PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Rick Barry's flair for the dramatic, if not the impossible, resulted in four straight Warrior wins this week. In Atlanta Barry scored 40 points, including 20 in the third quarter, to lift Golden State to a 129-122 win. Against Houston Rick hit a 28-foot jumper with two seconds left for a 109-108 victory. Golden State next won its seventh in a row, 120-91 from Milwaukee, to close to within half a game of Pacific leader Los Angeles. In three games the Lakers received inspired play from ailing superstar Jerry West (61 points) and his heir apparent Jim Price (64 points) downing Milwaukee 99-92 and Phoenix 121-110 before losing 119-112 to Phoenix. The Suns, who climbed out of the Pacific cellar, were playing their first game without scoring star Charlie Scott, out for the rest of the season with a broken arm. Chicago made a race in the Midwest again by extending its winning streak to seven against Philadelphia. 105-89. The Bulls trail Milwaukee, which lost three of four, by 3� games. Third-place Detroit ended New York's string of wins at four with a rough 96-91 victory on Dave DeBusschere Night at Cobo Arena. New York went back home and the next night routed Cleveland 103-87. Guard Walt Frazier joined the 10,000-point club with 21 points against the Cavs. New York had walloped Atlantic pacesetter Boston 104-83 earlier in the week but remained seven games back of the Celtics, who won three of four. In the Central Division, Capital lost to Chicago 103-94 and Phoenix 127-107 before clobbering Cleveland 107-99. Atlanta lost three of four to remain second best.
ABA: Many fans at the All-Star Game in Norfolk, Va. believed that Kentucky's Artis Gilmore (18 points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots) rode the coattails of a 128-112 East victory to the game MVP trophy. The people's choice was San Antonio's rookie sensation, Swen Nater, who scored 29 points and had 22 rebounds for the West. When the two big men went against each other in a regular-season game in Cincinnati, Nater dueled Gilmore 27 points to 24 and 19 rebounds to 24—and San Antonio beat Kentucky 110-107 in overtime. With the win the Spurs moved into a virtual second-place tie with Indiana, losers in overtime to the West leader, Utah, 118-113. Fourth-place Denver swamped Virginia 138-120. The Rockets waived their All-Star guard, Warren Jabali, one day before. Coach Alex Hannum claimed the reason for the veteran's release was Denver's search for "more speed and a more open style of play." Jabali's replacement, Al Smith, dealt out 15 assists in the Virginia game. In the East, New York trounced Carolina 133-114 as Julius Erving scored a season-high 46 points. Then the Nets traveled to the Cougars' lair and were clawed 125-117. Carolina All-Star Guard Mack Calvin hit for 35 points, and the Cougars drew within one game of New York, which had beaten San Antonio earlier 95-91. Kentucky was two back.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS shot a final-round 70 for a 72-hole total of 271 to win the $44,000 first prize in the Hawaiian Open by three strokes over Eddie Pearce.
HOCKEY—NHL: The All-Star Game provided a showcase for St. Louis Forward Garry Unger, who set up one goal and scored another, shorthanded, to lead the West over an injury-depleted East squad 6-4. Exhilarated by this taste of glory, Unger scored a hat trick in the Blues' 6-4 win against California. St. Louis closed out an unbeaten week by thumping Buffalo 6-1, solidifying its grip on third place in the West. The Blues now lead Atlanta by five points but still trail Chicago, which won two of three, by nine. Front-runner Philadelphia dropped a 5-3 decision to East leader Boston despite the fact that the Bruins' premier defenseman, Bobby Orr, left the ice with a badly bruised left knee. The Flyers then beat Buffalo 4-3 as bully Dave Schultz again turned offensive with two goals. All the Flyers were goal-minded in the 12-2 shellacking of Detroit. In the East, Boston went one and one without Orr, beating Atlanta 4-2 on two Phil Esposito goals and losing 6-2 to Toronto. Second-place Montreal fell to Atlanta 5-3 and saw its lead over New York shrink to four points as the Rangers won three straight (page 24). Toronto laced Atlanta 5-2 and Minnesota 3-1, as well as Boston, and looked more and more like a playoff team, moving eight points ahead of Buffalo. The Sabres lost three in a row. The New York Islanders mounted a three-game unbeaten string. Islander rookie Bobby Nystrom scored the pivotal goal in New York's first-ever win over Chicago (4-2) scored three goals in the third period in a 4-2 win against Los Angeles and set up one goal and scored the other to tie Vancouver 2-2.
WHA: If attendance is any measure, the new league is indeed acquiring respectability, especially in Quebec. The second-largest crowd ever to watch a WHA game there—10,548—saw the Nordiques down West leader Houston 6-4 with three third-period goals. Former Montreal Canadien Jean Claude Tremblay supplied one goal and one assist to the Nordique cause. In earlier Quebec wins over Cleveland (4-3) and Los Angeles (5-0) Tremblay had three goals. The Nordiques finished the week unbeaten by edging Toronto 2-1 and climbed into third place in the East only one point back of the Toros. Meanwhile, atop the division, New England won two of three, including a 5-2 beating of Houston. The Aeros had a rough time, losing three of four, but held the West lead by six points over Winnipeg.
INTERNATIONAL GAMES—Three world records highlighted action at the Xth Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand. On the track, FILBERT BAYI of Tanzania took .9 seconds off Jim Ryun's 1,500-meter mark with a time of 3:32.2. In swimming, Australia's STEVE HOLLAND, recovering from an arm injury, broke his 800-meter freestyle record of 8:16.27, stroking to an 8:15.88 en route to winning a gold in the 1,500, and Canada's WENDY COOK eclipsed East German Ulle Richter's 100-meter backstroke mark of 1:04.99 with a 1:04.78 opening leg on Canada's winning medley relay team. BEN JIPCHO of Kenya took a gold medal in the 5,000-meter run with the second-fastest time ever, 13:14.4. He also won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was third in the 1,500. And England's IAN THOMPSON recorded the second-fastest marathon time in history (2:09.12). Australia led the medal parade with 29 gold, 28 silver and 25 bronze. England collected 28-31-21.
TRACK & FIELD—The weight men finally captured some of the limelight usually reserved for runners and jumpers. A world indoor record heave of 70'4�" in the shotput by GEORGE WOODS at the San Francisco Examiner Games did the trick. It was the second record-setting toss of the week for Woods, who first bettered the old mark at the Philadelphia Track Classic. In that meet TONY WALDROP ran his third straight sub-four-minute mile, a 3:58.9, overtaking Marty Liquori in the stretch for the second time in four nights. At the Albuquerque Jaycee Invitational RICK WOHLHUTER outdueled Mar-cello Fiasconaro at 880, finishing in 1:49.4, the season's fastest half mile. MILAN TIFF won the triple jump at 54'10" and the ATOMS Track Club of Brooklyn set an indoor world record in the women's mile relay with a 3:47.5. The quartet of MICHELLE MCMILLAN, CHERYL TOUSSAINT, GALE FITZGERALD and BRENDA NICHOLS eclipsed the old mark by .9 second. Records also fell in the Ninth Annual Seattle Indoor Track Meet as FRANCIE LARRIEU won the women's mile in 4:34.6, bettering her world indoor mark of 4:36.5, and MAREN SEIDLER exceeded by 3�" the American women's record in the shotput with a toss of 55'7�".
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: To Baseball's Hall of Fame, National Leaguers SUNNY JIM BOTTOMLEY and SAMUEL THOMPSON (both posthumously) and colorful Umpire JOCKO CONLAN. Bottomley played first base for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds between 1922 and 1935, set a major league record by driving in 12 runs in one game, had a lifetime batting average of .310. Thompson had a lifetime batting average of .336, was an outfielder for Detroit (1885-88) and Philadelphia (1889-98) in the old National League. His career average of .923 RBIs per game is still a record, Conlan, a small, feisty man who was once a major-leaguer himself, was on the league's umpiring staff from 1941 to 1965.
NAMED: As head football coach at Army, HOMER SMITH, assistant coach and offensive coordinator at UCLA the past two years. At UCLA Smith helped introduce the Wishbone offense. Last year the Bruins led the nation in rushing, were second in scoring and third in total offense.
NAMED: As head football coach at Virginia Tech, JIMMY SHARPE, 34, offensive coordinator for Paul ( Bear) Bryant at Alabama. Sharpe replaces Charlie Coffey, who resigned.