BASKETBALL—NBA: "This proved to us we've still got a great club," said Willis Reed after New York ended Milwaukee's 16-game winning streak 103-94 and saved their own NBA record of 18 straight on the Bucks' home court. The following night the teams were in New York and the Knickerbockers won again, 100-99, as Milwaukee repeated its poor fourth-quarter performance of the previous day. New York also swept two from Atlanta in another home-and-home series. The Knickerbockers won the first 128-119 despite 40 points by Pete Maravich and took the second 114-111. Another team that showed well last week was Boston, which won three straight, including a 153-107 rout of Baltimore in which all five Celtic starters scored 20 or more points. The Bullets, only a few nights earlier, had reached their season high in a 156-104 victory over Portland.
ABA: While Kentucky and Utah remained securely atop the East and West Divisions, there was a banging on the basement door by Carolina and Texas. The Chapparrals doubled their win output with three victories, including a 142-119 defeat of Kentucky that ended the Colonels' eight-game winning streak. Texas also beat Pittsburgh 139-126 and Memphis 113-103, suffered two losses by a total of four points—and came under the direction of a new coach. Max Williams resigned to devote himself to the general manager's job and Assistant Coach Bill Blakely took over. Carolina won three of four during the week, including a split with Utah. Bob Verga's three-point goal downed the Stars 95-94 in Greensboro, but Utah retaliated 115-102 in Raleigh. The Cougars' other triumphs were 108-92 over New York and 114-113 over the Floridians, who had won five in a row.
BOATING—BILL SIROIS overtook first-day leader Jim Merton to win the tragedy-marred World Outboard Motor Championships on Lake Havasu, Ariz. Sirois, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., averaged a record 79 mph and covered 640 miles in the eight-hour endurance race. Six participants were injured and one, Warren V. Thompson of Torrance, Calif. was killed during the event.
FOOTBALL—The week's NFL results sent three divisions into deadlocks and innumerable fans to their game schedules to check which contenders have favorable pairings for the last three Sundays. Only one division, the NFC Central, seems a breeze for the leader, Minnesota. The tightest-bound package is the Central Division of the AFC where CINCINNATI, Cleveland and PITTSBURGH all have 5-6-0 records, the result of the Steelers' 28-9 defeat of the Browns, who have lost four of their last five, and the Bengals' fourth straight win, 26-6 over New Orleans. In the AFC West, Oakland's Thanksgiving Day turkey in DETROIT (28-14) gave KANSAS CITY the opportunity it needed to pull even, and the Chiefs responded with a 26-14 rapping of San Diego. LOS ANGELES joined San Francisco atop the NFC West with its best game in weeks, a 30-13 win over the 49ers (page 24). In the two Eastern Division races, meanwhile, AFC leader BALTIMORE and NFC pacesetter ST. LOUIS reduced their magic numbers to two. The Colts edged Chicago 21-20 while the Cardinals defeated Philadelphia 23-14. The revitalized NEW YORK Jets delayed Minnesota's clinching of the NFC Central Division by surprising the Vikings 20-10. Schedule watchers predict that, despite the loss, Minnesota is a sure thing and that St. Louis and Baltimore are probables. San Francisco seems to be even in the scheduling derby with Los Angeles in the closing weeks, but in the event of a tie the Rams' better past performance within the division will give them the title. Cincinnati, meanwhile, looks the safest bet in the AFC Central. Kansas City has a slight schedule break over Oakland in the AFC West, but the Raiders (and George Blanda) will have a lot to say about that when they play the Chiefs in Oakland Dec. 12.
December 7, 1970
AMERICAN CONFERENCE—Eastern: Baltimore (8-2-1), Miami (6-4-0), New York (4-7-0), Buffalo (3-7-1) Boston (2-9-0). Central: Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh (5-6-0), Houston (3-7-1). Western: Oakland and Kansas City (6-3-2), Denver (5-6-0), San Diego (4-5-2).
NATIONAL CONFERENCE—Eastern: St. Louis (8-2-1), Dallas and New York (7-4-0), Washington (4-7-0), Philadelphia (2-8-1). Central: Minnesota (9-2-0), Detroit (7-4-0), Green Bay (5-6-0), Chicago (4-7-0). Western: Los Angeles and San Francisco (7-3-1), Atlanta (3-5-2), New Orleans (2-8-1).
The MONTREAL Alouettes won their first Grey Cup since 1949, defeating the Calgary Stampeders 23-10 in the Canadian Football League championship game in Toronto.
GOLF—BOB GOALBY survived a strong amateur challenge to win the Heritage Classic on Hilton Head Island, S.C. with a final-round 66 for a four-under-par 280 (page 22).
HOCKEY—Unlike the effects of a tie in most sports, a deadlock in ice hockey can often be better than kissing your sister. The St. Louis Blues, for instance, have already played seven even-up games, a record for this stage of the season and—because each tie is worth a point in the standings—a prime reason that their race with Chicago in the West Division (page 20) is so tight. St. Louis' latest tie came in a 5-5 match against East Division leader Boston. The all-time single-season record for ties is 24, set by Philadelphia in its 76-match schedule last year. Six of them were against New York, but when the two met for the first time this year, the Flyers won 3-1. The Rangers did play a 3-3 draw with Boston, but a victory would have given them a share of the lead. The Chicago Black Hawks, undefeated in nine straight, beat Montreal 5-3, as the Canadiens began to fall out of the East Division race. Toronto had lost six straight and owned the league's worst record before blasting Detroit 9-4.
MOTOR SPORTS—HARRY INGLE of Charlotte, N.C. won the Formula Vee championship of the Sports Car Club of America by finishing one second ahead of three challengers. Ingle was able to complete 17 laps of the hilly 2.52-mile course in Gainesville, Ga. in the 30-minute time limit.
NASCAR Grand National Champion BOBBY ISAAC set a world closed-course speed record by reaching 201.104 mph in his Dodge at the ultra-fast Alabama International Motor Speedway in Talladega, Ala.
SPEED SKATING—DIANNE HOLUM of Northbrook, Ill. won the women's 1,500-meter event and ANNE HENNING of Chicago took the 500-meter sprint at season-opening meets in Deventer, The Netherlands and Inzell, Germany.
SURFING—NAT YOUNG of Australia was a narrow winner over Felipe Pomar of Peru in the first Smirnoff World Pro-Am off Oahu in Hawaii.
TENNIS—CLIFF RICHEY clinched the $25,000 top prize as winner of the inaugural Pepsi-International Lawn Tennis Association Grand Prix series by reaching the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open. He was later eliminated by Arthur Ashe, who lost to STAN SMITH in the finals 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
TRACK & FIELD—Oregon sophomore STEVE PREFONTAINE won the individual title and VILLANOVA the team championship at the national collegiate cross-country meet in Williamsburg, Va.
Frank Shorter and his FLORIDA TRACK CLUB captured the U.S. Track and Field Federation cross-country meet in University Park, Pa. Later in the week Shorter won the AAU title in Chicago (page 73).
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: To Stanford University Quarterback JIM PLUNKETT, the NCAA's all-time total-offense leader, the 1970 Heisman Trophy.
HELP WANTED: At five major colleges, following the departure of the schools' head football coaches: Jerry Claiborne of Virginia Tech, Bob Odell of Pennsylvania, Vito Ragazzo of Virginia Military Institute, Fred Taylor of Texas Christian, Jim Valek of Illinois. Only Claiborne left his post with a winning record.
NAMED: As American and National League Rookies of the Year, New York Yankee Catcher THURMAN MUNSON (.302 batting average) and Montreal Expo Pitcher CARL MORTON (18 wins, 11 losses).
NAMED: FORT MARCY, Paul Mellon's 6-year-old gelding, who won his last three starts, including the Washington, D.C. International, as Horse of the Year. Mrs. Ethel D. Jacobs' PERSONALITY, second in the overall voting, received all 42 votes as top 3-year-old. Leading 2-year-old was Mrs. Stephen C. Clark Jr.'s HOIST THE FLAG.
SIGNED: To a three-year contract at more than $100,000 a year, Baltimore Colt Quarterback JOHN UNITAS, who was also guaranteed 10 years of employment in the organization's front office after his field retirement.
DIED: HELENE MADISON, 56, triple gold-medal winner at the 1932 Olympics who once held all American swimming records from 100 yards to 1,500 meters; of cancer; in Seattle.