PRO BASKETBALL—ABA: The ministrations of the good Dr. J Erving helped the rest of the New York Nets survive the ill effects of a nine-day layoff—providing a healthy 47 points in an 89-85 win over Utah in the opener of the championship series. While the Nets, with the exceptions of Dr. J and Mr. K ( Larry Kenon), who added 18 points and 20 rebounds, shot a miserable 25.6%, the Stars connected on only 33 of 83 shots from the field and had no magical mystery men to improve their 39.8% average. Game Two featured more of Erving's spinning, swooping array, this time 32 points worth, as the Nets outshot (49% to 37%), out-rebounded (67-54) and outclassed the falling Stars 118-94 for a 2-0 playoff lead. Without ailing Center Zelmo Beaty and with an injured Gerald Govan, Utah was sadly outmanned.
NBA: The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics fought to a 2-2 series deadlock at week's end, each disproving the homecourt advantage with victories on the road (page 34).
BOATING—Miami's SAMMY JAMES bounced Whittaker Moppie, his 38-foot Bertram, to victory in the 11th Sam Griffith Memorial race off Ft. Lauderdale, clocking 2:38:52 and averaging 66.6 mph for the 150-nautical-mile course. He finished 14 minutes ahead of Bloody Mary, a 36-foot Cigarette with Myles Johns at the controls.
GOLF—PETER OOSTERHUIS of Great Britain won the French Open in Paris by two strokes over countryman Peter Townsend with a final-round 73 for an even-par 284 aggregate.
Sandra Spuzich parred the 5th hole of a three-way sudden-death playoff to win the $35,000 Lady Tara Classic in Atlanta over Donna Caponi Young and Kathy Whitworth. All three had shot even-par 219s for 54 holes.
HOCKEY—WHA: Houston began to do bold things—like score goals with a one-man disadvantage—and brought down the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the West final, four games to two. The masters of the shorthand goal were Papa and Baby II Howe. In Game Five, Gordie and Mark scored within a minute of each other in the first period while Aero Winger Ted Taylor was in the penalty box to secure a 9-4 win. Mark iced the sixth game, 3-1, with his eighth playoff goal, while Gordie was sitting out a tripping violation for the final 1:42. The Aeros now can rest while waiting for Chicago and Toronto to resolve their series, tied at three games apiece by virtue of Toro triumphs in Game Four, 7-6, and Five, 5-3, and a 9-2 Cougar romp in the sixth contest.
NHL: A pair of unheralded Bruins by the names of Sheppard and Gilbert wrestled for headlines with Esposito and Orr to lead Boston past Chicago 4-2 in the sixth and deciding game of their semifinal Stanley Cup series. Winger Gregg Sheppard scored the decisive goal, his ninth in 10 playoff games, and Gilles Gilbert outshone the Hawks' Tony Esposito in goal with 25 saves. The Bruins now face Philadelphia, which downed New York 4-3 in the seventh game of their playoff (page 84).
HORSE RACING—CANNONADE ($5), Angel Cordero up, scored a 2�-length win over Hudson County in the 100th Kentucky Derby (page 28).
HORSE SHOWS—MICHELE McEVOY of Summit, N.J., the lone U.S. entry in the Rome International, won the Chevron Oil Italiana prize with a faultless ride of 83.3 seconds aboard Mister Muschie over the 13-obstacle course.
LACROSSE—TOWSON STATE (Md.), No. 1 in the college division, upset Virginia, the fourth-ranked team among major colleges, 18-14 at Charlottesville, Va. NAVY surprised No. 2 Johns Hopkins 13-12 behind Goalie Ray Finnegan's 25 saves at Annapolis; No. 1 MARYLAND coasted by Army 15-9 at West Point, and HOBART, No. 2 in the college division, whipped Ithaca 18-5 at Geneva, N.Y. as Rick Gilbert upped his career scoring total to an unprecedented 400 points with three goals and four assists.