BASKETBALL—NBA: PHILADELPHIA (30-9) won seven games in a row to run its winning streak to nine and bounded into first place in the Eastern Division. In two lopsided victories over Seattle, Wilt Chamberlain scored 47 and 53 points, but the biggest win for the 76ers was a 133-123 rout of the Celtics, their first victory over Boston in four games this season. BOSTON (25-10) had won seven straight games before the Warriors walloped the Celtics 117-104. Two more losses followed and Boston fell out of the lead, three games behind the 76ers. Third-place DETROIT (21-19), 9½ games out, dropped five of eight as NBA scoring leader Dave Bing became the first player to go over 1,000 points this season, while CINCINNATI (16-20) lost four of seven. Rookie Earl Monroe totaled 130 points to lead BALTIMORE (14-20) out of the cellar with four victories in five games. Slumping NEW YORK (15-24) lost five in a row after two victories and, what's more, lost rookie Bill Bradley for 10 days when he was hit by a car while crossing a New York City street. Western Division leader ST. LOUIS's (27-11) lead slipped to 1½ games when the Hawks split six while SAN FRANCISCO (27-14) was winning five of eight. LOS ANGELES (21-17) split eight games and CHICAGO (12-27) won one of four. The Bulls' lone victory—107-100 over the Warriors—snapped a five game losing streak. SAN DIEGO (11-29) crept out of last place by winning three and losing three while SEATTLE (11-30) was dropping eight of ten games.
ABA: MINNESOTA (24-10) held its lead in the Eastern Division with five straight victories after losing two. PITTSBURGH (23-12) climbed past INDIANA (21-16), which lost four of seven, and moved to within 1½ games of the Muskies by increasing its winning string to 12 with five more victories. Art Heyman, who ignited the streak when he joined the Pipers, scored 31 points in a 121-116 win over Minnesota, 25 in a 146-124 rout of his old team. New Jersey (the team total set a league single-game scoring record), combined with Connie Hawkins for 53 points in a 114-105 victory over Houston, tossed in 23 points in a 100-98 win over Kentucky and 30 in a 124-118 victory over Dallas. NEW JERSEY (15-21) sandwiched six straight losses with a 110-101 win over Kentucky, as Tony Jackson scored 42 points, and a 123-117 victory over Oakland. Last-place KENTUCKY (12-22) dropped six of eight games. NEW ORLEANS (25-11) led the Western Division by 5½ games when the Buccaneers won four of seven, while second-place DENVER (20-17) took five of seven. DALLAS (14-15) won two, lost three; OAKLAND (13-22) dropped five of seven; HOUSTON (12-22) won four, lost three; and ANAHEIM (13-24) fell into last place by splitting six games.
BOXING—Unbeaten Heavyweight Contender JOE FRAZIER extended his streak to 19 and scored his 17th knockout with a third-round TKO over Marion Connors in a scheduled 10-round bout in Boston. In another 10-round heavyweight match, BUSTER MATHIS, undefeated in 23 professional bouts, posted his 10th straight knockout victory when he floored Gerrie De Bruyn in 36 seconds of the first round in Sweden.
FOOTBALL—PRO: GREEN BAY won the NFL championship by beating Dallas 21-17, while OAKLAND gained the AFL title with a 40-7 victory over Houston (page 10). In games leading up to the championship rounds, the Packers crushed Los Angeles 28-7 to win the NFL Western Conference title as Bart Starr completed 17 of 23 passes for 211 yards and rookie Travis Williams bolted 46 yards for a touchdown and snaked two yards for another. The Cowboys took the NFL Eastern Conference championship with a 52-14 rout of Cleveland on the passing of Don Meredith and the running of Bob Hayes. Meredith completed 11 of 13 passes for 212 yards and two TDs, while Hayes scored one touchdown on an 86-yard pass play and set up three others with 64-and 68-yard punt returns and a 36-yard pass from Meredith. In the final week of the AFL season, Hoyle Granger and rookie Woody Campbell scored two touchdowns apiece to lead HOUSTON (9-4-1) to a 41-10 win over Miami (4-10) and the Eastern Division title. OAKLAND (13-1), which had already clinched the Western Division title, beat Buffalo (4-10) 28-21, while NEW YORK (8-5-1) defeated San Diego (8-5-1) 42-31 as Joe Namath completed 18 of 26 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Namath ended the season with 4,008 yards gained passing, a new professional record.
COLLEGE: In bowl games preceding the big New-Year's Day festival (page 22). Kim Hammond completed 37 of 53 passes for 362 yards in leading FLORIDA STATE from a 17-0 deficit at halftime to a 17-17 tie with PENN STATE in the Gator Bowl; the UNIVERSITY of TEXAS at EL PASO scored two touchdowns in the final period to beat Mississippi 14-7 in the Sun Bowl; and COLORADO upset Miami 31-21 in the Bluebonnet Bowl. In intersectional all-star games, the BLUE beat the Gray 22-16 as Colorado's Dick Anderson returned punts 69 and 62 yards for touchdowns in Montgomery. Ala.; the EAST upset the West 16-14 in the Shrine game in San Francisco; the NORTH defeated the South 23-7 in the Potato Bowl; and the NORTH shut out the South 24-0 in the Shrine game in Miami.
HOCKEY—NHL: Western leader PHILADELPHIA (17-12-5) moved four points ahead of LOS ANGELES (16-17-3) as the Flyers won four of seven and the Kings lost four of seven. The two had been tied briefly for first place until the Flyers shut out the Kings 2-0 and put a damper on the opening of Jack Kent Cooke's new $16 million Forum in Los Angeles (page 40). The next night Philadelphia walloped LA 9-1. PITTSBURGH (13-17-5), eight points behind, won two, lost four and played a scoreless tie with Oakland. MINNESOTA (12-15-7), tied for third with the Penguins, was shut out three times in a row before the North Stars finally scored, tying the Rangers 3-3. They then lost to the Canadiens 6-2, but upset the Bruins 5-4. ST. LOUIS (12-20-3) won four of seven, and last-place OAKLAND (7-23-6) lost six, tied one. CHICAGO (18-10-9) moved into the lead in the East as the Black Hawks extended their unbeaten streak to 10 with four victories. A loss to the Bruins broke the string, but a tie and a win put the Hawks three points ahead of BOSTON (19-11-4), which split six. The Bruins had briefly shared the lead with the Hawks after beating them 7-2 on Phil Espositos hat trick. Third-place TORONTO (17-12-6) suffered two shutouts in a row before reeling off three victories and a tie. One of the wins was an 8-1 rout of St. Louis as Frank Mahovlich scored three goals. The Leafs string ended with a 4-0 loss to the Rangers. NEW YORK (16-13-6) and DETROIT (16-13-6) tied for fourth place when the Rangers won four, tied two and lost one and the Red Wings took four of seven games. MONTREAL (14-14-8) had four wins and a tie in seven games. Rod Gilbert scored three goals as New York beat St. Louis 5-3, while Norm Ullman and Jean Beliveau matched hat tricks when Detroit defeated Montreal 8-6. Two other Canadiens scored hat tricks as Dick Duff gained one in a 5-0 win over the Maple Leafs and Gilles Tremblay scored three goals within four minutes in a 6-2 victory over Minnesota.
TENNIS—Roy Emerson and John Newcombe won the first two singles matches, and Newcombe and Tony Roche took the doubles as AUSTRALIA easily won its fourth consecutive Davis Cup and its 11th in 13 years by defeating Spain 4-1 in the Challenge Round in Brisbane.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: To replace DICK McGUIRE as head coach of the New York Knicks, WILLIAM (Red) HOLZMAN, 46, the Knicks' chief scout for the past 8½ years. McGuire, 41, who led the team into fourth place in the Eastern Division last year, was dismissed after posting a 15-23 record this season.
NAMED: As head football coaches: at Boston College, JOE YUKICA, 36, the University of New-Hampshire's coach for the past two years (7-9); and at the University of New Mexico, RUDY FELDMAN, 35, the University of Colorado's assistant coach since 1963.
NAMED: Assistant to the General Manager of the world champion St. Louis Cardinals, JIM TOOMEY, 50, Director of Public Relations the past 18 years.
SIGNED: A three-year, $100,000 pro contract with New Orleans Promoter Dave Dixon, by ROGER TAYLOR, 26, Britain's No. 1 amateur tennis player.
FIRED: As head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, JACK CHRISTIANSEN, 39, who in 4½ years with the team had a 26-38 won-lost record. The 49ers had a disappointing 7-7 season in 1967.
DIED: Former Toronto Maple Leaf Right Wing CHARLIE CONACHER, 58, the NHL's scoring leader in 1934 and 1935 and a member of the league All-Star team three years in a row; of cancer in Toronto.