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PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Chicago's bulldozing Chet Walker celebrated becoming only the eighth man in league history to play in 1,000 games by scoring 17 points in a 116-96 victory over Detroit. The Bulls and the Pistons both were undefeated during the rest of the week as Detroit maintained a one-game lead over Chicago in the Midwest. Milwaukee suffered back-to-back losses to Houston and Atlanta, and Central Division leader Washington beat second-place Cleveland 94-92 for its fifth straight win. The Bucks beat Portland earlier in the week, but Trail Blazer fans greeted Bill Walton with a standing ovation before a game with Philadelphia. He responded in the win with 13 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots. Kansas City- Omaha's Nate Archibald had 40 points as the Kings beat New York 112-103. The Knicks also lost to Buffalo, with playmaker Ernie DiGregorio back in action. Boston won four games and held the Atlantic Division lead by 1� games. After losing to Boston, Houston's seventh straight loss, the Rockets won their next two games. Although Cazzie Russell scored 24 points in his season debut, Los Angeles lost to Pacific leader Golden State by 30 points. The Lakers did beat hapless New Orleans. Rick Barry of the Warriors scored 55 points, high in the league this season, in a victory over injury-riddled Philadelphia. Seattle had no wins for the week and ended up with Phoenix and Portland in contention for the runner-up spot in the Pacific.
ABA: Denver, the best team in the Western Division, lost only 10 games all season, and three of the losses came during the week. Kentucky, Indiana and Utah all set the Nuggets back, but Denver still led the division by a comfortable 11� games. George McGinnis. the league-leading scorer, had 43 points and 20 rebounds in the Pacers' 120-110 victory over the Nuggets, but San Antonio had held Big George in check a night earlier and won 110-91. The Spurs also beat St. Louis, while the Spirits outlasted San Diego in overtime. Memphis, triggered by Tom Owens' 32 points and 18 rebounds, defeated St. Louis 107-103. New York's Julius Erving has scored 40 or more points in three games this season—all against Kentucky. The Nets, leaders in the East, kept the Colonels a game to the rear with a 112-110 victory in which Dr. J tallied 42 points but required two successful free throws by Brian Taylor with three seconds to go to clinch the win. San Diego's lone win came against last-place Virginia, which had a 0-3 week.
BOWLING—LARRY LAUB earned $7,000 for winning the $60,000 Denver Open 199-191 over Jim Stefanich, who had won three earlier matches by averaging 271 a game.
HOCKEY—NHL: Lifted by Bob Nevin's fifth career hat trick, Los Angeles vaulted past Montreal 6-3 and to the top of the Norris Division. Adams leader Buffalo disposed of Kansas City 5-0 and Detroit 5-1 and ended the week by nipping the Canadiens. Still without a victory in 22 road games, Minnesota tied the Red Wings in Detroit. Boston's Don Marcotte and Carol Vadnais both scored their 100th career goals in a 6-3 win over Toronto, which defeated no one all week. Dave Forbes of the Bruins pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault charge stemming from his encounter with Minnesota's Henry Boucha. The California Seals beat Toronto for their first win under Bill McCreary, who replaced the fired Marshall Johnston. Vancouver, leader in the Smythe, defeated Washington and Atlanta, both as winless as Toronto. Philadelphia was flying with the Patrick as the second-place, injury-prone New York Rangers sought a winning combination. Chicago beat California, the New York Islanders and St. Louis, and Pittsburgh also had three victories, along with the All-Star Game's MVP in Syl Apps Jr., who led the Prince of Wales Conference past the Clarence Campbell Conference 7-1 before 16,997 in the Montreal Forum.
WHA: The Michigan Stags began the second half of the season as the Baltimore Blades, a franchise shift necessitated by financial problems. Morose by any name, the Blades lost to Cleveland and remained 27 points behind front-runner Houston. The Aeros had more players in the All-Star Game (won 6-4 by the West) than any other team. New England, the East leader, dropped three games in a row, to Minnesota, Phoenix and San Diego. Quebec, 10 points ahead in the Canadian, swept Chicago twice and beat Cleveland, too. Winnipeg also beat the Crusaders and Bobby Hull reverted to his former role of player-coach.
Somethingregal ($14), Bill Tichenor riding, won the $26,300 Betsy Ross Handicap, covering one mile, 70 yards in 1:48[4/5], at Garden State Park.
MOTOR SPORTS—Brazil's CARLOS PACE drove a Brabham to victory in his country's Grand Prix, covering 40 laps in 1:44:41.17, an average of 113.388 mph, on the Interlagos course in S�o Paulo.