BASKETBALL—NBA: the two division leaders, Boston in the East and Los Angeles in the West, continued to widen the gaps between first and second place. The Celts were 9½ games over Philadelphia, while the Lakers increased their advantage to 9 games over Cincinnati. Western clubs still have hopes of catching the Lakers, especially now that high-scorer Elgin Baylor has left for the Army. Baylor made his last game a winning one, outscoring Wilt Chamberlain 33 to 32 as L.A. beat the Warriors 114-111. For the also-rans, it was time to start worrying about a berth in the playoffs. Philadelphia was secure, but Syracuse was beginning to look back at the newly awakened Knicks. Even a brief losing streak could drop Cincinnati or Detroit out of postseason play. If St. Louis doesn't make up the 4½ games separating the Hawks from the third-place Pistons, it will be the first time since the 1954-55 season that the team has failed to make the playoffs.
BOATING—ORANGE BOWL REGATTA, battered by winds of 25 mph, canceled the finals of the Grand Prix and most of the other class races. RUDY RAMOS and MIKE WALLACE drove an 18-foot boat with a 350-hp Lincoln engine to a first-place finish in the nine-hour endurance race.
BOWLING—NORM ABRAMS, a 40-year-old St. Paul plumber, rolled a perfect game in the qualifying competition of the $100,000 All-Star bowling tournament, in Miami Beach. Fla. Abrams' four-game block of 187, 300, 204 and 245 was the best of the qualifying round.
Paul Panko of Vancouver, B.C. rolled 267 games nonstop, averaged 161 pins over a period of 80 hours and 5 minutes, set a world's marathon live-pin bowling record, in Vancouver.
CHESS—MIKHAIL BOTVINNIK, the Soviet Union's world chess champion, defeated Arthur Bisguier of New York in a semifinal match and won an uncompleted game from Karl Robatsch of Austria, to clinch first place in the Christmas Congress's Premier chess tournament, in Hastings, England. With one round remaining, Botvinnik's score of 7½-½ cannot be matched by any other player.
CRICKET—INDIA, to the delight of 35,000 spectators, defeated England 380 and 252 to 212 and 223, for only the second time in the history of the test series, in Calcutta. Since the first three matches ended in draws, the Indians have a 1-0 lead for the five-match series and need only a draw to win.
DOG RACING—SKY REGION, 20-month-old greyhound, won the $50,000 Flagler International Classic, in Miami.
DOG SHOWS—HOLLY TREE CERTAINLY-A-LADY, a black-and-tan cocker spaniel handled by Ted Young Jr., won the American Spaniel Club Futurity, in New York.
FOOTBALL—SOUTH rolled over the North 42-7 in the Senior Bowl game, in Mobile. In their first play-for-pay game, Ronnie Bull of Baylor and Earl Gros of LSU led the South ground offense to 301 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Bull, the co-winner of the game's most-valuable-player award along with Gros, set a bowl record with a 58-yard touchdown run.
Detroit Lions beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-10, as Lion Quarterbacks Earl Morrall and Jim Ninowski each passed for two touchdowns, in the NFL's Pro Runner-up Bowl, in Miami.
HOCKEY—NHL: Montreal's comfortable five-point lead melted to one over Toronto. New York, challenged by the hottest team in the league, Chicago, dropped from a seven-to a two-point edge over the fourth-place Black Hawks. Detroit was close behind, one point back, followed by Boston.
HORSE RACING—FOUR-AND-TWENTY ($5.40), ridden by Johnny Longden, won the $61,250 San Carlos Handicap by a nose over Ole Fols, in Arcadia, Calif. Four-and-Twenty ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.2 to win the sprint championship of the meeting.
Brother Mac, a 7-to-l shot with Neville Sell-wood up, won the 1-mile $6,720 International Stakes at Doomben Race Track, Brisbane, Australia. Eddie Arcaro, riding Intrigued, finished third, five lengths behind the winner.
Eurasia ($7.10), a 6-year-old son of Mahmoud ridden by Herberto Hinojosa, won the $15,025 second division of the Orange Bowl Handicap, at Tropical Park, Fla. Eurasia ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:42.6 to win by½ length over the fast-closing Beau Prince.
Vapor Whirl ($10), with Johnny Sellers up, beat the favored Bluescope by a head in the $14,925 first-division race. The 4-year-old roan colt also ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:42.6.
MOTOR SPORTS—STIRLING MOSS, driving a Lotus, averaged 72.3 mph over a flooded 100-mile course to win the New Zealand Grand Prix, in Auckland. John Surtees was the only other finisher. High water on the racing area forced officials to shorten the course by 50 miles.
POLO—CECIL SMITH, the 57-year-old former cowboy, was rated at the maximum 10-goal handicap for the 24th consecutive year. Smith, now with the Oak Brook, Illinois Polo Club, and the Santa Barbara Club's Robert Skene are the U.S. Polo Association's top-rated players. Skene has been a 10-goaler since 1951.
RODEO—BENNY REYNOLDS, finishing strong, took prize money of $1,460 in bareback riding and $1,151 in steer wrestling at the Dallas National Rodeo. This gave Reynolds total earnings of $31,412 and the title of World Champion All Around Cowboy. Dean Oliver set a record of 15.5 seconds average time for the calf-roping and won the world championship for the fourth time but finished second to Reynolds for the All Around title.
SHOOTING—HAL MYERS broke 24 of 25 clay birds in a night shoot-off to win the Cotton Bowl Open skeet championship, in Dallas.
SKIING—MARIANNE JAHN led Austria to a sweep of eight of the first nine places in the International Slalom for women, at Oberstaufen, Germany. Miss Jahn made two trips over the 440-yard course in 1:52.4.
SWIMMING—NEVILLE HAYES of Australia broke his own world's 220-yard butterfly record, with a time of 2:14.9 in a Japan-Australia meet in Sydney.
Kevin Berry, the second-place finisher, also broke the mark of 2:17.3 with 2:15.9. Japan led Australia 33-23 after the first of the four-meet series.
TENNIS—U.S. team of Charles Pasarell and Cliff Buchholz defeated Clive Brebnor and Piet Synman of South Africa 3-0 to win the Orange Cup international junior team tennis tournament, for the second straight year, in Miami Beach, Fla. Pasarell, the No. 1-ranked U.S. junior, beat Brebnor 6-4, 6-2, 7-5, and Buchholz took Synman 9-11, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. In the doubles the Americans overpowered the South Africans with their big serves 9-7, 6-2.
TRACK & FIELD—GORDON PIRIE lost for the second time in two professional starts, this time in a 10,000-meter race against a Spanish shepherd, Chiquito de Arruiz, around a bull ring in Tolosa, Spain. Pirie started 125 meters behind Chiquito, made up all but 50 meters but quit with three laps left in the race.
John Thomas barely taxed himself with a winning high jump of 6 feet 6 inches. He then showed point-getting versatility: winning the 60-yard high hurdles in 6.6 seconds, placing second twice, with a 45-foot 9¾-inch shotput and a 21-foot 11-inch broad jump, in a Boston University-Dartmouth meet, in Hanover, N.H. Despite Thomas' efforts, Dartmouth won 58-51.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: PAUL DIETZEL; one of college football's most successful young coaches, as coach at West Point. He was released from an LSU contract that still had four years remaining and will receive $18,500 a year for five years at Army.
FIRED: BUSTER RAMSEY, coach of the last-place Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. The fifth AFL coach to be dismissed since the start of the season, Ramsey had a year to go on a three-year contract with the Bills. He will be paid $25,000 for not coaching Buffalo in 1962.
DIED: FRANCIS J. RYAN, 62, for 25 years the play-by-play voice of the Boston Bruins broadcasts and Harvard's first full-time publicist, in Boston.
DIED: CECIL DYE, 63, star wing for the Chicago Black Hawks in the late 1920s, in Chicago. A member of the NHL's 200-goal club, Dye broke his leg while training for the 1927-28 season to end a brilliant career. He scored 25 goals the year before his injury. In the off season. Dye played the outfield for Buffalo of the International League and halfback for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In 1921 Connie Mack offered him a $25,000 contract to sign with the Philadelphia Athletics, but Dye turned it down because he would have been unable to play hockey.