PRO BASKETBALL—The Milwaukee Bucks, who a year ago had the worst record in the NBA's Western Conference, advanced to the conference's semifinal playoffs after a 111-103, 94-90 sweep of the Phoenix Suns (page 16). Another surprising team, Atlanta, which had not been in the playoffs in five years, found its inexperience—eight of the Hawks' 11 players were making their debuts in postseason competition—too much to overcome against Washington. The Bullets, who have been in the playoffs 10 straight seasons, triumphed 103-94 and 107-103. The Knicks also had a sweep, against Cleveland. New York, playing like the unselfish Knicks of yore, had 33 assists in romping past the Cavs in the opener 132-114. Bob McAdoo scored 41 points for the victors. New York won the second game 109-107 on Spencer Haywood's 15-foot jumper with two seconds left. Seattle moved into the Western Conference semifinals against defending champion Portland by beating Los Angeles 111-102 in the third and deciding game of their opening series.
BOWLING—By rolling four consecutive strikes, BUTCH SOPER defeated George Pappas 199-184 to win the $75,000 Fair Lanes Open in Towson, Md. It was Soper's first PBA tour victory in seven years.
DIVING—Olympic silver medalist GREG LOUGANIS won the men's one-meter springboard and 10-meter platform events at the National AAU indoor championships in Cleveland. The men's three-meter champion was JIM KENNEDY. MELISSA BRILEY successfully defended her women's 10-meter title, JENNIFER CHANDLER, a gold medalist in '76, won the three-meter competition and JULIE BACHMAN took the one-meter.
GOLF—Coming from seven strokes off the pace, GARY PLAYER shot a final-round 67 for a seven-under-par 281 to win the $225,000 Tournament of Champions in Carlsbad, Calif. (page 68).
Hollis Stacy shot a nine-under-par 207, three strokes better than Jane Blalock and Pat Meyers, to win the $60,000 Birmingham Classic.
HOCKEY—NHL: Detroit scored the only upset in the best-of-three preliminary series of the Stanley Cup playoffs by ousting Atlanta in two straight games (page 62). Toronto routed Los Angeles 7-3 and 4-0, but Philadelphia and Buffalo had some anxious moments. Baffled by the sharp goaltending of former Flyer Doug Favell, Philadelphia was forced into sudden-death overtime in Game 1 against Colorado. The Flyers won 3-2 on Mel Bridgman's goal. In Game 2 Philly ripped 45 shots at Favell and ended the Rockies' season 3-1. Buffalo needed three games to eliminate the Rangers. The Sabres won both games on their home ice by 4-1 scores, but lost on the road as Don Murdoch put the Rangers ahead 4-3 in the second minute of sudden death.
WHA: Defending Avco Trophy Champion Winnipeg blasted brawling Birmingham 9-3 and 8-3 in the first two games of their best-of-seven quarterfinal series. New England took a 2-0 lead over Edmonton with 6-4 and 4-1 triumphs, while Houston won the opening game of its series against Quebec, 4-3.
HORSE RACING—AFFIRMED ($2.60), with Steve Cauthen in the saddle, beat Think Snow by two lengths to win the $284,750 Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 1:48[1/5] for the 1? miles.
MOTOR SPORTS—DARRELL WALTRIP's Chevy led the final 68 laps and beat Richard Petty's Dodge to win the Staley 400 in North Wilkesboro, N.C. Waltrip averaged 92.345 mph. over the ?-mile oval.
POWER LIFTING—JAN TODD set a world record with a dead lift of 453� pounds at the first AAU power lifting championships for women in Nashua, N.H.