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PRO BASKETBALL—In the abbreviated first week of the NBA season, the new-look Celtics beat the Knicks 106-103 at Madison Square Garden. Boston featured its new up-tempo offense in overcoming a 19-point deficit. The Lakers fell 110-99 to the Spurs as San Antonio's Terry Cummings had 31 points and David Robinson, who finished with 25, sparked a 22-4 second-half run. The 76ers, who were knocked out of the playoffs last season by the Bulls, got a small measure of revenge by defeating Chicago 124-116. The Bulls also lost to the lowly Bullets, who got 44 points from Bernard King. And in the first NBA games held in Japan, the Suns and the Jazz split a two-game series (page 42).
PRO FOOTBALL—The 49ers, the leaders in the NFC West, preserved their unbeaten record by edging the Packers 24-20. Once again it was Joe Montana who rallied San Francisco: This time he brought the Niners back from a 10-0 deficit in the second quarter by passing for three touchdowns. The Rams recovered from a 41-10 Monday-night drubbing by the Steelers to beat the Oilers 17-13. After two second-quarter TDs put Los Angeles ahead 17-10, cornerback Bobby Humphery saved the day for the Rams by knocking down a Warren Moon fourth-and-goal pass from the five-yard line with 40 seconds to go. Craig Heyward and Rueben Mayes each ran for more than 100 yards in the Saints' 21-7 rout of the Bengals, who fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for the AFC Central lead. The Steelers' Bubby Brister passed for two second-half touchdowns as Pittsburgh beat the Falcons 21-9. Jeff Rutledge came off the bench to replace Stan Humphries after Humphries had thrown his third interception of the day; Rutledge led the Redskins, who trail the NFC East-leading Giants, to a 41-38 overtime victory over the Lions. He completed 30 of 42 passes for 363 yards in bringing Washington back from a 21-point deficit, and Chip Lohmiller booted a 34-yard field goal at 9:10 of overtime to lift the Skins to their 13th consecutive win against Detroit. The Eagles rolled up 514 total yards and quarterback Randall Cunningham passed for four touchdowns in Philly's 48-20 crushing of the Patriots. The Cowboys were assessed five critical penalties in their 24-9 loss to the Jets. A 98-yard punt return by rookie Terance Mathis was one of the few bright spots in a mediocre, if winning, New York performance. The NFC Central-leading Bears ripped the Bucs 26-6 by intercepting Vinny Testaverde live times and scoring 10 points in the last three minutes of the first half. The Dolphins, who are off to their best start since 1984, knocked off the Cardinals 23-3 behind Dan Marino's two touchdown passes and Pete Stoyanovich's three field goals. The Bills retained their share of the AFC East lead with Miami by flattening the Browns 42-0. Buffalo running back Thurman Thomas caught one touchdown pass and rushed for two more touchdowns. Mike Pagel, theretofore the backup to Bernie Kosar, got the start against the Bills but was only 16 of 38 and threw two interceptions. The Chiefs pulled to within a game of the AFC West-leading Raiders by beating them 9-7. Safety Kevin Porter blocked an L.A. punt and cornet back Albert Lewis recovered a fumble by Bo Jackson to set up two first-quarter field goals by Kansas City's Nick Lowery. The Chargers sacked the Seahawks' Dave Krieg four times and intercepted him once in a 31-14 rout. The Vikings ended their five-game losing streak by beating the struggling Broncos 27-22.
GOLF—DEBBIE MASSEY shot a course-record-tying 64 in the second round to win the rain-shortened Japan Classic, in Hanno. Massey, who finished with an 11-under-par 133 for 36 holes, beat Danielle Ammaccapane and Caroline Keggi by three strokes and took home $82,500.
HARNESS RACING—BEACH TOWEL ($2.80), driven by Ray Remmen. beat archrival In The Pocket by three lengths to win the Breeders' Crown Colt Pace for 3-year-olds at Pompano Park. Beach Towel's time of 1:51[2/5] for the mile broke the track record of 1:51[4/5], and the purse he received. $183,466, boosted his 1990 earnings to $2,091,860, making him the first harness horse to earn $2 million in a season.
HOCKEY—A midweek matchup between the Patrick Division leading Rangers and the Kings, pacesetters in the Smythe Division, was the season's first big inter-conference game. But it turned out to be no contest. New York won 9-4 on the strength of a five-goal third period. However, that victory led to a letdown: The Rangers, whose defeat of L.A. was their sixth straight triumph, then lost back-to-back games, 3-2 to the Islanders and 3-1 to the Penguins. The Blackhawks and the Blues continued their battle for the top spot in the Norris Division. St. Louis was briefly in first place after a 5-2 win over the third-place Red Wings. The victory was the fourth straight for the Blues, and it snapped a seven-game Detroit home winning streak. But by Friday, Chicago was back atop the division after beating the Nordiques 6-2 behind Steve Larmer's 11th and 12th goals of the season. Larmer stayed hot with a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory over the Flyers. The Bruins and the Canadiens were also playing musical chairs with the lead in the Adams Division. Buffalo goalie Clint Malarchuk had 33 saves in a 3-3 tie with the Bruins that kept Boston only one point behind Montreal. Then Boston moved briefly into first when it beat the Blues 3-2 but fell 4-1 to Buffalo. Montreal went back on top with a 5-2 win over Detroit in which Stephan Lebeau's second goal of the game broke a 2-2 tic early in the third period.
MOTOR SPORTS—NELSON PIQUET, in a Benetton-Ford, held off Nigel Mansell, in a Ferrari, to win the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide by 3,129 seconds. Piquet completed 81 laps of the 2.348-mile street course in 1:49:44.570.
Dale Earnhardt, driving a Chevrolet Lumina, won a 312-mile NASCAR event by .67 of a second over Ken Shrader, also in a Lumina, at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Earnhardt averaged 96.786 mph and received $72,100.