PRO BASKETBALL—With 15 losses in their previous 16 games, the New York Nets made two moves that appeared to weaken them even more—trading 20.8-points-per-game Guard John Williamson to Indiana and placing Forward Rich Jones on waivers. So all the star-less Nets did in their next two games was beat defending NBA champion Boston 99-89 and beat their old teammate Dr. J and the Atlantic Division-leading 76ers 113-112—in Philadelphia yet. New Net Mike Bantom scored 32 points against the Sixers, but New York's real hero was Center Kim Hughes. A 16% (7 for 43) free-throw shooter, Hughes calmly converted a foul shot in the closing minutes to secure the Nets' victory. Washington moved to a 1�-game lead over both Cleveland and Houston in the Central by beating Seattle and Portland as Elvin Hayes totaled 66 points and 32 rebounds. The Bullets have lost only three of their last 19 games. Houston split a home-and-home series with the New York Knicks, losing at Madison Square Garden as Knick reserve Guard Mo Layton scored 19 points and had 12 assists, then winning 105-103 back in Texas. Denver moved David Thompson back to his natural forward spot after half a season at guard, and he scored 37 points as the Nuggets beat the Bullets 119-105. Denver then lost to Detroit 124-111 as Herb Brown outwitted brother Larry, and Piston Center Bob Lanier scored 40 points, grabbed 21 rebounds, blocked nine shots and had five assists. Portland had to get along without Center Bill Walton, sidelined with an inflamed Achilles tendon, in its continuing battle with Los Angeles (page 14) for the Pacific lead. The Trail Blazers beat Indiana, but lost to both Kansas City and Washington.
BOWLING—STEVE NEFF of Sarasota, Fla. defeated top-seeded Tommy Hudson 215-198 to win the $14,000 first prize in the $100,000 Rolaids Open in St. Louis.
GOLF—BRUCE LIETZKE eagled the final hole for a 15-under-par 273 and got the $48,000 first-place check in the Hawaiian Open in Honolulu. He beat Don January and Takashi Murakami by three strokes.
HOCKEY—NHL: Toronto's Ian Turnbull became the first defenseman in league history to score five goals in a single game as the Maple Leafs routed Detroit 9-1. There were no checks for the Cleveland Barons on payday, and while owner Mel Swig was seeking fresh investors his players were beating Chicago 3-2 with a team-record 52 shots on goal and skating to a 0-0 standoff against Pittsburgh. Montreal's Steve Shutt scored his 42nd goal in the Canadiens' 6-4 win at Vancouver, and Guy Lafleur had his 39th in their 3-3 tie at Los Angeles. Philadelphia and the New York Islanders continued to grapple for the Patrick Division lead, with the Flyers extending their lead to four points as Bernie Parent blanked Chicago 6-0 for his fifth shutout of the year and linemates Bobby Clarke and Reggie Leach scored two goals apiece in a 7-5 win at Toronto. The Islanders snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Buffalo 6-3, then topped the New York Rangers by the same score. Ranger Goaltender Gilles Gratton permitted several easy Islander scores, prompting Coach John Ferguson to complain, "That's not NHL goalkeeping. We haven't had it for the past month." The Chicago Black Hawks stayed close to first-place St. Louis in the Smythe Division as the Blues extended their winless streak to six games before rookie Bernie Federko's hat trick beat Buffalo 6-5. Despite a 6-3 loss to Atlanta in a game that was marred by a 10-minute brawl, Boston held a four point lead over Buffalo in the Adams race.
WHA: Winnipeg's Anders Hedberg had a spectacular week, scoring four goals in the Jets' 11-1 win over Edmonton, then getting four more in an 8-2 defeat of San Diego. Robbie Ftorek and Del Hall scored two goals apiece as Phoenix defeated Western Division leader Houston 5-3, but the Aeros rebounded to beat New England 4-1. Birmingham, last in the East, won its fifth and sixth straight before losing to Indianapolis 5-2. The second-place Racers also beat first-place Quebec 6-5 to close the Nordiques' lead to 11 points.
MOTOR SPORTS—The team of HURLEY HAYWOOD, JOHN GRAVES and DR. DAVE HELMICK won the 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race in a Porsche Carrera. The three drivers covered the 2,615 miles at an average speed of 108 mph, defeating Martino Finotto and Carlo Facetti in a Porsche 935 turbo by 10 miles.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT defeated Martina Navratilova 6-2, 6-4 to win the $20,000 top prize in a $100,000 Virginia Slims tournament in Seattle.
TRACK & FIELD—Olympic bronze medalist HELENA FIBINGEROVA of Czechoslovakia bettered her own world indoor shotput record with a 71-foot effort at a meet in Budapest. The previous record, which she set a week earlier in Ostrava, was 70'9".
Rosalyn Bryant established a women's world record of 1:11.8 in the rarely contested 500-meter run at the Los Angeles Times Indoor Games, breaking the mark of 1:12.1 set by Brenda Walsh of Canada in 1972. In other events, TERRY ALBRITTON unleashed successive puts of 70'5" and 70'6�", and EAMONN COGHLAN nipped John Walker in a four-flat mile. In Albuquerque the next night, STEVE RIDDICK, winner in the 60-yard dash at Los Angeles, made it 10 in a row by taking the 50 (5.3) and the 60 (6.0) at the Jaycee Invitational.
MILEPOSTS—APPOINTED: General manager of the Atlanta Falcons, former Washington Redskin Quarterback EDDIE LeBARON, 47. LeBaron immediately named Los Angeles Rams' Assistant LEEMAN BENNETT, 38, as the Falcons' head coach.