BASKETBALL—NBA: PHILADELPHIA (10-2) retained its half-game lead in the Eastern Division after winning three games and losing to the Warriors 123-104. BOSTON (9-2) popped briefly into first place with three straight wins, but a 110-105 loss to the Knicks dropped the Celtics back to second. DETROIT (7-5) ran its victory streak to four, with a 110-108 win over the Knicks and a 119-118 victory over Seattle, before losing to the Hawks 143-140 in overtime. NEW YORK (7-7) won three of four; CINCINNATI (6-8) dropped three of four; and BALTIMORE (5-8) broke a six-game losing streak with a 122-100 rout of the Royals then split two games. ST. LOUIS (15-1) boosted its lead in the Western Division to five games with four more victories, and upped its latest winning streak to eight, while SAN FRANCISCO (10-6), in second place, won two of three. LOS ANGELES (6-5) lost its only game of the week; SAN DIEGO (2-12) and SEATTLE (2-13) both dropped four; and CHICAGO (1-11) lost two games.
ABA: INDIANA (11-2), back on another winning spree, lengthened its lead in the Eastern Division to three games with four consecutive victories, while MINNESOTA (7-4) ran its winning streak to five in a row before splitting two games. PITTSBURGH (6-5) dropped two and then snapped Minnesota's unbeaten string with a 97-86 victory. NEW JERSEY (4-6) split two games and last-place KENTUCKY (4-8) dropped three straight. NEW ORLEANS (8-2) held its 2½-game Western Division lead by winning two of three games, while DENVER (6-5) won three of four and DALLAS (4-4) took two of three. OAKLAND (5-7) broke a five-game losing streak with a 99-98 victory over Houston; ANAHEIM (4-9) lost two of three; and last-place HOUSTON (1-8) dropped three more, to run its winless record to eight in a row.
BOATING—NELSON PICCOLO won the fourth straight world snipe title for Brazil with finishes of 1-1-1-2-4-6-4 in Coral Harbour, the Bahamas.
FOOTBALL—NFL: San Francisco (5-4) led WASHINGTON (3-4-2) by 11 points at half time, but two fumbles in the third period ruined the bumbling 49ers (page 22), and the Redskins won 31-28. Central Division leader GREEN BAY (6-2-1) crushed Cleveland (5-4) 55-7 and shoved the Browns out of a share of first place in the Century Division. Displaying frightening power, the Packers gained 456 yards offensively and broke an NFL record by rolling up 35 points in the first quarter. Rookie Travis Williams scored two touchdowns with 87- and 85-yard kickoff returns and Donny Anderson scored four other touchdowns. DETROIT (3-4-2) also set a league record—by fumbling 11 times—in a 10-10 tie with MINNESOTA (2-5-2). ST. LOUIS (5-3-1) sat alone at the top of the Century Division, although the Cardinals were tied 14-14 by PITTSBURGH (2-6-1) when Bill Nelsen threw a short TD pass with only 24 seconds left to play. Reserve Quarterback Larry Rakestraw tossed three touchdown passes and scored twice to lead CHICAGO (4-5) to a 34-7 victory over New York (4-5). Coastal Division leader BALTIMORE (7-0-2) crushed Atlanta (1-7-1) 49-7, as Johnny Unitas completed 17 of 20 passes for 370 yards and four touchdowns. One of his TD passes was a 64-yarder to Tom Matte, who also scored twice on short runs. LOS ANGELES (6-1-2) remained a game behind the Colts with a 33-17 rout of Philadelphia (4-5) on Bruce Gossett's four field goals and Roman Gabriel's two TD passes, while DALLAS (7-2), scoring all its touchdowns on runs, stayed comfortably atop the Capitol Division with a 27-10 win over New Orleans (1-8).
AFL: Joe Namath completed 13 passes for 338 yards to give Eastern Division leader NEW YORK (6-2-1) a 20-10 victory over Buffalo (3-6). Second-place HOUSTON (5-3-1) gained a 20-0 lead over Denver (1-9) after three quarters and held on to win 20-18, while KANSAS CITY (6-3) won its third game in a row, beating Boston (3-6-1) 33-10. Len Dawson completed 19 of 26 passes for two TD's, and Safety Emmitt Thomas scored one touchdown on a 57-yard return of an intercepted pass, intercepted another to set up a field goal and recovered a fumble to set up another TD. SAN DIEGO (6-1-1) moved within half a game of idle Western Division leader Oakland (7-1) with a 24-0 shutout of Miami (1-7).
GOLF—ARNOLD PALMER shot a 72-hole total of 276 in leading the U.S. to the team title in the World Cup tournament in Mexico City (page 24).
HARNESS RACING—FULLA NAPOLEON ($2.40) gained his 20th victory in 23 starts when Richard Thomas guided him to a 1½-length win over Batman in the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-olds at Yonkers.
HOCKEY—NHL: TORONTO (8-6-1) moved into a one-point lead in the Eastern Division by extending its unbeaten streak to five before losing two straight games to expansion teams. The Maple Leafs tied Boston 2-2 and routed Oakland (which changed its name from California early in the week) 6-1, then inexplicably lost to Los Angeles 4-1 and Minnesota 2-1. BOSTON (7-2-2) climbed into second place—one point out—with a tie and two wins, while NEW YORK (6-3-3), a 6-3 loser to the Bruins, shared third with DETROIT (7-5-1), which split two. Fifth-place MONTREAL (5-4-4), only three points away from the lead in the tight Eastern race, tied two and lost one; and last-place CHICAGO (3-7-3) started to stir a bit with two ties and a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. LOS ANGELES (7-4-3) not only took over first place by itself in the Western Division, but moved four points ahead of the pack by winning three in a row. MINNESOTA (5-4-3), scoring more than three goals for the first time in 11 games, beat St. Louis 5-1, then shocked the Leafs with a 2-1 upset. PITTSBURGH (5-8-2) dropped from a share of first place to third—five points behind—after tying one game and losing two others. PHILADELPHIA (4-4-3) played 1-1 games with both the Canadiens and Pittsburgh; ST. LOUIS (4-6-2) split two; and last-place OAKLAND (2-10-3) extended its winless streak to 13 with a tie and two losses.
HORSE RACING—American entries finished 1-2 in the 1½-mile $150,000 Washington D.C. International at Laurel Race Course, when FORT MARCY ($18.40) edged Damascus by a nose (page 18).
Meadow Stable's GAY MATELDA ($6) won the $187,870 Gardenia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at New Jersey's Garden State Park by a nose over Go Go Wendy.
Red handed, a 4-to-1 favorite ridden by Roy Higgins, earned Trainer Bart Cummings his third straight Melbourne Cup, Australia's oldest and most prestigious race, when he defeated Red Crest by a neck at Australia's Flemington racetrack.
Dr. Fager ($2.40), Tartan Stable's speedy 3-year-old, gained his seventh win in nine starts this year with a 4½-length victory over Jim J. in the seven-furlong $57,400 Vosburgh Handicap at Aqueduct.
MOTOR SPORTS—New Zealander BRUCE McLAREN gained the Can-Am Challenge Cup and the $31,500 first prize despite dropping out of the Stardust Grand Prix in Las Vegas—the sixth and final race of the series. The event itself was won by defending champion JOHN SURTEES of Great Britain.
SWIMMING—Three world marks were set within three days when East Germany's ROLAND MATTHES, 17, was clocked in 2:07.9 for the 200-meter backstroke, after swimming a leg on the East Germans' record-setting 400-meter medley relay team (3:56.5), at a national meet in Leipzig; and Russia's VLADIMIR KOSINSKY, 22, broke Georgy Prokopenko's 3-year-old 100-meter breaststroke mark with a 1:06.7 in Leningrad.
TENNIS—SOUTH AFRICA gained a 5-0 victory over India in the interzone Davis Cup semifinals in Barcelona, Spain and will meet Spain at the end of the month to decide who will play Australia in the Davis Cup Challenge Round.
TRACK & FIELD—West Germany's LIESEL WESTERMANN set a women's world record in the discus with a toss of 200'11¾" in S√£o Paulo, Brazil, topping the old mark of 195'10½", held for the past two years by Russia's Tamara Press.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: The Most Valuable Player in the National League, with the first NL unanimous vote ever by the BBWAA, ORLANDO CEPEDA, 30, the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals' slugging first baseman (.325, 25 HRs and a league-leading 111 RBIs).
TRADED: By the Cincinnati Reds, Outfielder ART SHAMSKY, 26, to the New York Mets for Utility Infielder BOB JOHNSON, 31, Shamsky, after hitting 21 home runs in 1966 (including a record-tying four straight in two games), tailed off to a .197 average and three homers last season.
DIED: SAMMY MANDELL, 63, the world lightweight boxing champion from 1926 to 1930; after complications following a stroke suffered 10 years ago, at his home in Oak Park, Ill. Mandell retired in 1934 with an 82-17-8 career record.