PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers gave a week-long demonstration of the bad-neighbor policy as they dealt three straight defeats to up-the-coast resident Golden State. L.A. Forward Jim McMillian had predicted that the difference between the teams would depend on how Wilt Chamberlain fared against Nate Thurmond and on "whoever has to chase Rick Barry." McMillian was not far off. At the end of three games, Chamberlain had totaled 80 rebounds. In the third contest, which the Warriors lost 126-70, they scored the fewest points in the playoffs since the 24-second clock was introduced in 1954. The Golden State starting five shot an even 20%, the team 23.6%. Rick Barry was high-point man with 10. McMillian, who chased Barry, distinguished himself in that game, too, tossing in 28 points in 30 minutes. Nor was that his best, in the 101-99 opener. McMillian was high for the Lakers with 37, getting game-winning help from Jerry West, who connected for 11 of his 17 points in the final quarter. It was West and Chamberlain again in the second game, 104-93, West leading all scorers with 36 points, 14 in the fourth period, and Wilt pulling down 30 rebounds. After the game the Big Dipper said, "That's what I'm paid to do, isn't it?" The Boston Celtics appeared out of it after Sunday's double overtime loss to New York, which made the series 3-1. The Celts could do very little right all week. In the second game of the series they were dealt their worst playoff loss in history, a 129-96 drubbing in New York. The Knicks opened with a three-quarters-court press that held Boston to 11 points in the first nine minutes. With scoring spurts of 16-4 and 16-0, the Knicks wound up shooting 58% to the Celtics' 39%. Boston Coach Tom Heinsohn observed, "We were so out of it, it was pathetic." Two nights later Boston lost the third game 98-91; worse still, they lost John Havlicek. After scoring 29 points the Boston captain collided with Dave DeBusschere in the third quarter, severely injuring his shoulder. The fourth game, back in New York, saw the Celtics, minus Havlicek, blow a 16-point lead as the Knicks outscored Boston 33-17 in the fourth period, Walt Frazier getting 15 of those New York points. It was 89-89 after regulation play and 101-101 after the first overtime, the Knicks finally winning 117-110.
ABA: Kentucky and Carolina were still trying to decide who would face Indiana, the Western Division winner (page 67). For the second straight year the Pacers finished regular-season play behind Utah, then proved how much final standings mean. Starting the week at a game apiece, Indiana gained its 17th consecutive home victory as the Stars fell 118-108. George McGinnis, with 275 points thus far in the playoffs, tossed in 31 and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds. Two nights later the home-win streak ended as the Stars edged Indiana 104-103. Jimmy Jones and Willie Wise led Utah with 34 and 28 points. McGinnis paced both teams with 36 points and 18 rebounds. Wise again scored 34 points, but early turnovers and a 65-49 rebounding advantage by the visitors gave the Pacers the fifth game 104-102. Back home on Saturday, Indiana wrapped it up 107-98 as McGinnis pumped in 23, the Pacers leading for the entire second half.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS won the MONY Tournament of Champions and $40,000 with a total of 276, one stroke better than Lee Trevino (page 22).
HOCKEY—NHL: After a socko start, the Philadelphia Flyers gradually began to succumb to Montreal (page 70). Although it took the Canadiens a 6:45 overtime to do it, a 50-foot slap shot by Larry Robinson gave them a 4-3 victory to even the series at 1-1. In Philadelphia for the third game, the Canadiens got what Coach Scotty Bowman called "The kind of game we've been looking for," an efficient 2-1 win. Forward Rejean Houle, who scored only 13 goals during the regular season, knocked in a tricky backhand shot from 20 feet, and Henri Richard added the other Canadien score. The Flyers were without 50-goal scorer Rick MacLeish, who was out with his season-long nemesis, tonsillitis. Philadelphia could only organize four shots in the final period. Back in the Spectrum on Sunday, the Canadiens overpowered Philadelphia 4-1 with veteran Yvan Cournoyer contributing a goal and Houle chalking up another. Chicago won two games on the road, downing New York 2-1 and 3-1, thus making the series 3-1. Black Hawk Center Stan Mikita turned in an impressive performance in the 2-1 game, scoring on a ricocheted shot. Dennis Hull's two goals and the usual blockade from Chicago Goalie Tony Esposito gave the Hawks their third victory.
WHA: New England looked as though it would brush aside Cleveland in four quick ones, but the Crusaders kept the series alive for a little longer with a 5-2 surprise. Gary Jarrett scored three goals and Ron Buchanan knocked in two more for the Crusaders. Earlier in the week New England won 3-2 and then 5-4 on two third-period goals by Tim Sheehy. Houston eliminated Los Angeles 3-2 and moved on to play Winnipeg. The Jets beat the Aeros 5-1 in the opener, with two goals from Wally Boyer. Winnipeg also took the second 2-0.
HORSE RACING—ANGLE LIGHT, Jacinto Vasquez up ($2.60), led the field, including stablemate and favorite, Secretariat, to win the $116,400 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct (page 16). Angle Light beat Sham by a head, with Secretariat third.
Linda's Chief ($2.60), Braulio Baeza up, won the $124,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields by� length over Easy Ern (page 16).
Our native ($7.40) won the $12,500 Calumet Purse at Keeneland after the first-place finisher, Starkers, was disqualified for bumping him.
LACROSSE—No. 1-ranked JOHNS HOPKINS handed Brown its first loss of the regular season with an 18-7 win in Providence. Don Krohn scored six goals for the Blue Jays and All-America Jack Thomas added two more and six assists. MARYLAND held on to its No. 2 ranking with a 23-8 thrashing of Army at home as Eddie Mullen contributed three goals and six assists. Rick Bergland scored five times as No. 3 VIRGINIA came from behind to beat No. 4 Navy 11-9 in Charlottesville.
TRACK & FIELD—Olympic 800-meter champion DAVE WOTTLE anchored Bowling Green's four-mile relay team to a meet record of 16:24.0 in the 48th annual Kansas Relays in Lawrence. EASTERN NEW MEXICO'S sprint medley relay team, with meet MVP Mike Boit anchoring, turned in the second-fastest collegiate time ever to take the college division in 3:15.5. ROBERT PRIMAUEX of Texas set another meet record, winning the 440-yard hurdles in 50.3. In winning the decathlon with 7,223 points, BILL HANCOCK of Southern Illinois set a world record of 7'1" for the decathlon high jump. Leonard Hilton held off Wottle to win the mile in 4:01.9.