BASKETBALL—NBA: When Baltimore, the leader of the all-losing Central Division, lost its second overtime game in three days—to Seattle 118-117 (the first was to New York 97-95)—Coach Gene Shue stomped off the court in a rage. "All I want is equal treatment from the referees," he shouted. "There were so many obvious calls that weren't made. I get the impression that everybody regards the Central Division as the great embarrassment of life. They're treating us as a big joke." NBA Commissioner Walter Kennedy did not crack a smile as he fined Shue a league-record $2,000 for his remarks. Shue had nothing to say after the Bullets turned around and upset Phoenix 95-90 and defeated Portland 90-80 to hold a three-game lead over Atlanta, which won three of four. New York slipped to five games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division with two overtime wins and two losses, including a 105-97 drubbing by last-place Buffalo in which Brave rookie Fred Hilton came off the bench to score 31 points. The Celtics, meanwhile, won both their games to extend their winning streak to five. Golden State squeezed half a game ahead of Seattle in the Pacific Division second-place race, while runaway leader Los Angeles took four games, including a 109-108 win over Midwest leader Milwaukee on Gail Goodrich's basket with five seconds to go. It was the Lakers' third victory over the Bucks in four games this season. Milwaukee won its other two games, walloping Detroit 131-113 and Philadelphia 94-81 as the 76ers were held to 25 points in the first half, an NBA season low.
ABA: Kentucky clinched first place in the Fast Division with four straight wins, including a 134-125 victory over Carolina in which rookie Artis Gilmore tossed in 41 points. The Colonels' lead ballooned to 15� games (biggest in pro basketball) over Virginia, loser of three of four. The Squires even managed to lose a game to the Floridians 124-117 despite rookie Julius Erving's 45 points and Charlie Scott's 34. Third-place New York picked up 2� games on Virginia with three victories, including a 114-111 win over the Squires and a 133-123 win over Pittsburgh in which eight players—topped by Rick Barry's 37—scored at least 20 points. But the Nets were still a distant 6� games behind Virginia. West leader Utah won its 10th straight game, beating Memphis 125-115. then lost to second-place Indiana 111-98. Unhappily for Pacer fans, the Stars won their next two while Indiana dropped one, and Utah's overwhelming lead climbed to 10.
BOATING—CONDOR, a 41-foot sloop skippered by Hill Blackett of Chicago, won the six-race SORC series (page 14).
BOXING—CARLOS MONZON of Argentina retained his world middleweight title with a controversial fifth-round TKO of Denny Moyer of Portland at the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome. When the Argentine referee stopped the fight moments short of the end of the fifth round, the Italian fans registered their disapproval by tossing dozens of oranges into the ring. "It's too ridiculous to get disturbed about." said Movers' manager, Sid Flaherty. "Incompetence is incompetence."
HOCKEY—New York, suffering no late-season slump this year, ran its winning streak to six games by defeating St. Louis 2-0 on Ed Giacomin's first shutout. California 4-1 and Buffalo 4-3. But Boston whacked Vancouver 7-3 as Phil Esposito gained his third hat trick of the season (he also had two assists) and Bobby Orr became the first player in history to score more than 100 points three straight years, and edged Detroit 5-4 on Espo's four assists to give the Bruins a nine-game winning streak. Over the past four weeks, the Rangers won 11 and tied one but Boston did the same, leaving New York nine points behind the Bruins in the East Division. To add to the Rangers' frustration. Center Jean Ratelle, second in the scoring race to Esposito, cracked a bone above his right ankle in the Sea! game and will be out for the rest of the season. Third-place Montreal, also on a winning streak (five games), failed to cut into the Rangers' eight-point lead despite beating Pittsburgh 5-3 on three goals in the last period, Buffalo 4-1 and Vancouver 5-0 for Ken Dryden's seventh shutout. In the West, Chicago coasted to a victory and two ties and pushed its lead over Minnesota to 16 points when the North Stars dropped two games.
HORSE RACING—Lucien Laurin-trained 3-year-olds finished one-two in the $180,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park (page 16).
Bill Shoemaker broke Eddie Arcaro's career stakes record when he won his 555th aboard Royal Owl in the $54,850 San Jacinto Stakes at Santa Anita. Two days later Shoemaker guided TURKISH TROUSERS ($5.40) to a head win over Convenience in the $100,000 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita for his 92nd career victory in a $100,000-added race, also a record.
MOTOR SPORTS—DENIS HULME averaged 114.23 mph in his McLaren to win the Formula I South African Grand Prix in Johannesburg, South Africa by 14 seconds over Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil. Hulme's victory in the second Grand Prix race of the year gave him the world driving championship lead by six points over defending champion Jackie Stewart, whose car broke down midway through the race.
SPEED SKATING—ATJE KEULEN-DEELSTRA of The Netherlands, a 33-year-old mother of three, won the 1,000-and 1,500-meter events at the Women's World championships in Heerenveen. The Netherlands to gain the overall title. Countrywoman Stien Baas-Kaiser, winner of the 3,000 meters, finished second, followed by Dianne Holum of the U.S., who won the 500-meter sprint.
TRACK & FIELD—TOM VON RUDEN took the mile in 3:57.8 at the Los Angeles Coliseum Meet of Champions as Jim Ryun finished last (page 57).