PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Midway through their second season, the New Orleans Jazz have racked up more wins (24) than they had their entire first year. Pete Maravich scored 31 points in a 108-101 defeat of Kansas City for the team's fifth straight win and Pistol Pete's fifth consecutive game of more than 30 points. That victory edged the Jazz past Atlanta and into a third-place tie with Houston. Cleveland won its seventh game in nine starts, defeating Philadelphia 92-87 and moving to within a game of Washington, the Central leader. Then the Bullets dueled the Cavaliers on Sunday and Cleveland won 83-78 to share the lead. In the Midwest, Detroit beat Atlanta 111-108 and then backed into the divisional lead when Milwaukee lost to Buffalo 109-104. But then the Bucks met the Pistons and won 114-106, regaining a one-game lead. Buffalo, 5� games behind Boston in the Atlantic, traded Gar Heard and a 1976 second-round draft choice to Phoenix for John Shumate. Shumate scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Milwaukee, nearly duplicating Heard's 17-point, 13-rebound first game for the fifth-place Suns in their 118-111 defeat of Pacific leader Golden State. Portland defeated Seattle 109-100 to share third place and set a club record of seven straight wins. A Sonic loss to Golden State, 127-100, then gave the idle Blazers sole possession of third. For Seattle it was the 10th defeat in 12 games.
ABA: Last-place Virginia muddled through another week in typical fashion, losing in overtime to first-place Denver 135-131 and dropping a game to Indiana 118-113, all the while flirting with bankruptcy. The Virginia National Bank rescued the Squires temporarily with a $250,000 loan. San Antonio registered its fifth win in six games against the second-place Nets, 124-116, James Silas scoring 37 and dealing off 12 assists and George Gervin adding 35 points, as the Spurs assumed sole possession of third place. Kentucky won its fifth game in six outings and ended the week in fourth place after beating St. Louis 110-99 with Artis Gilmore scoring 31 points and grabbing 21 rebounds. Pacer Billy Knight scored a career-high 46 points as Indiana lost to San Antonio 118-112, and combined with Len Elmore for 58 points in a 135-116 defeat of Kentucky and 52 points in the win over Virginia. Sixth-place St. Louis lost three in a row despite Marvin Barnes' season-high 40 points in a 117-111 loss to New York.
GOLF—Defending champion JOHNNY MILLER shot a final-round nine-under-par 63 for a 90-hole total of 344 to top Rik Massengale by three strokes and win the Bob Hope Desert Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.
Jan Stephenson of Australia won her first LPGA event, shooting a two-over-par 218 to beat Sandra Haynie and Judy Meister by one stroke at the Sarah Coventry Classic in Naples, Fla.
PRO HOCKEY—NHL: For Adams Division leader Boston its seventh win in a row came easily, 5-1 over Pittsburgh, Dave Reece shutting out the Penguins for 44 minutes. But the next night, Toronto's Darryl Sittler scored six goals and assisted on four others in an 11-4 rout of the Bruins. Sittler's 10 points was an NHL record. A Buffalo win, 4-3 over Minnesota, brought the Sabres to within five points of the Bruins. In the Patrick Division, the Islanders, pursuing Philadelphia, beat the crosstown rival Rangers 6-5, for a club-record 10 consecutive unbeaten games (page 53). But the Flyers stretched their lead to eight points after an 8-2 defeat of St. Louis, in which Bobby Clarke netted his 201st career goal. Chicago ended a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Atlanta and led Vancouver in the Smythe by 12 points after the Canucks had lost to Pittsburgh 7-3. Montreal dominates the Norris, but Pittsburgh trailed second-place Los Angeles by 10 points after Jean Pronovost scored his 33rd and 34th goals in a 7-3 defeat of the Kings.
WHA: After the Minnesota Fighting Saints learned that their paychecks would bounce, they voted not to make a road trip West. The club was sold to six local men for $1 plus payment of the $130,000 payroll, so the Saints went West after all and lost, first to West Division leader Houston, 8-4, then to division rivals San Diego and Phoenix, 4-1 and 4-2, and tumbled into fourth place. The Mariners and Roadrunners were left to fight for second place. After Sunday's games in which Houston beat San Diego 5-2 and Phoenix tied Minnesota 3-3, the Roadrunners were in second by 2 points. Cincinnati ended a five-game losing streak with a 7-0 defeat of Edmonton, Goalie Paul Hoganson stopping only 14 shots and earning an easy fourth career shutout. The win moved the Stingers briefly into second place in the East, eight points behind New England, with Cleveland losing twice, 5-1 to Phoenix and 3-2 to San Diego, to fall into third. Winnipeg stayed atop the Canadian Division, and in a 7-6 defeat of Toronto, Jets Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson each had six points: Hedberg scored Nos. 38 and 39, Nilsson assisted on five and netted his 29th.
12TH WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES—BIATHLON: 20 kilometers—1) NIKOLAI KRUGLOV ( U.S.S.R.), 2) Heikki Ikola ( Finland), 3) Alexander Elisarov ( U.S.S.R.).
BOBSLED: Two-man—1) NEHMAR and GERMESHAUSEM ( E. Germany), 2) Zimmerer and Schumann (W. Germany), 3) E. Sch�rer and Benz ( Switzerland).
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: 5 kilometers, Women—1) HELENA TUKKALO ( Finland), 2) Raisa Smetanini ( U.S.S.R.), 3) Nina Baldisheva ( U.S.S.R.); 15 kilometers, Men—1) NIKOLAI BAYUKOV ( U.S.S.R.), 2) Yevgeny Beliaev ( U.S.S.R.), 3) Arto Koivisto ( Finland); 30 kilometers, Men—1) SERGEY SAVELIEV ( U.S.S.R.), 2) Bill Koch ( U.S.A.), 3) Ivan Garanin ( U.S.S.R.).
FIGURE SKATING: Pairs—1) ZAITSEV and RODNINA ( U.S.S.R.), 2) �sterreich and Kermer ( E. Germany), 3) Kagelmann and Gross ( E. Germany).