTBALL—American Conference: Cleveland suffered its first shutout since 1950 as Denver won its second straight game, humiliating the Browns, Central Division leaders, 27-0 (page 28). Larry (Sundance Kid) Csonka gained 137 yards in 20 carries and Jim ( Butch Cassidy) Kiick picked up 121 yards in 17 to lead MIAMI to a 30-14 win over the New York Jets. Garo Yepremian boosted his AFC-leading point total to 59 with three field goals. SAN DIEGO broke a four-game losing streak and handed winless Buffalo its sixth defeat with a 20-3 victory on John Hadl's two touchdown passes to rookie Billy Parks, one a 56-yarder for the game's first score. With five minutes remaining, PITTSBURGH trailed Houston 16-9. But a blocked field goal attempt and a fumble led to two Steeler touchdowns—Terry Bradshaw passed for one and John Fuqua ran 30 yards for the other—and the winless Oilers were scuttled 23-16. KANSAS CITY broke Washington's five-game winning streak, beating the Redskins 27-20 as Len Dawson threw three touchdown passes. Dawson also tossed three TD passes in the Monday night TV game to lead the Chiefs to a 38-16 win over the Steelers. George Blanda saved OAKLAND for the first time this season when he replaced Daryle Lamonica, who injured his hand, late in the third period and led the Raiders to two touchdowns in a come-from-behind 31-27 win over Cincinnati.
National Conference: CHICAGO's Bobby Douglass, starting because of injuries to Jack Concannon and Kent Nix, threw two touchdown passes and scored another to upset Detroit 28-23 and knock the Lions out of a share of first place with the Vikings. The game was marred by the death of Lion Receiver Chuck Hughes, who suffered an apparent heart attack. LOS ANGELES held first place in the West as Roman Gabriel tossed three TD passes in a 30-13 rout of Green Bay. Bruce Gossett kicked four field goals and John Brodie threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Dick Witcher to lead SAN FRANCISCO to a 26-14 win over St. Louis. DALLAS played its first game at Texas Stadium before 65,708 and romped over New England 44-21 as Roger Staubach threw two TD passes to Bob Hayes and Mike Clark booted three field goals. Rookie Jim Plunkett completed 16 passes for 228 yards and two TDs despite an overwhelming Cowboy pass rush. Dick Shiner filled in for the injured Bob Berry and lifted ATLANTA past New Orleans 28-6, while PHILADELPHIA gained its first win with an easy 23-7 victory over the New York Giants.
HOCKEY—Pittsburgh defeated California 4-2 and Los Angeles 8-1 to make it four straight wins and a tie with Chicago for first place in the West Division. But the Penguins' $100,000-a-year-defenseman, 41-year-old Tim Horton, broke his ankle in the Kings game and will be out for six weeks. The Penguins then met the Black Hawks in what may be the division's only crucial game of the year and flopped 5-2 as the largest home crowd in Pittsburgh hockey history—13,100—looked on mournfully. Toronto fans were almost as sad; the Maple Leafs lost to Buffalo by the same 7-2 score that the Sabres recorded in last season's first visit to Maple Leaf Gardens. Minnesota moved from fifth to third in the West on three impressive victories—3-2 over Buffalo on Charlie Burns' two goals, 7-0 over Vancouver on Cesare Maniago's 12th career shutout and 5-1 over Buffalo on Bill Goldsworthy's hat trick. New York held first place in the East with three wins, extending its winning streak to four. The Rangers embarrassed Montreal Goalie Ken Dryden for the first time in the regular season, 84—, held Chicago to one shot in the third period in a 3-1 victory and beat St. Louis 4-3 on Brad Park's goal while a man short. Dryden bounced back to shut out Vancouver 6-0 as Frank Mahovlich scored three times to lift the Canadiens into second in the East.
HORSE SHOWS—The UNITED STATES won the International Team Championship for the 15th time in 21 years at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg. NEAL SHAPIRO'S winning ride gave the U.S. 108 points to Canada's 100.
MOTORCYCLING—JOHN COOPER of England won $14,500 first-place money in the world's richest motorcycle race—the $100,000 Champion Sparkplug Classic—when he nipped Australia's Kel Carruthers by four inches, at Ontario, Calif. DICK MANN of Richmond, Calif. finished ninth to win the national championship point standings with 1,054.