PRO BASKETBALL—After receiving their championship rings from Commissioner Larry O'Brien, the Trail Blazers took the floor and promptly fell 13 points behind San Antonio, but Lionel Hollins popped in 36 points to lead Portland to a 130-115 victory over the Spurs, their second win of the week. In New York, it was almost like old times. Willis Reed was back, as coach, and the Knicks came through for him, Earl Monroe getting 27 points and Phil Jackson coming off the bench to contribute 16 more in a 120-113 victory over the Kings. It was a new Knick, though, who sparked the team to a subsequent 141-115 defeat of the Bullets, rookie Guard Ray Williams settling nicely into the spot vacated by Walt Frazier, who had been traded to Cleveland. Clyde got 20 points for the Cavs in their opener against Chicago, but failed to score in the fourth quarter and they fell to the Bulls 91-88. In New Orleans, Frazier regained his cool, firing in seven points in the closing minutes to lift Cleveland to a 107-104 win over the Jazz. Pete Maravich had 29 points in that game and scored 41 more in a 111-103 defeat of the new New Jersey Nets, playing their home opener in the cramped Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway. Chicago won three games before losing to Milwaukee 113-95. The Lakers also fell to the Bucks 117-112 in the season opener, losing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who decked rookie Center Kent Benson 2:09 minutes into the game. Kareem broke a bone in his right hand and was replaced in the team's second game by rookie James Edwards, who scored 25 points to lead the Lakers to a 133-120 defeat of the Pacers. Boston lost twice, for the first time ever to the Spurs, 114-109, and to Houston 110-98. The 76ers downed the Pistons 113-96 with the help of 32 points and 22 rebounds from George McGinnis.
PRO FOOTBALL—Can the Oakland Raiders be going the way of the Cincinnati Reds? After losing to Denver last week, the Raiders barely defeated—of all teams—the New York Jets, thanks to a missed extra point by Pat Leahy. Jet Quarterback Richard Todd threw four first-half TD passes, but Oakland came back in the second half, Ken Stabler firing a pair of fourth-quarter scoring passes for the 28-27 victory. Denver, too, had its hands full trying to contain Cincinnati's rookie Fullback Pete Johnson, who rushed for 108 yards and one TD in 16 carries, but backup Quarterback Craig Penrose directed a second-half drive to give the undefeated Broncos a 24-13 win. The Bengals also lost on Monday night, to Pittsburgh 20-14. When the Steelers and Oilers met two weeks ago, both quarterbacks left the game with injuries—Terry Bradshaw with a fractured wrist, and Dan Pastorini with a sprained ankle. This week, Pastorini, who was sacked five times and completed only five of 15 passes, left the game again, limping, but Bradshaw had no trouble with his plastic cast, completing 16 of 24 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-10 Steeler victory. The Cardinals scored two touchdowns in the final 61 seconds, the second on a 12-yard plunge by Wayne Morris, who accounted for 24 points, to defeat New Orleans 49-31. Dallas remained undefeated when Jay Saldi blocked a punt and Charlie Waters carried the ball 17 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown to give the Cowboys a 16-10 win over Philadelphia. The Giants defeated the Redskins 17-6, Kansas City won its first game 21-16 over San Diego, Cleveland downed the Bills 27-16 and Atlanta defeated Chicago 16-10. Miami scored 24 points in the second quarter to beat Seattle 31-13, and Green Bay snapped its four-game losing streak, handing Tampa Bay its 20th straight loss, 13-0. New England defeated Baltimore 17-3 (page 20), and San Francisco upset Detroit 28-7 (page 90).
GOLF—JERRY PATE shot a final-round 66 for a 14-under-par 266 to win the $125,000 Southern Open at Columbus, Ga. by seven strokes.
HOCKEY—NHL: The Flyers cut loose for 18 goals in back-to-back shutouts, a 7-0 romp over St. Louis and an 11-0 pasting of Pittsburgh. Don Saleski scored three goals against the Blues, Reggie Leach and Bill Barber each had a pair against the Penguins, and Wayne Stephenson and Bernie Parent each registered a shutout. In winning its first four games, Philadelphia outscored the opposition 31-3, but on Saturday the Flyers fell to Toronto 6-1 as Darryl Sittler had the hat trick for the Maple Leafs. That left Montreal—which beat Boston 2-0 and Washington 5-3, then tied Detroit 2-2 on Larry Robinson's goal with 16 seconds to play—as the only undefeated team in the league. The Rangers and Islanders split two games, each winning on its home ice. The Rangers also played Pittsburgh to a 3-3 tie, while the Islanders skated to a 3-3 tie with Atlanta, the Flames scoring the equalizer on Pat Ribble's goal with 12 seconds to play, and had a 0-0 standoff with Los Angeles as Goaltenders Chico Resch and Rogatien Vachon matched shutouts. Cleveland also beat Minnesota and St. Louis, extending its modest winning streak to four, and took over first place in the Adams Division. St. Louis and Minnesota remained winless after five games.
WHA: New England, in first place with a 4-1-1 record, lost its first game of the season, 6-2 to Cincinnati, Robbie Ftorek and Rick Dudley each scoring two goals. Gordie Howe set up three goals in the Whalers' 6-3 win over Edmonton and they wound up the week with a 5-2 defeat of second-place Winnipeg. After a slow start, Quebec returned to form, downing Cincinnati 5-1 and Birmingham 8-5.
HORSE RACING—Nelson Bunker Hunt's EXCELLER ($4.40), under Angel Cordero, overtook Majestic Light for a length victory in the $193,500 Canadian International Championship at Woodbine, the richest horse race in Canada's history. The winner was timed in 2:52[2/5] for the mile and?ths over a soft turf course.
Lakeville Miss ($3), under strong whipping by Ruben Hernandez, survived a rough-and-tumble stretch run and the resulting inquiry to win the $130,920 Selima Stakes at Laurel. After 25 minutes of deliberation the stewards declared the 2-year-old filly, who finished a length in front of L'Alezane, the winner.
MARATHON—BILL RODGERS won his second straight New York City Marathon, finishing in 2:11:28.2. Miki Gorman was the first woman across (and 190th overall), crossing the line in 2:43:10 (page 24).
MOTOR SPORTS—JAMES HUNT, his McLaren M26 in the lead the entire race, won the Japan Grand Prix in Gotemba. The race was marred in the opening minutes when the car driven by Gilles Villeneuve of Canada, who replaced Niki Lauda on the Ferrari team, flipped over and plunged into a restricted area, killing two people including the guard who was trying to clear the area of spectators. Villeneuve escaped injury.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS held off a strong challenge by Ken Rosewall to win the $125,000 Australian Indoor championship at Sydney 7-5, 6-4, 6-2.