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PRO BASKETBALL—ABA: Three playoff series were wrapped up before Sunday. Carolina hit the New York Nets where they live—Nassau Coliseum—and again in Greensboro to win 4-1. Cold shooting when they most needed points killed the Nets in the week's three losses. Billy Cunningham, averaging 24� points in the first two games for Carolina, contributed only 17 in the 101-91 defeat of New York, complaining he was in a state of total fatigue and that he had been fed intravenously at one point. After a good night's sleep, Cunningham came back with 29 points to lead Carolina to a 112-108 victory. Then the Nets went to sleep and lost the last one 136-113. Carolina next plays Kentucky, victorious in its series with Virginia as Dan Issel rang up 80 points in three straight Colonel wins. In the first, a 115-113 overtime thriller, Issel accounted for 31 points and 18 rebounds, getting help from Rick Mount's 21 points. Although Virginia's Julius Erving did not connect once in the third period, he led all scoring, as usual, with 35 points. Kentucky won the next game 108-90, then completed the series in front of a record ABA crowd of 16,887, dropping the Squires 114-103. Indiana took its 10th playoff series 4-1, Denver's only triumph coming at home, 105-94. The Rockets nearly won again two nights later, leading from the opening minute to the last 14 seconds, but Bill Keller hit a three-point basket and the Pacers held on for a 97-95 finish, then won the final game 121-107. Late-starting Utah swept its series 4-0, feeling a San Diego threat only once as the Q's succumbed 107-93, 103-92, 97-96 and 120-98.
NBA: In a meatless week the New York Knicks sandwiched two wins around a crabfest and took its playoff series with Baltimore 4-1 (page 28). The rest of the league stretched the playoff menu into a third week. Golden State, beaten five times in regular-season play by Milwaukee, evened its series at 2-2 with a 102-97 win over the Bucks in Oakland. Rick Barry popped in 38 points, grabbed eight rebounds and got three assists. Said the humble Barry after the game, "It's gratifying to win, even if I play poorly." The Warriors received additional help from Clyde Lee. who pulled down 21 rebounds and joined Nate Thurmond in spoiling the Bucks' fast break. Earlier in the week Milwaukee trounced the Warriors 113-93, thanks to Oscar Robertson's 34 points. Los Angeles ran into unexpected trouble with Chicago, which tied that series 2-2 with an exciting 98-94 win on Sunday, the Bulls' second at home. The first, 96-86, came two days earlier when Jerry West and Gail Goodrich, who had combined for 108 points in the first two playoff meetings, were held to 32, and Chicago outrebounded the Lakers 52-46. Boston and Atlanta also finished the week 2-2 with the Celtics winning in Atlanta 126-113, the Hawks in Boston 118-105 and the Hawks finally winning at home 97-94. In the second game of the series, Celtics Dave Cowens and Paul Silas combined for 30 rebounds in the first half, and a total of 42. Cowens also pumped in 20 points. Pete Maravich took personal charge of the fourth game, tossing in 13 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter.
HOCKEY—NHL: Boston lost Phil Esposito and also three of four games to New York as the playoffs began (page 30). Montreal destroyed Buffalo in three out of four and proved that a Dryden in each net does not necessarily make exciting hockey. Canadien Goalie Ken Dryden faced his brother Dave in the opener—and Montreal won 2-1. Next night, Yvan Cournoyer scored a hat trick: Montreal again, 7-3. The Sabres dropped the third 5-2 but salvaged hope with a 5-1 win on Sunday. Chicago opened its playoffs with a 7-1 routing of St. Louis as Dick Redmond got his first NHL hat trick and Pit Martin knocked in three goals. The Hawks took the next two, 1-0 and 5-2, with Jim Pappin and Ralph Backstrom contributing two goals apiece in the third game. The Blues came to life and won Sunday's meeting 5-3. Minnesota blanked Philadelphia twice, 3-0 and 5-0, in the first and third games of their series, but lost the second game 4-1 as Defenseman Barry Ashbee tied a Stanley Cup playoff record with three assists in one period. Sunday the Elyers tied the series with a 3-0 shutout.
WHA: Cleveland was looking for a playoff sweep as it dropped Philadelphia 3-2, 7-1 and 3-1. Gary Jarrett scored three goals in the second game of the series. Winnipeg led Minnesota 2-0, downing the Fighting Saints 3-1 and 5-2. New England made short work of fourth-place Ottawa, 6-3 and 4-3. Houston and Los Angeles split, the Aeros taking the first of their series 7-2, the Sharks winning the second 4-2.
HORSE RACING—Meadow Stable's SECRETARIAT ($2.20), Ron Turcotte up, boosted his earnings past half a million dollars, beating Champagne Charlie by three lengths in the $55,550 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, equaling the track mile record 1:33[2/5].
Holding off 3-5 favorite Cougar II, QUEEN'S HUSTLER ($33.80), ridden by Rudy Rosales, took the $125,000 San Juan Capistrano invitation handicap at Santa Anita by a head over Big Spruce.
SWIMMING—Twelve American records were broken, 10 by women, in the national AAU indoor short-course meet in Cincinnati. SHANE GOULD, who was high scorer with 77 points, swam the 400-yard individual medley in 4:27.11 and the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.72. KEENA ROTHHAMMER outswam Gould in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:52.5, then did 1:50.52 in the 200-yard freestyle before anchoring her 400 medley relay and 800 freestyle teams in national record times. DEENA DEARDRUFF broke her own national record in the 100 butterfly with 56.44 and CATHY CARR, University of New Mexico, won the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.11. LYNN COLELLA swam the 200 breaststroke in 2:20.594, and LESLIE CLIFF covered the 200 individual medley in 2:06.753. JACK TINGLEY broke the American 1,650-yard freestyle mark by more than seven seconds with 15.19.41 and JOHN NABER set a 200 backstroke U.S. record in 1:49.842. RICK COLELLA was high-point man with 69, including a first in the 200-yard breaststroke
Track & Field In International Track Association competition in Albuquerque. BRIAN OLDIFIELD put the shot 70'9�", the first indoor put over 70 feet. Several ITA bests were recorded as BOB HAYES and Greg Pruitt ran the 40 in :04.4, Hayes winning by a hair. KIP KEINO got his best pro time in the mile with 4:03.7 and BOB BEAMON turned in his lop performance with A 26'7�" long jump. LEE EVANS clocked a 49.0 in the 440.