PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: A league record 26,511 cheered the New Orleans Jazz to a sixth straight win, 113-110 over Los Angeles, with Pete Maravich scoring 30 and late-blooming Center Otto Moore controlling the boards. Superdome attendance was 21,189 for New Orleans' next game, a 94-90 loss to Cleveland. Washington trails the Jazz in the Central Division after losing in double overtime to Milwaukee 99-95. Earlier the Bullets had beaten Cleveland 113-96 and Seattle 110-100, behind the high scoring of Elvin Hayes. Calvin Murphy tallied 33 as Houston knocked off New York 119-106, and Rudy Tomjanovich continued to fire the Rockets by scoring 13 third-quarter points in a 116-112 win over Cleveland. Detroit dominates the Midwest despite losses to Milwaukee 103-101, and Boston 118-104, having beaten Chicago 124-122, its closest contender. Milwaukee reversed its losing trend by beating Detroit 103-101, Boston 104-101 and Washington 99-95. In the Atlantic Division, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Boston are tied with five wins and two losses. The Knicks trail after dropping road games to Houston, Golden State 111-96, Los Angeles 105-97 and Portland 115-96. Philadelphia dealt Buffalo its first loss 121-114, although Bob McAdoo continued his rampage by scoring 41 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. The 76ers won three times, George McGinnis scoring 33 points in a 103-99 victory over Phoenix. The Celtics continued their winning pace in a 105-95 defeat of Buffalo. Pacific-leading Golden State brought rookie Gus Williams off the bench to score 19 against New York and a game-high 24 in the Warriors' 114-106 defeat of division rival Los Angeles. The only Laker win came behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's 40-point, 22-rebound performance against the Knicks. Seattle lost to Detroit 124-107, Washington 110-100 and Atlanta 107-94. Portland's Bill Walton sat out the week with a sprained ankle, but rookie Guard Lionel (Train) Hollins returned to help the Trailblazers beat Kansas City 92-88, after a 98-97 loss to Atlanta.
ABA: The Virginia Squires lost Coach Al Bianchi, and their next two games, to San Diego 118-104 and Indiana 104-100, under the interim direction of injured All-Star Guard Mack Calvin. In Bianchi's six frustrating seasons the Squires allowed such notables as Rick Barry, Julius Erving, Charlie Scott, George Gervin and Swen Nater to slip away while compiling a 186-241 record, six of the losses occurring in the first seven games of this season. Eastern Division leader Kentucky played once, beating San Diego 104-99. The New York Nets topped Indiana 119-102, then rallied to beat the Spirits at St. Louis 118-117 after missing their first 18 shots and trailing by 27 points in the second quarter. The game drew 5,450, the biggest home crowd so far this season, but with attendance averaging just under 2,500 there are rumors that the Spirits may move, possibly to Cincinnati. The Denver Nuggets moved into first place in the Western Division, defeating New York 128-121 before a record Nugget regular-season crowd of 17,069: Center Dan Issel poured in 33 points. Against Utah, Denver rookie David Thompson hit for 26 and Issel 23 including a jumper and layup with seconds left to break a tie and clinch the 111-105 win. Indiana Forward Billy Knight, who began the week with a league-high scoring average of 34.6, was held to 16 by the Nets in the Pacers' 119-102 loss.
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: Closing fast on its seventh NFC Central title in eight years, undefeated Minnesota crushed Atlanta 38-0 behind Chuck Foreman's three touchdowns and an alert defense that forced eight Falcon turnovers. Green Bay and Chicago met for the 112th time, the Bears winning 27-14. Detroit downed winless Cleveland 21-10. Pittsburgh beat Houston 24-17 as Quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw three touchdown passes, two for eight yards and the last one 21 yards to John Stallworth with 38 seconds left to play (page 22). Cincinnati remained tied with the Steelers for the AFC Central lead, edging Denver 17-16 on a one-yard touchdown run by Bobbie Clark. Washington Quarterback Billy Kilmer was injured late in the first half, but reliever Randy Johnson marched the Redskins to two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a 21-13 win over the New York Giants, his former team. St. Louis beat Philadelphia on the last play, a 30-yard field goal by Jim Bakken. Buffalo dropped farther behind AFC leader Miami, losing to Baltimore 42-35 while the Dolphins beat the New York Jets 27-7. Oakland tallied seven touchdowns to whomp New Orleans 48-10 and remain atop the AFC West. San Diego is still winless, losing to New England 33-19. Los Angeles holds a comfortable lead in the NFC West, despite losing to San Francisco 24-23 when 49er Steve Mike-Mayer booted a 54-yard field goal with 38 seconds to go.
GOLF—SHELLY HAMLIN won the $100,000 Japan Classic at Osaka, her first LPGA victory, firing a two-under 71 on the final round for a 54-hole total 218 to beat Hollis Stacy by one stroke.
PRO HOCKEY—NHL: Even Phil Esposito, newest and noblest Ranger of them all, could not bring home a victory as Seal Right Wing Gary Sabourin scored four times (two more than Esposito) in California's 7-5 win over refurbished New York. Center Esposito and Defenseman Carol Vadnais had come to New York from Boston in trade for Brad Park, the Rangers' captain and alltime defensive scoring leader, Center Jean Ratelle, and minor-league Defenseman Joe Zanussi. Said Harry Sinden, Bruin general manager, "The Rangers needed goals, we needed some defensemen." But then, defense notwithstanding, division-leading Buffalo beat the Bruins 4-0 behind the first shutout in six years for Gerry Desjardins. And, for the Rangers, life went on as before; they lost 3-1 to Los Angeles, losing Esposito in the second period with an injured ankle. Despite the return of Bobby Orr and the addition of Park and Ratelle, Boston could do no better, losing 4-2 to Vancouver. Philadelphia appeared complacent, tying Chicago 4-4 and Los Angeles 1-1. The New York Islanders ended Philadelphia's 22-game home-ice unbeaten streak by outscoring the Flyers 4-3. In the Norris Division Los Angeles was unbeaten in its last seven games and Montreal defeated Buffalo 3-2, Atlanta 3-1 and Detroit 5-0 to create a two-team race for the lead. Detroit lost twice, first to Toronto 7-3 with Forward Dan Maloney being charged with assault for a fight with Leaf Defenseman Brian Glennie (page 16), and 5-0 to Montreal. After tying the Flyers, Chicago defeated Pittsburgh 7-5 to remain the only Smythe Division team with more wins than losses.
WHA: After a brief hospital stay to treat a spider bite Left Wing Mark Howe rejoined the Aeros and stung Minnesota with three goals in the first period in a 6-4 victory. Houston notched its fourth straight win by defeating Phoenix 5-3, to share the lead in the West. Denver remained winless at home, tying Cleveland 2-2 and losing to Quebec 5-3 and San Diego 3-2 in overtime. The Winnipeg Jets edged the New England Whalers 3-2 in overtime. Jet Left Wing Bobby Hull, after assuring worriers that he was not returning to the NHL Black Hawks, scored his fifth goal. Quebec won three times and passed the Jets to lead the division. The Cowboys were undefeated in their last four starts, tying San Diego 4-4, beating Quebec 4-2 and Cleveland 5-2. Toronto fell deeper into the cellar, losing by a one-goal margin three times, to Indianapolis 4-3, Edmonton 5-4 in overtime and Minnesota 4-3. New England moved into first in the East by beating the Cincinnati Stingers 8-3, but before the two clubs played again the Whalers lost to Phoenix 3-2, and the Stingers sank the San Diego Mariners 7-4 to regain the lead. The Stingers won the rematch, beating New England 4-2.
HORSE RACING—Nobiliary ($7) won the $150,000 Washington, D.C. International in 2:31[1/5] over the 1�-mile course at Laurel, beating Comtesse de Loire by three-quarters of a length and leading a one-two-three French sweep (page 70).
SAILING—GREAT BRITAIN II shattered a 106-year-old mark by 42 hours by covering the 13,900 miles from London to Sydney in 67 days, four hours, 10 minutes and 11 seconds. The 72-foot ketch finished 6� hours ahead of France's Kriter II.
TENNIS—ADRIANO PANATTA of Italy upset Jimmy Connors 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win the $100,000 Stockholm Open. Panatta had beaten Arthur Ashe in straight sets in the quarterfinals.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: To manage the Milwaukee Brewers, ALEX GRAMMAS, 49, Cincinnati Reds third-base coach since 1970. He will replace Del Crandall, who was fired on the last day of the season.