PRO BASKETBALL—ABA: Behind Dan Issel's 31 points, Kentucky beat Denver 90-87 and dropped the Rockets into a first-place tie with Indiana in the West. But the week's heroics belonged to Carolina. The Cougars stayed just percentage points behind East leader Kentucky by winning four games under unusual circumstances. There are no long home stands in pro basketball, and the players can write books about their road trips. Particularly Carolina, where even home means travel. The Cougars began their week at San Antonio, shooting 68.4% from the floor in a 124-92 rout. Next day, after Texas fog delayed their plane two hours, they arrived in Salt Lake City in time to shoot 58.7% and beat Utah 115-104. It was their fifth straight road victory but no respite. They took a six-hour flight, via Chicago and a two-hour time difference, landed back in Greensboro, went straight to the Coliseum and dispatched Denver 109—104 in overtime. En route to another "home" in Charlotte for their fourth game in four nights in four cities with 5,000 miles logged, their bus broke down. The players hopped into private cars, arrived 45 minutes before tipoff and beat San Antonio 117-95 for their fifth straight win. Billy Cunningham (78 points) proved the best weary traveler. San Diego Coach Wilt Chamberlain is weary of not playing, and he and the league received good news when it was announced that the dispute with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers over whether he can play or not will go to arbitration.
NBA: Atlanta and Los Angeles took over the Central and Pacific leads with 3-1 weeks, while Boston (1-1) and Milwaukee (3-0) stayed ahead in the Atlantic and Midwest. The most violent action was away from the rim, where Chicago's Norm Van Lier and Houston's Calvin Murphy engaged in a furious slugging match. Van Lier was ejected and Murphy stayed in to score 32 points. That was not the only headache for Chicago Coach Dick Motta, whose team still managed to win 121-113 for its fifth straight. "I feel badly," he said, "because with the second-best record in the NBA we are unfortunate enough to play in the same division with Milwaukee."
BOXING—CHARTCHAI CHIONOI of Thailand retained his World Boxing Association flyweight title with a unanimous 15-round decision over Susumu Hanagata of Japan, in Bangkok.
Rodolfo Gonzales of Long Beach, Calif. stopped Italian Antonio Puddu on a 10th-round TKO to hold onto his World Boxing Council lightweight title in Los Angeles.
CHESS—BORIS SPASSKY won the Soviet championship in Moscow with 11� points out of a possible 17. He was then challenged by Bobby Fischer, who beat him for the world title last year.
PRO FOOTBALL—Field goals continued to whiz through the air (page 24) but an honest-to-goodness touchdown settled the score between the two remaining unbeaten teams. True, it was the only TD of the game, but Fran Tarkenton's nine-yard pass to Chuck Foreman was the play that gave MINNESOTA a 10-9 win over LOS ANGELES. Other contenders fell in upsets: DALLAS 30-16 to PHILADELPHIA and WASHINGTON 19-3 to NEW ORLEANS. Roman Gabriel hit Harold Carmichael on two scoring passes and went over himself from the one in the Eagles' 27-point first half. Bill McClard, who just joined the Saints at midweek, hit four field goals to undo the Redskins. MIAMI held the Patriots to 94 yards rushing and averted another upset as second-half runs by Mercury Morris and Larry Czonka iced a 30-14 win over NEW ENGLAND. CLEVELAND settled for a 16-16 tie with SAN DIEGO when Charger Ray Wersching kicked a 16-yarder in the last 30 seconds.
Altie Taylor rushed for 160 yards in DETROIT'S 34-0 ravaging of GREEN BAY. Charley Johnson threw two touchdown passes to put DENVER ahead, and the Broncos staved off the NEW YORK Jets 40-28 after a Monday night game in which they tied OAKLAND 23-23 on Jim Turner's last-minute field goal. The Raiders rebounded to whip BALTIMORE 34-21 on Snake Stabler's 25 completions, two for touchdowns. Jim Hart threw four touchdowns—three to Mel Gray—in ST. LOUIS' 35-27 triumph over NEW YORK, ending the uncanny hold the Giants have had over the Cardinals. Led by Ike Hill's 95-yard kickoff return, CHICAGO scored three touchdowns in 95 seconds and buried winless HOUSTON 35-14. Bob Lee led ATLANTA to a 17-3 win over SAN FRANCISCO, the team's third straight victory since he became starting quarterback. He hit Ken Burrows for 164 yards and two scores. PITTSBURGH Quarterback Terry Bradshaw suffered a broken right collarbone, but reserve Terry Hanratty and the defense stayed cool and the Steelers got by CINCINNATI 20-13.
GOLF—Tour sophomore JOHN MAHAFFEY shot a 13-under-par 271 for his first win, in the $135,000 Sahara Invitational in Las Vegas.
GYMNASTICS—LUDMILA TURISCHEVA of the U.S.S.R. swept all five gold medals—for the overall, vault, asymmetric bars, beam and floor exercises—in the women's European championships in Wembley, England. Her teammate Olga Korbut had to withdraw because of an ankle injury.
HARNESS RACING—ARMBRO NESBIT ($4.20), driven by Joe O'Brien, won the $101,200 L.K. Shapiro Stakes in a race record of 1:57[2/5] for the mile at California's Hollywood Park.