PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Ernie DiGregorio underwent emergency surgery to remove torn cartilage from his left knee last week, but Buffalo withstood his absence admirably to stay on top in the tight Atlantic Division. Bob McAdoo had 32 points as the Braves upended Los Angeles 124-101 and added 41 in a 110-98 win over New Orleans. Philadelphia sent Tom Van Arsdale to Atlanta for Clyde Lee, who will join Billy Cunningham on the Sixer front line. The deal was announced after Philadelphia beat Chicago 105-90 to snap a four-game losing streak. Cleveland edged Phoenix and then went over the .500 mark for the first time ever when the Cavs defeated Central Division leader Washington 107-99 (page 32) as Bobby Smith had a career-high 41 points. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had the cast on his right hand removed and should be playing soon, but the news did not spark any victories for Milwaukee. Looking elsewhere for help, the Bucks acquired Guard Jim Price from Los Angeles for Lucius Allen. Bill Bradley was hot, scoring 30 points as New York beat Houston 106-93 and 32 in the Knicks' 117-105 win over Los Angeles. Golden State, ahead in the Pacific Division, tripped Portland 109-100, with Rick Barry scoring 41 points, and John Havlicek contributed 40 as Boston overpowered the Trail Blazers 128-110. Phoenix handed New Orleans its 11th straight loss, 105-102, and also dropped Houston 101-96, while Detroit took the Midwest Division lead with wins over Kansas City- Omaha and Boston.
ABA: The Denver Nuggets romped over the Utah Stars 145-101 for their biggest winning margin ever and Utah's worst loss. Denver also defeated Virginia 130-108 and took a one-game lead over San Antonio in the Western Division. The Spurs fell to New York but beat Virginia and Indiana. In the Eastern Division, the Nets had victories over St. Louis and Memphis before losing to Eastern Division leader Kentucky. The Colonels, who had wins over Memphis and Utah, topped New York 103-97. Utah defeated Virginia but lost three other games, as did the Squires. Memphis lost two games, Indiana split two and San Diego topped Utah in its only encounter.
BOATING—Averaging 66.7 mph in his 38-foot Whittaker Moppie, SAMMY JAMES of Miami won the 190-mile offshore powerboat race between Key West and Dry Tortugas, Fla. (page 85).
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: Houston and Cleveland, sharing the AFC Central cellar, snuck up on high-riding Buffalo and New England, the Oilers shocking the Bills 21-9 for their third straight win, and the Browns jarring the Patriots 21-14. Houston intercepted Joe Ferguson six times, while Cleveland's Ken Brown ran four yards for the score that beat New England. Miami beat New Orleans 21-0 to move into a first-place tie with Buffalo in the AFC East, and Los Angeles all but clinched the NFC West by blanking Atlanta 21-0. Cincinnati Quarterback Ken Anderson dominated as the Bengals outfought Pittsburgh 17-10. Anderson completed 20 of 22 passes for 227 yards and made a game-saving tackle after the Steelers' Mike Wagner ran 69 yards with a fumble. The Jets beat the Giants 26-20 in overtime, Joe Namath hitting Emerson Boozer from the five for the winning score. Oakland extended its lead in the AFC West, crushing Detroit 35-13. Sonny Jurgensen directed a 75-yard fourth-quarter march that culminated in the winning touchdown as Washington topped Philadelphia 27-20, while San Diego Quarterback Jesse Freitas did the same thing faster, throwing a 71-yard pass to Gary Garrison to give the Chargers a 14-7 decision over Kansas City. Dallas edged San Francisco 20-14, Denver defeated Baltimore 17-6 and Green Bay dumped Chicago 20-3.
WFL: Memphis routed Chicago 49-24, the Fire's 10th straight loss, the day after Chicago Owner Tom Origer threatened to cancel the Fire's final scheduled game, calling it meaningless and saying that his disappointing team did not deserve a chance to make the playoffs. Florida, winner of the Eastern Division title, blanked financially troubled Portland 23-0, after which a team official appealed to the public to donate meals to Storm players, who have not been paid in six weeks. Shreveport defeated Charlotte 19-14. The Hornets were lucky to have uniforms to play in. After the game, deputies with a court order seized their equipment to satisfy a debt. Of quieter note were victories by the Hawaiians over Southern California 29-8 and Birmingham over Philadelphia 26-23.
GOLF—BOB SHEARER collected $13,000 for winning the $65,000 Chrysler Classic in Melbourne, Australia. His one-under-par 283 gave him a whopping nine-stroke victory. Bruce Devlin was second.
HARNESS RACING—SAVOIR ($17.20), driven by Jim Dennis, held off Evergreen Song to win the 1?-mile $109,550 American Trotting Classic in 2:13[3/5] at Hollywood Park.
HOCKEY—NHL: Boston, trailing Buffalo in the Adams Division, had a big scoring week, walloping Minnesota 10-1 and Washington 10-4. The Bruins scored five goals in the first period against the North Stars, and Bobby Orr, the league's scoring leader, had three goals and three assists against the Capitals. But the best the Bruins could manage against Buffalo was a 2-2 tie. The Sabres won their other three outings. Kansas City finally posted its first victory, edging Washington 5-4 on a goal by Butch Deadmarsh. The New York Islanders, missing the ailing Denis Potvin, last year's rookie of the year, dropped three of their four games. Billy Harris scored with :34 left to give the Islanders a tie with Philadelphia, which took over the Patrick Division lead on the strength of three wins. Los Angeles continued to lead the Norris, beating St. Louis and Pittsburgh before tying the Rangers. Montreal's Steve Shutt scored his third goal of the game with 54 seconds left to lift the Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over Vancouver. Earlier, Montreal beat Minnesota 6-1 and tied Detroit. The Rangers exploded for six goals in the second period of a 7-3 win over California; Rod Gilbert had three in the game. Vancouver defeated the Rangers and Kansas City, while Pittsburgh tied Chicago and topped the Scouts and California.
WHA: Toronto ended a four-game losing streak with a victory over Michigan, and followed with a 7-4 win over Minnesota to pass Winnipeg and take the Canadian Division lead. The second-place Jets trounced Michigan 11-3 as league-leading scorer Bobby Hull had two goals and three assists, then topped Minnesota 6-4 on three goals in the last period. New England beat San Diego, lost to Phoenix and maintained a healthy lead over Cleveland in the East. West leader Houston dumped San Diego 9-3, but fell before Indianapolis in overtime. Quebec and Phoenix each won twice.
HORSE RACING—Long shot ADMETUS ($64.00), ridden by Maurice Philipperon, upset odds-on favorite Dahlia to win the $150,000 Washington, D.C. International at Laurel. Dahlia was third, with Desert Vixen second (page 80).