PRO BASKETBALL—The NBA playoffs opened with teams jumping off to 2-0 leads in all of the Eastern Conference's first-round, best-of-five series. That's not to say the games weren't tight. "Everybody said Cleveland was a cupcake," said Boston forward Kevin McHale after the Celtics battled to 126-123 and 108-106 victories over the hang-tough Cavaliers. "Well, it's about time everybody realized they're a damn good team." The other Eastern series leaders were Philadelphia (over Washington), Detroit (over New Jersey) and Milwaukee (over Chicago). In the West, the Lakers exploded for 289 points to win the first two games of their series against injury-plagued Phoenix. Denver and San Antonio, Houston and Utah, as well as Portland and Dallas all split.
BOWLING—MARK WILLIAMS won the $200,000 PBA Tournament of Champions by defeating Bob Handley 191-140. Handley, who averaged almost 215 in 48 qualifying games, had the lowest title-game score in the 21-year history of the event.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: New Jersey coach Walt Michaels, who prefers the power game to finesse, could only swallow hard when Generals boss Donald Trump signed the scrambling Doug Flutie last February. But Michaels had no complaints Friday night after a 21-18 victory over Memphis. Flutie threw for 107 yards and one touchdown and scored a TD on a one-yard run. Michaels also got all the power he wanted out of Herschel Walker, who rushed for 164 yards on 27 carries, giving him a league-leading 1,006 yards for the season. "I saw a runner more punishing than Jim Brown," Michaels gushed. "Someone was taking a beating out there and it wasn't Herschel." Tampa Bay played twice, defeating Western co-leader Denver 33-17 before bowing to Birmingham, leader in the East, 30-3. The Los Angeles Express, which had been riding high after an 18-17 upset of Western co-leader Houston the week before ("This team has new life," Express coach John Hadl had exclaimed), reverted to form as the USFL's worst team. Not even placekicker Tony Zendejas, the West's leading scorer with 62 points, could get L.A. on the board as the Denver Gold, seeing red after its loss to Tampa Bay, punished the Express 51-0. Jacksonville topped Orlando 31-10, Houston stopped Arizona 33-17, and Baltimore's Kelvin Bryant returned from a three-week layoff caused by a pulled hamstring and rushed for 185 yards and two TDs, one an 82-yarder, as the Stars beat Portland 26-17.
GOLF—Masters champion BERNHARD LANGER of West Germany beat Bobby Wadkins on the first hole of sudden-death to win the Heritage Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C. (page 20). Both finished regulation play with an 11-under-par 273.
Patty Sheehan shot a 13-under-par 275 to beat Alice Miller by two strokes and win a $200,000 LPGA event in Las Vegas.
HOCKEY—After opening with an 11-1 loss to the Soviet Union, the United States upset Canada 4-3 and Czechoslovakia 3-1 in the round-robin, eight-team World Ice Hockey Championships in Prague.
PRO HOCKEY—"It's not fun—time and time again falling behind," said Denis Potvin of the Islanders after losing to Philadelphia 3-0 in the opening game of the Patrick Division finals. "It's not the way we've won [Stanley] Cups in the past." But nothing changed Sunday as New York lost again to the Flyers 5-2 (page 22). In the Smythe Division, Winnipeg experienced a similar fate, losing twice to defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton, 4-2 and 5-2. In game No. 2, Oiler Paul Coffey scored two goals and assisted on three others to tie the NHL playoff single-game points record for a defenseman. "Offensively and defensively, it probably was the strongest game I've played," said Coffey. In the Adams Division, the Nordiques and Canadiens split their first two games, with Quebec drawing first blood in a 2-1 overtime win; Montreal retaliated Sunday 6-4. After four straight playoff wins, Minnesota lost to Chicago 6-2, evening the Norris finals 1-1.
HORSE RACING—ETERNAL PRINCE ($7), Richard Migliore up, won the $296,500 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, finishing 2� lengths ahead of prerace favorite Proud Truth. The 3-year-old colt ran the 1? mile in 1:48[4/5] (page 18).
Tank's Prospect ($8.20) beat Encolure by 6� lengths to win the $582,750 Arkansas Derby at Oak-lawn Park. The 3-year-old colt, with Gary Stevens in the saddle, covered the 1?-mile course in 1:48[2/5], less than [2/5] of a second off the track record.
Spend A Buck ($2.80) won the 1?-mile Garden State Stakes in 1:45[4/5], [2/5] of a second off Secretariat's 1973 record. Angel Cordero Jr. rode the 3-year-old colt to a 9� length victory over I Am The Game.