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PRO BASKETBALL—"The times we beat them in the past they didn't play as a unit. They went one-on-one," the Knicks' Jim McMillian said of the 76ers. "Now they're more of a team than I've ever seen them." And Philadelphia, clearly playing as a unit, knocked New York out of the playoffs in four straight, 130-90, 119-100, 137-126 and 112-107. San Antonio won the first game of its series with Washington 114-103; then the Bullets took over and beat the Spurs 121-117, 118-105 and 98-95 for a 3-1 lead. In the Western Conference the Denver Nuggets easily won their first two games with the Milwaukee Bucks 119-103 and 127-111. But in the third game rookie Marques Johnson, with a career-high 35 points, led the Bucks to a 143-112 victory. Portland lost its first game to Seattle 104-95, won the second 96-93 but lost Center Bill Walton, whose ankle fracture will keep him out of the rest of the playoffs. In the third game the SuperSonics beat the defending champion Trail Blazers 99-84 to take a 2-1 lead in the series (page 20).
BOWLING—EARL ANTHONY defeated Teata Semiz 237-192 to win his second Firestone Tournament of Champions at Akron, Ohio. It was his 30th title on the PBA tour and was worth $30,000. Anthony, Jim God-man and Dave Davis have been the only two-time winners in the tournament's 14 years.
At the AAU national championships in Biloxi, Miss. GREG PAGE defeated Tony Tubbs for the heavyweight title. The other winners were: ELMER MARTIN, light heavyweight; JEFF McCRACKEN, middleweight; J. B. WILLIAMSON, light middleweight; ROGER LEONARD, welterweight; EICHI JUMAWAN, featherweight; DONALD CURRY, 139 pounds; MELVIN PAUL, 132 pounds; JACKIE BEARD, 119 pounds; MIKE FELDE, 112 pounds; and JAMES CULLINS, 106 pounds (page 73).
GOLF—GARY PLAYER overcame a five-shot deficit and took his third consecutive tournament, the $200,000 Houston Open. He shot a three-under-par final round of 69 for a total of 270 (page 16).
Twenty-two-year-old AMY ALCOTT sank a five-foot birdie putt on the 1st hole of a sudden-death playoff with Hollis Stacy to win the $55,000 American Defender Classic in Raleigh, N.C. Alcott, who shot a four-under-par-68 final round for a 10-under 206 during regulation play, needed only a par 5 on the 18th but three-putted to force the playoff.
HOCKEY—NHL: The Boston Bruins took the Chicago Black Hawks in four straight. They opened the quarterfinal series with a 6-1 decision, then battled through a pair of 4-3 overtime victories and ended with a 5-2 win that left Chicago with a record 12 straight playoff losses. The New York Rangers (1968-70) and Philadelphia Flyers (1968, '69, '71) had lost 10 straight playoff games. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Canadiens 4-2 and recorded their first victory in Montreal since March 20, 1974, then lost to the defending champions 4-2 and 8-0. The Islanders won their first two games with Toronto 4-1 and 3-2 in overtime, but the Maple Leafs rallied to win the next two 2-0 and 3-1, evening the series. The Buffalo Sabres snapped a 10-game quarterfinal losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, but in the next game Rick MacLeish capped a three-goal first period for the Flyers with his sixth score of the playoffs as Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 4-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
WHA: About an hour before the New England Whalers' fourth playoff game with the Edmonton Oilers, Mark Howe burst into the dressing room yelling that his wife Ginger had given birth to their first child. The enthusiasm generated by the arrival of the overdue child didn't hurt grandfather Gordie, who celebrated by scoring a goal and adding an assist. Mark had two assists in a 9-1 win over the Oilers. New England went on to beat Edmonton again 4-1 and win their best-of-seven series. Quebec beat Houston 5-4 in overtime, 5-1, 3-0, then lost 5-2 to the Aeros. Winnipeg eliminated Birmingham in five games, winning the deciding match 5-2.