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PRO BASKETBALL—In a matchup of division leaders, San Antonio edged the 76ers 100-94 in Philadelphia, despite a 31-point effort from Doug Collins, who scored 25 a game during the week. The loss ended the 76ers' winning streak at four and dropped them a half game behind Washington in the Atlantic Division. The Spurs, who won three times to maintain a 1�-game Central Division lead over Houston, saw their eight-game winning streak end in Atlanta. John Drew, who had 27 points the night before in a 124-101 loss to San Antonio, scored 28 in the 115-107 Hawk victory. Drew later poured in a career-high 50 points in a 113-87 romp over Denver, which failed to win in four attempts and trails Midwest Division leader Kansas City by four games. The Kings dropped three of four, including a 112-108 decision to New York, which won three in a row with a revamped lineup, Glen Gondrezick and Mike Glenn replacing high-scoring Bob McAdoo and Ray Williams. In the Pacific Division, Seattle, which ended a six-game skid with a 122-103 defeat of New Orleans and then beat Phoenix 119-92, leads the second-place Suns by 15 percentage points. Phoenix, which won three of four, defeated Portland 129-127 in overtime in a game that featured a 42-point performance by Walter Davis and broke a string of five straight Blazer wins. Third-place Los Angeles, which is only 25 percentage points out of first, beat Portland 118-95.
BOWLING—KEVIN GANNON of Long Beach, Calif. defeated Gary Strand of Madison, Wis. 224-211 to win the $23,000 National Resident Pro Championship in Queens, N.Y. and a berth in the 1979 Firestone Tournament of Champions.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—Alabama held off Penn State's bid for No. 1 ranking with a 14-7 victory in the Sugar Bowl. Paced by Quarterback Mark Herrmann, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Purdue broke to a 34-7 lead and went on to trounce Georgia Tech 41-21 in the Peach Bowl. In the Fiesta Bowl, Quarterback Steve Bukich's 15-yard scoring run midway through the final period lifted UCLA into a 10-10 tie with Arkansas. Clemson's Charlie Bauman intercepted an Art Schlichter pass with 1:59 remaining to preserve the Tigers' 17-15 victory over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. Other results: it was Stanford 25, Georgia 22 in the Bluebonnet; Notre Dame 35, Houston 34 in the Cotton; Southern California 17, Michigan 10 in the Rose; and Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 24 in the Orange (page 14).
HOCKEY—NHL: The Islanders, losers of only one game in their last 25 and undefeated on home ice this season, increased their Patrick Division lead to nine points by beating Toronto 5-1 and Atlanta 10-4 and 4-2. In the first victory over the Flames, Mike Bossy, who leads the league in goals with 30, had a hat trick and an assist, and Brian Trottier, whose 60 points are tied with those of Montreal's Guy Lafleur in the NHL scoring race, had a goal and four assists. In the second, Bossy added two goals, and Trottier scored once as he stretched his consecutive-game point-scoring streak to 16. Lafleur, who has had at least one point in 17 straight games, scored again in the Canadiens 6-1 victory over Adams Division leader Boston, which had gone eight games without a loss. Montreal, unbeaten in 15 games, leads the Norris Division by 22 points over Pittsburgh, which was 2-0 and knocked Los Angeles out of second with a 3-3 tie on Wayne Bianchin's two goals and an assist. Smythe Division leader Chicago, winner of only two of its last 10 outings, split two games and maintained a two-point lead over second-place Vancouver.
WHA: For the second straight week, New England and Quebec remained tied for first, and only five points separated the league's four other teams. Before dropping a 2-1 decision to Cincinnati, the Whalers beat Birmingham 5-0, as Al Smith got his first shutout of the season, and the Czechoslovakian All-Stars 10-4. Against the Czechs, Andre Lacroix had a hat trick, Mark Howe a goal and four assists, and John McKenzie two goals. The following night, the Nordiques' Richard Brodeur shut out the Czechs 4-0. Quebec also defeated Birmingham, 3-2, as Real Cloutier, the league's top scorer with 60 points, had a pair of goals, including the game-winner. Edmonton, winner of five of its last seven games, made the Czechs 0-3 against the WHA. Ron Chipperfield, who had five goals and two assists in three games, scored three times in the 5-1 victory.
HORSE RACING—DARRELL McHARGUE rode three winners at Santa Anita on the final day of the year, enabling him to break Steve Cauthen's record for earnings. McHargue finished with $6,188,353, breaking the year-old mark of $6,151,750. The 24-year-old went into the final day needing $15,323 to break the record and went over the top by taking the winner's purse of $8,800 in the $16,000 seventh race with a 9-to-2 shot, Syncopate. He then won with Sweet Little Lady in the $54,800 Las Flores Handicap.
SKIING—RAISA SMETANINA of the Soviet Union won the season's second women's Nordic World Cup cross-country race, finishing in 18:9.33 in a five-kilometer race in Furtwangen, West Germany. Marit Myrmal of Norway was second (page 42).