PRO BASKETBALL—It was a week of squeakers. Philadelphia won its eighth straight to stay in first place in the Atlantic but not without difficulty. With the 76ers trailing by one point at Detroit with one second remaining, Steve Mix sank two free throws to give them the game, 106-105, and the Sixers had to go into overtime to beat Golden State 125-119. At Buffalo, ex-Piston Marvin Barnes, who was traded in midweek for the Braves' John Shumate and Gus Gerard plus a No. 1 draft choice, was welcomed with a standing ovation. He came off the bench to put Buffalo ahead in the final quarter, but again Philadelphia prevailed, 112-107. While Barnes was being cheered, Detroit was being jeered, losing its third straight—a 105-87 shellacking by Cleveland—to fall into the Midwest cellar. The Knicks lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics after battling back from a 21-point deficit to send the game into overtime. Jo Jo White sank two free throws with three seconds remaining for the 121-119 Boston victory. Portland continued to dominate the league with its 14-3 record, winning all three of its games. The Blazers nearly fell to Chicago, but five points in the final 33 seconds by Dave Twardzik, who leads the league with a .735 field-goal percentage, put Portland on top 116-111. Buoyed by a team-record 24 steals and a 23-minute, 32-point performance by Alvan Adams, Phoenix beat San Antonio 134-112. The Suns' only loss was to Central leader Cleveland, which won three straight. Atlanta dropped to second place, blowing a 29-point lead in the final 8:43 to lose to Milwaukee 117-115. Rookie Marques Johnson clinched the victory for the Bucks with two free shots in the final second. Atlanta rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Midwest leader Denver 105-104, despite 33 points from David Thompson, who averaged 32.2 points in five games, including a season-high 42 in a 136-123 romp over Indiana. Seventy-three fouls were called in that game, including two technicals on each coach, both of whom were ejected. The Jazz edged Denver 131-129 when Pete Maravich stole the ball and sank a layup at the buzzer (page 26).
CROSS-COUNTRY—The University of Oregon won the NCAA championship in below-freezing weather at Spokane, defeating defending titleholder UTEP. Washington State's HENRY RONO, a 24-year-old Kenyan, took his second straight individual championship, covering the 10,000-meter course in 28:33.5.
Great Britain's NICK ROSE, representing the Mason-Dixon AC, won the national AAU title at Houston in a record 30:14.3 for the 10,000-meter course.
Jan Merrill won her second straight national AAU women's title at San Bernardino, Calif., running the three-mile course in 16:54.4 (page 28).
PRO FOOTBALL—Linebacker Tom Jackson intercepted a Bert Jones pass and ran it back 73 yards for a touchdown to stymie a Baltimore rally and lead Denver to a 27-13 victory. The Broncos now have a 10-1 record, best in the NFL, and hold the equivalent of a two-game lead over Oakland in the AFC West. Washington topped Green Bay 10-9 on Monday night, but Dallas virtually ended the Redskins' playoff dreams with a 14-7 win on Sunday. Atlanta stopped Tampa Bay 17-0. In snow games, Minnesota maintained a one-game lead over Chicago in the NFC Central by beating Green Bay 13-6 as Chuck Foreman slid for 101 yards and Fred Cox booted two field goals; Cincinnati whipped the Giants 30-13 as Ken Anderson threw for three touchdowns; and Los Angeles blanked Cleveland 9-0, not once allowing the Browns within 33 yards of the goal line. Houston routed Kansas City 34-20, Dan Pastorini passing for three TDs and rookie Rob Carpenter rushing for 149 yards, in 14 carries. The Oilers, Browns and Bengals all have 6-5 records and trail 7-4 Pittsburgh by one game in the AFC Central, the Steelers having turned back the Jets 23-20 on Roy Gerela's first successful field-goal kick in seven games. New England sacked Philadelphia Quarterback Ron Jaworski eight times in a 14-6 win. Dan Fouts, who didn't report to the Chargers until two weeks ago because of a contract squabble, rallied San Diego past Seattle 30-28. New Orleans has seen enough of San Francisco's Ray Wersching. Three weeks ago his 33-yard field goal beat the Saints in overtime, and this time he beat them 20-17 with a 42-yard boot as regulation time expired. In that game the 49ers' Wilbur Jackson rushed for 190 yards on 16 carries. On Thanksgiving, Walter Pay-ton rushed for 137 yards and teamed with Bob Avellini on a 75-yard scoring pass play as Chicago overcame Detroit 31-14, and Bob Griese threw for a club-record six touchdowns to lead Miami past St. Louis 55-14.
The MONTREAL ALOUETTES demolished the Edmonton Eskimos 41-6 to win the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup (page 87).
HOCKEY—NHL: Boston scored successive shutout victories over Chicago (1-0), Buffalo (2-0) and Washington (6-0), then beat the New York Rangers 3-2 to vault into first place in the Adams Division. The defense-minded Bruins held the Black Hawks to a mere 15 shots at Goaltender Gilles Gilbert, the normally high-scoring Sabres to only 21 at Ron Grahame, the Capitals to only 17 at Gilbert and the Rangers to a season-low 12 at Grahame. In winning nine and tying one of its last 10 games, Boston has allowed only 16 goals. The Rangers launched another purge of their goldies but oldies, sending high-salaried veterans Bill Goldsworthy and Ken Hodge to the minor leagues and releasing Rod Gilbert, Mr. Ranger since 1962. Gilbert, 36, had scored only two goals in New York's first 20 games. Andre Beaulieu replaced Ted Harris as Minnesota's coach after the North Stars were routed by the New York Islanders 9-2 on Thanksgiving eve. Mike Bossy, the Islanders' rookie right wing, became the league's first 20-goal scorer, getting his 19th and 20th in a 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh. Chicago ended an eight-game winless streak by beating Colorado 5-1. And Cleveland owner George Gund sent cases of champagne to the Barons' dressing room after they beat Montreal at home, 2-1, for the first time in 17 tries.
WHA: It was a bad week all around for Gordie Howe and the New England Whalers. Howe not only failed to score his 1,000th goal (page 102), but also the high-flying Whalers returned to earth with just a victory and a tie to show for their five games. Still, New England led Winnipeg by seven points.
HORSE RACING—Running the mile and an eighth over a muddy track in a stakes-record 1:47[4/5], BELIEVE IT ($15.20), under Eddie Maple, won the $80,025 Remsen for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct, finishing two lengths in front of heavily favored Alydar.
Cafe Prince ($7.80), Jerry Fishback up, took the $100,000 Colonial Cup in Camden, S.C. to become the first two-time winner of America's richest steeplechase.