PRO BASKETBALL—Three straight wins by red-hot Denver lifted the Nuggets to within half a game of first place in the Midwest Division, behind struggling San Antonio, which was winless in four games. The Nugget victories extended their win streak to 12 games but it ended on Sunday, 140-116, at Seattle. Meanwhile, Utah, last in the Midwest and 0-for-March, snapped its NBA season-high 18-game losing streak on April 2, by beating Kansas City 127-118 behind Adrian Dantley's 42 points. Dantley then pumped in 40 to lead the Jazz over San Diego 133-124, giving the Clippers their 13th consecutive loss and 28th in 30 games. An earlier San Diego defeat, 117-100 by Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles, enabled the Lakers to become the fourth team to clinch a playoff spot. Among other playoff clinchers, Central Division leader Milwaukee went unbeaten for the week, as did Boston, pacesetter in the Atlantic Division, which yielded no ground to second-place Philadelphia (page 34).
BOWLING—PETE COUTURE beat Joe Berardi 240-222 to win a $110,000 PBA event in Overland Park, Kans.
GOLF—DANNY EDWARDS shot a 3-under-par 285 to win the $300,000 Greater Greensboro Open by one stroke over Bobby Clampett.
Sally Little fired a 10-under-par 278 to finish on top at the $310,000 Dinah Shore Invitational at Rancho Mirage, Calif. Sandra Haynie and Hollis Stacy were second, three strokes back (page 32).
GYMNASTICS—NEBRASKA beat UCLA 286.45-281.80 at Lincoln, Neb. for a record-tying fourth consecutive NCAA team championship. The individual all-around title, however, was won by UCLA's PETER VIDMAR, who upset two-time champion Jim Hartung of Nebraska 116.30-115.80.
HOCKEY—With two victories, a tie and a loss in the final week of the season, the Patrick Division champion New York Islanders lifted their league-leading point total to a club-record 118, seven more than runner-up Edmonton, the Smythe Division winner, and nine more than Montreal, which won the Adams Division. The Canadiens, however, did win their sixth trophy in seven seasons for allowing the fewest goals (223). Mainly, though, it was a season for scorers. The most goals in 38 years (6,741) were scored in the season's 840 games, and the 100-point mark was attained by a record 13 players, led by Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky at 212. And when the Islanders' Bryan Trottier scored his 50th goal in a 6-3 win over Philadelphia, the league also had a record 10 50-goal scorers. Tops among them, with a record 92, was Gretzky, who also finished with a record 120 assists. Winnipeg's Dale Hawerchuck was the leading rookie scorer with 103 points.
HORSE RACING—TIMELY WRITER ($3.60), ridden by Jeffrey Fell, defeated Star Gallant by two lengths to win the $250,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The 3-year-old colt was timed in 1:49[3/5] for the Wt miles (page 26).
Air Forbes Won ($7), Mike Venezia up, beat odds-on-favorite Shimatoree by 3� lengths to win the $84,600 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:35[3/5].
Muttering ($11.80), Laffit Pincay up, won the $301,300 Santa Anita Derby for 3-year-olds by a nose over fast-closing Prince Spellbound. The colt covered the 1? miles in 1:47[3/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—NIKI LAUDA drove a McLaren to victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, Calif., averaging 81.4 mph over the 2.13-mile circuit. He beat Keke Rosberg of Finland, driving a Williams, by 14.66 seconds.