PRO BASKETBALL—ABA: As usual, the league was making more news off-court than on-court. Item: Commissioner Mike Storen orders the first replay in ABA history. Feeling that three crucial seconds of the Nov. 14 game were taken away from San Antonio, he will have the last 30 seconds of the apparent 84-83 Indiana victory replayed Dec. 2. Item: Storen suspends Referee Jimmy Clark for several days for "actions not up to the highest standards required" by the league. Clark had ejected New York's Brian Taylor for complaining about flying debris in a Nov. 13 game at Memphis. It turns out that there is a league policy against flying debris. Item: The ABA gives San Diego Conquistadors Owner Leonard Bloom two more weeks to get his team out of town. Bloom calls it "a moral victory." League fans, as usual, were accustomed to both flying debris and helter-skelter behavior: attendance was up 14%, ticket sales 28%. Back in the arena, defending champion Indiana, traditionally a slow starter, was beginning to stir. With newcomers Bob Netolicky and rookie Kevin Joyce leading the winning rally, the Pacers beat archrival Utah 102-98. Later in the week George McGinnis led the comeback and Indiana gave East leader Kentucky its first non-Carolina loss 118-114. But the Pacers went on having trouble with lesser lights, and losses to Memphis and Virginia dropped them to fourth. Denver continued to lead the West despite a 42-point defeat by rebounding New York.
NBA: The name of the game was inhibition. Buffalo Center Bob McAdoo, first in scoring (28.5), third in rebounding (15.5), second in field-goal percentage (.549) and fifth in blocked shots (3.23), was worried. "I don't think I'll ever feel secure in this league," he said. "What a shock it was when Los Angeles traded Jim McMillian. He's an established star with a championship team. I don't know how you can ever feel really secure." Thus unburdened, he averaged 37.3 points as Buffalo beat Capital 112-101, Phoenix 127-100 and Kansas City- Omaha 143-131 in a perfect week. Bob Cousy had more reason to worry. His KC- Omaha team was 6-14, Tiny Archibald had missed 15 games and the future, if any, was bleak. So he resigned, taking his five-year, 141-207 record with him. He was replaced by his assistant, Draff Young, who increased the number of black coaches in the NBA to five. Otherwise, the status quo prevailed as Boston led New York in the East, Milwaukee continued warding off Chicago in the Midwest, Capital had the edge over Atlanta in the Central and Los Angeles held a slim lead over Golden State in the West.
BOWLING—JIM GODMAN outrolled Roy Buckley 201-171 to win $14,000 in the $100,000 Brunswick World Open in Glendale Heights, Ill.
PRO FOOTBALL—Running Back Tom Sullivan was silky enough, slithering through NEW YORK Giant fingers for 156 yards to lead PHILADELPHIA to a 20-16 win. DETROIT'S Lions played like turkeys against WASHINGTON on Thanksgiving Day and received another verbal lashing from Owner Bill Ford. The 20-0 Redskin victory, coupled with MIAMI'S 14-7 win over DALLAS the same day, set back Cowboy playoff" hopes. Larry Csonka's ball-control (80 yards in 22 carries) sustained the Dolphins when they sagged in the fourth period. ATLANTA nosed past Dallas in the race for the NFC wild-card playoff spot, beating MINNESOTA'S unbeatens 20-14 on Monday night and the NEW YORK Jets 28-20 on Sunday. The Vikings started another win streak on the weekend by feasting off CHICAGO'S poor pickin's 31-13. Rookie Running Back Greg Pruitt scored on a 19-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left, giving CLEVELAND a 21-16 upset of PITTSBURGH. The Browns thus moved within half a game of the Steelers in the American Central. CINCINNATI stayed one game back by routing ST. LOUIS 42-24. Lenvil Elliot ran for one touchdown and caught a pass for another in that one LOS ANGELES stayed atop the NFC West by downing NEW ORLEANS 24-13. John Hadl's two scoring passes helped avert another Ram loss in the bayou. Walt Patulski tipped a BALTIMORE pass and Dwight Harrison returned it 31 yards to give BUFFALO its second TD in a span of 23 seconds as the Bills won 24-17. O. J. Simpson gained 124 yards and needs to average over 138 in his last three games to top Jim Brown's single-season record of 1,863. HOUSTON showed that on any given day a terrible team can be shellacked by a bad one, losing 32-0 to NEW ENGLAND. Jim Plunkett had a field day with the Oiler defense. OAKLAND and KANSAS CITY had their duel for the AFC West preempted by DENVER when the upstart Broncos beat the Chiefs 14-10 to take the lead for the first time. Oakland whipped SAN DIEGO 31-3 and tied Kansas City for second.
Ottawa beat Edmonton 22-18 for the Grey Cup, Canadian football's pro championship, in Toronto.
GOLF—Individual champion Johnny Miller and teammate Jack Nicklaus gave the UNITED STATES a six-stroke victory over South Africa at the World Cup in Marbella, Spain (page 105).
HOCKEY—WHA: New Jersey, which expects the football Giants in 1976, got "major league" sports three years early, if major league describes the financially and esthetically ailing New York Golden Blades, who were moved to Cherry Hill, N.J. last week. Their new name? None, at least not at the time, and before opening night the Cherry Hill Arena had to advertise itself as "Home of the——Hockey Club." Perhaps the New Jersey Nonentities would do. In Vancouver, former NHL star Andy Bathgate was named coach, replacing Phil Watson, who remained with the team as general manager. Another name in the news was Los Angeles Coach Terry Slater, fined $500 and suspended five games for "molesting" linesman Dennis Dahlman. Quebec took two of three to tie New England in the East, while Edmonton, despite a 1-3 week, stayed atop the West.
NHL: Minnesota Coach Jack Gordon resigned, reportedly because he had lost almost 20 pounds so far this season. The fact that the North Stars had lost or tied 14 of their first 17 games also might have been a factor. Veteran Parker MacDonald, who replaced Gordon, was warned that the situation was less than, well, edible. "Parker is not walking into any Cakewalk," said General Manager Wren Blair. "We can't put our fingers on the reasons, but there are a million ways for a club to go stale." Boston was in better form. Behind new Goalie Gilles Gilbert the Bruins have won II of 13 and Bobby Orr is healthy and setting records at his accustomed clip. But after Ken Hodge paced a 5-2 win over Atlanta with one goal and three assists, Coach Bep Guidolin wanted more. "This is the time to get the points," he said. "We want to pick up those points in a November-December home stand. The fellows will get a lot of confidence if we can pull away by 11 or 12 points." So the Bruins pulled seven points ahead of Montreal in the East. Philadelphia (1-1) held onto a three-point lead over rebounding Chicago (2-0) in the West, while Atlanta (page 100) moved up to third.
SOCCER—FLORISSANT VALLEY of St. Louis won the national junior college championship, held in Miami, beating Meramac of St. Louis 2-1 in seven overtimes, and QUINCY (Ill.) COLLEGE won the NAIA title 3-0 over Rockhurst of Kansas City, at St. Louis.
TRACK & FIELD—STEVE PREFONTAINE won his third NCAA cross-country championship by 5.1 seconds over Nick Rose of Western Kentucky, in Spokane, Wash. Prefontaine led the University of Oregon to the team title with a time of 28:14.8 in the six-mile race.