BASEBALL—A flurry of trades highlighted the major league meetings in Florida. New York Mets Outfielder RUSTY STAUB and a minor league pitcher were sent to Detroit for veteran southpaw MICKEY LOLICH and a minor league outfielder. Yankee Outfielder BOBBY BONDS was traded to the California Angels for Outfielder MICKEY RIVERS and Pitcher ED FIGUEROA; the Yanks also sent Pitcher DOC MEDICH to Pittsburgh for Infielder WILLIE RANDOLPH and Pitchers KEN BRETT and DOCK ELLIS. White Sox Pitcher JIM KAAT and a minor league infielder were traded to Philadelphia for Pitchers DICK RUTHVEN and ROY THOMAS and Shortstop ALAN BANNISTER.
PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Detroit loosened its grip on the Midwest lead, dropping games to Golden State 129-124, Seattle 97-95 and Portland 101-91. Second-place Milwaukee failed to capitalize; after beating New York 109-100, the Bucks lost to Boston 111-98 and Cleveland 109-91. Tied with the Bucks, Kansas City split with Atlanta, fell to Buffalo 126-107 and won 109-99 over Chicago, which was 0-3. Central leader Atlanta got stellar support from reserve John Drew, who scored 84 points as the Hawks won two of three (page 32). Washington topped Portland 116-95 and New Orleans 117-109 before being trounced by Boston and the Knicks. Pacific kingpin Golden State knocked off Detroit 129-124 and the Trail Blazers 101-89, while second-place Los Angeles defeated Philadelphia 114-102 before falling to Phoenix 116-108. George McGinnis hit an NBA career high of 39 in a 100-85 shellacking of Cleveland as the 76ers remained atop the Atlantic. Boston won three. Buffalo beat the Royals 126-107 in a 3-1 week. Cellar-dwelling New York lost three before blasting the Bullets 126-107.
ABA: Denver's Dan Issel scored 41 points and teammate David Thompson contributed 25 (plus 12 assists) as the first-place Nuggets overpowered St. Louis 146-137. Denver also defeated Virginia twice. Guard Brian Taylor starred for New York, hitting a jumper with one second left in overtime that let the Nets squeak by Indiana 124-123, then connecting with an over-the-shoulder shot with 25 seconds to go in a 106-98 defeat of the Spirits. The Pacers, tied with the Nets for second, beat San Antonio and the Spirits. Kentucky dropped a pair to the Spurs 107-100 and 123-108.
BOXING—CARLOS MONZON of Argentina retained his WBA middleweight championship in a fifth-round KO of Gratien Tonna in Paris.
Puerto Rico's ALFREDO ESCALERA retained his WBC junior lightweight title with a ninth-round TKO over European champion Svein Erik Paulsen of Norway, in Oslo.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—NORTHERN MICHIGAN, which had an 0-10 record last season, upset Western Kentucky 16-14 for the NCAA Division II championship in the Camellia Bowl at Sacramento. TEXAS A&I breezed to its 26th consecutive win, routing Salem College of West Virginia 37-0 for the NAIA title, at Kingsville, Texas.
PRO FOOTBALL—Toni Linhart's 31-yard field goal with 2:16 remaining in overtime boosted Baltimore past Miami 10-7 (page 26). To win the AFC East, the Colts must beat New England or the Dolphins must lose to Denver next weekend. Dallas clinched the National Conference wild-card spot, overpowering Washington 31-10 (page 29). Pittsburgh repeated as AFC Central champion, downing Cincinnati 35-14 as Franco Harris set team career rushing and touchdown records in gaining 118 yards and scoring twice. The Bengals must defeat lowly San Diego next week in order to gain the American Conference wild-card. Oakland, the AFC West victor, defeated Denver 17-10, then was tripped by the Houston Oilers 27-26. St. Louis eased to the NFC East title, beating Chicago 34-20. In other action, Cleveland beat Kansas City 40-14; Atlanta routed San Francisco 31-9; the New York Giants beat New Orleans 28-14; and Buffalo beat New England 34-14. Philadelphia fell to Denver 25-10, Los Angeles beat Green Bay 22-5 and the Detroit Lions cuffed Minnesota 17-10.
HOCKEY—NHL: After slapping in two goals in a 7-1 rout of Washington, Atlanta's Tom Lysiak noted, "They give you a lot of room to skate and they don't check too close." Washington also was bopped by Chicago 7-2 and Detroit 5-3 to remain in the Norris basement. First-place Montreal tied Toronto 3-3 and defeated Kansas City 4-1. In the Smythe, where the Black Hawks are soaring, St. Louis was blue after giving up 15 goals in three losses. The Blues were in third, two points behind Vancouver, which beat them 5-3. Adams-leading Buffalo got a 2-2 tie with the New York Rangers when Gil Perreault connected on a 45-footer with seven minutes left. Philadelphia, first in the Patrick, tied California 1-1 and beat Los Angeles 6-4. The Islanders blanked Minnesota 6-0, tied the Flames 3-3 and beat Toronto 5-3, but remained seven points out.
WHA: Despite a protest that he "felt lousy," Houston's Mark Howe scored two goals and assisted on another in a 6-4 defeat of Cincinnati. The Western-leading Aeros also defeated Indianapolis 4-2 before being edged 4-3 by Minnesota. The Fighting Saints fell to New England 3-2 and Cleveland 1-0, and won two, 5-3 against Toronto and 4-3 over Houston, to hold second place. The Cleveland game marked the first time the Saints have been shut out in 229 games, a league record. Bobby Hull scored 44 seconds into overtime as Winnipeg beat the Toros 6-5. The Canadian leaders also corraled Calgary 4-2. Runner-up Quebec split with the Toros and lost to the Cowboys 4-1 and Edmonton 7-4. In the Eastern race, Cincinnati stayed on top with a 1-1-1 week. New England halted a three-game skid by beating Minnesota 3-2, then ripped Cleveland 5-4.
SKIING—Switzerland's LISE MARIE MOREROD swept to a second straight slalom win as World Cup competition moved to Aprica, Italy. BRIGITTE TOTSCHNIG of Austria won the downhill, followed by teammate Elfi Deufl, with Cindy Nelson of the U.S. third. At Madonna di Campiglio, Austrian FRANZ KLAMMER won the downhill.