PRO BASKETBALL—There arc no ties in basketball—when two bad teams play, one has to win. So it was when New Jersey met Indiana at Piscataway. Five members of the undermanned Pacers had fouled out when the game went into overtime. Dan Roundfield got his sixth personal but was allowed to remain in the game as Indiana had only nine men in uniform. After a total of 77 fouls and 58 turnovers, the Nets prevailed, thanks to John Williamson, playing against the team he was traded from two weeks before. Super John scored 38 points, including three jumpers in the final two minutes, for the 140-138 win. Then ex-Piston Howard Porter (15 points, nine rebounds, three blocked shots) came off the bench to give New Jersey its second victory—tying its longest win streak of the season—117-112 over Detroit, moving the Nets to within 25 games of first-place Philadelphia. Chicago has the 76ers' numbers, beating Philadelphia 108-106 to become the only team in the league to defeat the Atlantic leader three times. But then the Bulls fell three times, and to last-place teams—Houston (once) and Kansas City (twice). The Kings got one more win to climb out of the Midwest cellar for the first time since December. Buffalo had its 10-game losing streak snapped by the Sixers, whose Julius Erving was sidelined with phlebitis. Randy Smith, who had 23 points, sank three clutch free throws for the 116-110 victory. Also snapping a 10-game streak—winning—was New Orleans, which was minus the services of injured Guard Pete Maravich. The Jazz lost to Cleveland. Philadelphia and Detroit. Golden State lost its 10th straight on the Laker home court and—once more—the two teams traded places for Pacific cellar dishonors. Nonetheless, only one division team is playing below .500—Golden State at .491.
BOBSLEDDING—An East German team driven by HORST SCH�NAU won the world four-man championship at Lake Placid (page 10).
BOWLING—Rolling strikes in the sixth through the 10th frames, DICK RITGER defeated Marshall Holman 248-226 to win his 19th PBA title, the $80,000 Dutch Masters Open in Cleveland.
Virginia Norton became the first repeat winner of the 1978 women's PBA tour with a 379-pin victory over Patty Costello in the $25,000 Cavalcade of Stars tournament in Wichita, Kans.
BOXING—CARLOS PALOMINO knocked out Ryu Sorimachi in the seventh round in Las Vegas to retain his WBC welterweight title.
COURT TENNIS—GENE SCOTT won the U.S. amateur championship for the fifth straight year, defeating Ralph Howe 6-0, 0-6, 6-3, 6-5 in Philadelphia.
FIGURE SKATING—At the U.S. championships in Portland, Ore., LINDA FRATIANNE won her second straight senior women's title and CHARLIE TICKNER took his second consecutive senior men's championship.
GOLF—Shooting a four-under-par 212, DEBBIE AUSTIN won the $50,000 American Cancer Society tournament in Miami by one stroke when Nayoko Yoshikawa missed a four-foot putt and bogeyed the final hole.
HOCKEY—NHL: It was a week for "Get Well Quick" cards. Checked heavily by Defenseman Dave Farrish of the New York Rangers, Buffalo Left Wing Rick Martin cracked his head on the ice. went into convulsions and half-swallowed his tongue. Martin was taken from the ice on a stretcher and rushed to a hospital. "I've got to wear a helmet from now on," Martin said. "They told me that if I get hit on the head again, it may cause some problems." After a collision behind the goal during the Islanders' 8-5 rout of Detroit, New York Center Wayne Merrick—who wears a helmet—fell to the ice and suffered a concussion. The Islanders, who lead Philadelphia by two points and a game in hand in the Patrick Division race, also lost the services of Mike Bossy, their rookie goal-scoring sensation, for several games. Moments after scoring his league-high 40th goal in the Islanders' 5-4 loss at Chicago, Bossy collided with Hawk Defenseman Phil Russell and came away with a severely bruised shoulder. Toronto Forward Jerry Butler was hospitalized with a concussion after hitting his head on the ice during the Maple Leafs' 5-4 win over St. Louis. Philadelphia would prefer to forget its 5-2 defeat of Vancouver. In that game the Flyers lost their top body bender on the boards. Right Wing Paul Holmgren, for a minimum of three weeks because of a fractured vertebra, and Captain Bobby Clarke suffered a fractured left thumb. Clarke intends to play with a cast. Montreal extended its unbeaten streak to a club-record 22 games, just one shy of the NHL record. St. Louis lost at Philadelphia. Toronto and Montreal and now has gone a club-record 11 games without a victory. Minnesota made its second coaching change since Thanksgiving, replacing Andre Beaulieu. who had previously replaced Ted Harris, with 36-year-old Forward-Defenseman Lou Nanne, a North Star expansion original. Nanne also took over the club's general manager position from the deposed Jack Gordon. In Nanne's last game as a player Minnesota lost to the Rangers 3-0, but in his first game as coach-g.m. the North Stars beat Vancouver 3-2.
WHA: Indianapolis went the Minnesota route, giving Right Wing Bill Goldsworthy—another North Star expansion original—the additional job of coach following the resignation of Ron Ingram. Birmingham played musical coaches following the three-game suspension and $2,500 fine levied on Coach Glen Sonmor for "conduct detrimental" to the league. Owner John Bassett coached the Bulls to a 6-1 loss against Indianapolis, then General Manager Gilles Leger coached them to a 9-0 loss at Winnipeg.