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PRO BASKETBALL—In his best performance (33 points, 22 rebounds) since his unscheduled vacation, Boston's Dave Cowens converted two free throws to tie the game in regulation and two more to win it in overtime as the Celtics rallied from a 15-point deficit and defeated Kansas City 126-125. Despite 42 points by Bob McAdoo, the Knicks dropped their ninth straight road game, blowing a 20-point lead and losing to Milwaukee 124-123 to fall 2� games behind the Celtics in the battle for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. The Nets (0-3) replaced the Bucks (3-0) as the team with the worst winning percentage (.304) in the league. With Bob Lanier scoring 25 and 35 points and grabbing a total of 27 rebounds, the Pistons beat Portland and Washington and moved within three games of Midwest division-leader Denver (page 62). Before the Detroit loss, the Bullets got 69 points in two games from Elvin Hayes and beat Buffalo and Boston. Still, Houston closed to within a half game of the Bullets in the Central race with easy victories over Seattle (124-95) and San Antonio (113-99). Atlanta, last in the Central, ended Los Angeles' 21-game home winning streak 111-101 as six Hawks scored in double figures. Portland, still without injured Bill Walton, snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Chicago 90-87 to stay within a game of the Pacific-leading Lakers.
DOGS—At the 101st Westminster Kennel Club show in Madison Square Garden, CH. DERSADE BOBBY'S GIRL, owned by Mrs. Dorothy Wimer of Churchtown, Pa., became the first Sealyham Terrier in 41 years to be named Best in Show.
HOCKEY—NHL: Playing in his first NHL game, Philadelphia's Al Hill, a 21-year-old left wing who had only 10 goals this season for the minor-league Springfield Indians, scored on his first two shots—at 36 seconds and 11:33 of the first period—and added three assists for a rookie record five points as the Flyers defeated St. Louis 6-4. Hill was held scoreless in his next game, but the Flyers still ripped the New York Rangers 7-1 to open a six-point Patrick Division lead over the New York Islanders, who almost became an in the record books. No goaltender in the NHL's 60-year history has ever scored a goal, but for a time Los Angeles' Rogatien Vachon was credited with a bizarre empty-net goal in the Kings' 3-0 win over the Islanders. Referee Andy van Hellemond called a penalty on the Kings, so Islander Goaltender Chico Resch routinely skated toward the bench. Unbelievably, before a King touched the puck, New York's Bryan Trottier—trying to pass from the Los Angeles goal line to teammate Denis Potvin at the blue line—shot the puck the length of the ice, almost 200 feet, and into the empty net. Thinking Vachon had been the last King to touch the puck, the official scorer credited him with the score. However, after an inspection of the game films, it was clear that Vic Venasky, not Vachon, had touched the puck last, and the goal was given to Venasky. St. Louis increased its Smythe Division lead to four points by beating second-place Chicago 5-1 as Claude Larose had his second hat trick in four games. Pittsburgh prevented Montreal from extending its 34-point lead in the Norris race with a 4-4 stalemate. Buffalo's Don Edwards rivaled Hill for the newcomer-of-the-week award. With regular Goaltender Gerry Desjardins sidelined by an eye injury, Edwards was recalled from Hershey and moved into the starting lineup. Edwards back-stopped the Sabres to three straight victories, including a shutout against the Black Hawks, and they moved into a first-place tie with Boston in the Adams Division. All but three of the Cleveland Barons received one overdue paycheck but are still owed another, and there may be no Cleveland Barons next week.
WHA: The Barons weren't the only team in financial trouble. On the same payday that only three Houston players (Gordie, Mark and Marty Howe) received checks, the Aeros beat Eastern Division leader Quebec 4-2 and took over first place in the West. "If we have to fold the franchise, at least we'll go out winners," said Aero Coach Bill Dineen. The crisis eased when arrangements were made to pay the other players, and Houston strengthened its division lead with a 4-2 win over second-place San Diego. Winnipeg lost to Edmonton 3-2, but remained within four points of San Diego by scoring three goals in 59 seconds to top Indianapolis 4-2. Cincinnati moved into a tie for second with the Racers in the East by beating Edmonton 7-4. New England treated its millionth spectator to a 3-2 loss to Birmingham, 20-year-old Mark Napier scoring all three Bull goals, giving him 43 for the year.
SKIING—FRANZ KLAMMER won the Kandahar Downhill in Laax, Switzerland. His record run of 1:59.1 was his sixth triumph of the season and enabled him to regain the lead in the World Cup point standings from defending champion Ingemar Stenmark.
TRACK—At the Jack-in-the-Box Indoor Games in San Diego WILSON WAIGWA of Texas at El Paso and Kenya won the mile in 3:55.7, .7 second off Tony Waldrop's world indoor record and the second-fastest clocking of the year. Four other runners finished under four minutes: Steve Scott (3:56.5), Eamonn Coghlan (3:57.9), Paul Cummings (3:58.2) and John Walker (3:59.2). ROSALYN BRYANT set a world indoor record of 1:03.3 in the women's 500-yard race, .1 second under Lorna Forde's mark. FRANK SHORTER turned in the fastest two-mile of the year (8:27.3) in a thrilling duel with Rod Dixon (page 24).
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: JOE MULLANEY, 51, as the third coach of the Buffalo Braves this season, replacing interim coach and general manager Bob MacKinnon, who had succeeded the fired Tates Locke. The Braves will be Mullaney's sixth pro team.
MARRIED: ARTHUR ASHE, 33, former Wimbledon and U.S Open champion, to Jean Marie Moutoussamy, a 25-year-old freelance photographer for NBC-TV. The ceremony, held in the United Nations chapel, was performed by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, a close friend of Ashe's.