PRO BASKETBALL—No longer the Second City of the Central Division, Chicago ran its winning streak to five games and tied Milwaukee for the division lead. Orlando Woolridge's 90 points in last week's three wins proved that the Bulls aren't strictly the Michael Jordan Show. Woolridge scored a career-high 37 points in a 112-97 defeat of New Jersey, 30 more in a 99-97 defeat of Dallas and another 23 while Chicago bumped off New York 95-93. Jordan clinched that win by making an 18-foot jumper with five seconds left to play. Atlantic Division-leading Boston, 10-0 at home and still in possession of the league's best record (18-2), was nonetheless feeling some heat from Philadelphia, which ran its victory streak to seven straight, including an especially satisfying 122-116 win last week over the Lakers. Sixer center Moses Malone racked up 35 points against L.A. So why was Laker Michael Cooper crying during retirement ceremonies for center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar before a 104-93 win over injury-depleted New Jersey? "Because I didn't know about the contract agreement," said Cooper, referring to the $2 million, one-year extension Abdul-Jabbar was about to sign that would forestall his planned retirement at season's end. Los Angeles needed Abdul-Jabbar's 31 points to defeat Cleveland 116-112 and barely hang on to a Pacific Division lead of half a game over Portland. The Trail Blazers beat Phoenix 112-104 and San Antonio 113-96 before falling to Houston 127-120. Rocket rookie Akeem Olajuwon had 21 points in that win and 42 against Golden State. Still, Houston lost 114-113 on two free throws by Warrior Mickey Johnson. The Rockets nonetheless remained a close second in the Midwest Division, trailing Denver by two games. After falling 100-98 to New York, 123-107 to Boston and 122-115 to Detroit, the Nuggets did manage to beat 2-17 Cleveland 114-108.
BOXING—AZUMAH NELSON knocked out defending champion Wilfredo Gomez in the 11th round to win the WBC featherweight title in San Juan.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—Troy State defeated North Dakota State 18-17 to win the NCAA Division II title in McAllen, Texas; Augustana College beat Central College of Iowa 21-12 to win the NCAA Division III title in Kings Island, Ohio; and Linfield College won the NAIA Division II title 33-22 over Northwestern of Iowa in McMinnville, Ore.
PRO FOOTBALL—While Washington was getting the upper hand in the four-team NFC East race with a 30-28 win over Dallas (page 12), St. Louis remained in contention for the division's playoff berth by beating the Giants 31-21, thereby tying New York and the Cowboys for second place. The Cards' Ottis Anderson ran 12 yards for the deciding touchdown, and Neil Lomax completed 23 of 33 for 305 yards and three TDs. With Eric Dickerson shattering O.J. Simpson's NFL single-season rushing record (page 16), the Rams beat Houston 27-16 and put themselves solidly in position for an NFC wild-card berth. In the AFC Central, both Cincinnati (7-8) and Pittsburgh (8-7) held on to hopes of making the playoffs, despite their relatively sorry records. The Steelers beat Cleveland 23-20 on Gary Anderson's 34-yard field goal with five seconds remaining, and the Bengals defeated New Orleans 24-21 as Ken Anderson played in his first game in a month, throwing for 191 yards and two TDs. A 20-7 Monday-night beating by San Diego and a 20-14 Sunday defeat by Green Bay all but killed NFC Central champion Chicago's hopes of a home-field advantage in the playoffs. Desperate for a quarterback to replace the injured Jim McMahon, coach Mike Ditka auditioned Walter Payton after Rusty Lisch had come up wanting in the early going against the Packers. Payton threw an interception as quarterback in the first half and a two-yard TD as halfback in the second. In other games, NFC West champion San Francisco got its eighth straight win, embarrassing Minnesota 51-7; the Jets ended a six-game losing streak with a 21-17 triumph over Buffalo; Miami, the AFC East champ, beat Indianapolis 35-17; Philadelphia eliminated New England from playoff contention 27-17, and Atlanta skidded to its ninth straight defeat, a 23-6 loss to Tampa Bay.
December 17, 1984
GOLF—VICKI ALVAREZ and MIKE DONALD shot an 18-under-par 270 to beat the pairs of Craig Stadler-Lori Garbacz and Curtis Strange-Nancy Lopez by one stroke, at the $550,000 Mixed Team Championship in Largo, Fla. (page 48).
HOCKEY—In a strange week in the NHL, nearly one-third of the league's 34 games stretched into overtime, and ten of those ended in ties. Moreover, Vancouver, the lowliest team in the NHL at 5-21-2, ended its nine-game losing streak in style by defeating Edmonton 3-2 in overtime, holding Wayne Gretzky pointless. Peter McNab scored the winning goal on a deflection. The Smythe Division-leading Oilers could afford a bit of a letdown after nailing the first match of the season with their Stanley Cup-final opponent of last spring, the Islanders, 6-4 on Jari Kurri's two third-period goals. Kurri also wrested the league lead in goals scored, with 29, from Mike Bossy, who had 27. The Islanders fell to eight points behind Patrick Division leader Philadelphia (17-4). The Flyers beat the Rangers 6-2 and 4-2 and tied Quebec 1-1. Chicago maintained the Norris Division lead after going 1-1-1 for the week. Montreal led the Adams Division by eight points, having split games with Hartford, 9-3 in the Canadiens' favor and 5-3 for the Whalers, and defeating Boston 3-1 and L.A. 9-7.
HORSE RACING—ALPHABATIM ($13), Chris McCarron up, held off Raami to win the $500,000, 1‚Öú-mile Hollywood Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at Hollywood Park.
INDOOR SOCCER—When the Cosmos' record fell to 2-4, team owner Giorgio Chinaglia, 37, the alltime leading NASL scorer, came out of retirement to revitalize his lethargic team. To no avail. The Cosmos, 0-2 on the week, fell to last place in the Eastern Division, where Minnesota and Cleveland are each 5-3 and tied for second behind St. Louis. San Diego (8-1) leads the Western Division, having defeated St. Louis 4-3 and Kansas City 7-2.
TENNIS—CHRIS EVERT LLOYD defeated Helena Sukova 6-7, 6-1, 6-3 to win the Australian Open; defending champion MATS WI LANDER beat Kevin Curren 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 for the men's crown. The winners each received $100,000 (page 20).
MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The 1984 Lombardi Award, for the nation's top collegiate lineman as selected by 217 coaches, sportswriters and broadcasters, to Texas defensive tackle TONY DEGRATE, 22, who had 147 tackles, 123 unassisted, and 13 sacks; and the 1984 Outland Trophy, for the nation's top interior lineman as chosen by the Football Writers Association of America, to Virginia Tech defensive tackle BRUCE SMITH, 21, who had 71 tackles, 52 unassisted, and 16 sacks.
SIGNED: By the Texas Rangers, free-agent designated hitter CLIFF JOHNSON, 37, to a three-year contract; by the Atlanta Braves, free-agent relief pitcher BRUCE SUTTER, 31, to a six-year, $9.6 million contract, with deferred payments over 36 years worth a reported $44 million; by the Chicago Cubs, free-agent pitcher STEVE TROUT, 27, to a five-year contract, reportedly for $4.5 million; by the Baltimore Orioles, free-agent outfielder LEE LACY, 35, to a reported four-year, $2.2 million deal.
TRADED: By the New York Yankees, pitcher RAY FONTENOT, 27, and utility man BRIAN DAYETT, 27, to the Chicago Cubs for catcher RON HASSEY, 31, outfielder HENRY COTTO, 23, and two minor league pitchers; and by the Yankees, catcher RICK CERONE, 30, to the Atlanta Braves for a minor league pitcher; by the Oakland A's, reliever BILL CAUDILL, 28, to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop ALFREDO GRIFFIN, 27, outfielder DAVE COLLINS, 32, and cash (page 62); also by the A's, outfielder RICKEY HENDERSON, 25, and a minor-leaguer to the New York Yankees for reliever JAY HOWELL, 29, and four minor-leaguers; by the New York Mets, pitcher WALT TERRELL, 26, to the Detroit Tigers for third baseman HOWARD JOHNSON, 24; by the Milwaukee Brewers, pitcher DON SUTTON, 39, to the Oakland A's for pitcher RAY BURRIS, 34, a minor-leaguer and a player to be named later; by the Chicago White Sox, infielder VANCE LAW, 28, and pitcher BERT ROBERGE, 30, to the Montreal Expos for reliever BOB JAMES, 26, and infielder BRYAN LITTLE, 25; also by the White Sox, pitcher LAMARR HOYT, 29, and two minor-leaguers to the San Diego Padres for pitcher TIM LOLLAR, 28, utility man LUIS SALAZAR, 28, and two minor-leaguers.
By the New York Rangers, defenseman DAVE MALONEY, 28, and a minor-leaguer to the Buffalo Sabres for right wing STEVE PATRICK, 23, and defenseman JIM WIEMER, 23.
DIED: LEEROY YARBROUGH, 46, Driver of the Year in 1969, when he won the Daytona 500; of subdural hematoma; in Jacksonville.