BASKETBALL—ABA: PITTSBURGH (50-23) won its 10th, 11th and 12th straight games—with Connie Hawkins totaling 120 points—and then lost two as its lead slipped to 2½ games over second-place MINNESOTA (48-26), which was 3-1. INDIANA (36-38) suffered losses to New Orleans. New Jersey and Houston, then turned around and beat the Americans 120-99 to maintain its two-game lead over NEW JERSEY (33-39), which lost three and won only one. Last-place KENTUCKY (30-41) won three and lost only to Pittsburgh to draw within 2½ games of the Americans. In the West, NEW ORLEANS (44-26) held its 3½-game lead with three wins and a loss as DENVER (41-30) also won three of four. DALLAS (39-30) moved within one game of the Rockets, however, when the Chaparrals won four of five. HOUSTON (27-45) split four, while ANAHEIM (23-48) climbed out of the cellar on—of all things—a 0-3 week when OAKLAND (22-47) went 0-5.
NBA: PHILADELPHIA (56-18) pushed its lead to 6½ games with two wins over the Celtics, a split with the Royals and a 134-103 romp over the Rockets. Hal Greer's lifetime scoring record reached 15,007 points when he hit for 15 in the victory over the Royals, but his high was 43 in the 76ers' 133-127 win over BOSTON (50-25), which held second place with a 2-3 record. Third-place NEW YORK (38-37) ran into its first bad week since Red Holzman's early days as coach last December when the Knicks lost to the Celtics twice. DETROIT (35-40, which leaped from cellar to fourth on the strength of victories over the Bulls (134-123 and 121-119). the Rockets (140-118) and the Royals (129-118), moved within three names of the Knicks. CINCINNATI (35-41) split four games and BALTIMORE (34-41) dropped into the cellar with two wins over the Sonics and a loss to the Lakers. ST. LOUIS (55-24) clinched its sixth Western Division title in 12 years with a 115-109 victory over the Bulls as the Hawks completed a perfect five-for-five week and pushed their streak to nine wins in 10 games. LOS ANGELES (46-28), 6½ games behind in second, ended a seven-game winning streak with a 112-96 loss to the Hawks but took its other four games to make it 20 wins in the past 25 games. Elgin Baylor averaged 29 points a game during the week, and his seven in overtime against SAN FRANCISCO (42-34) helped beat the Warriors 137-132. The Warriors also lost to the Hawks despite a two-game total of 63 points for Rudy La Russo. CHICAGO (25-49) broke a five-game losing streak by beating the Celtics 118-112 and set a record, the NBA thinks, by making 32 free throws in a row in a loss to the Pistons. SEATTLE (21-53), with a win and four losses, moved eight games ahead of cellar dweller SAN DIEGO (15-63), which lost all six and set an NBA record for home-court losses with 30.
BOATING—RAGE, a 54-foot sloop skippered by Dr. Homer Denius of Eau Gallie, Fla., won the Nassau Cup race, the final event of the SORC, with a corrected time of 5:09:51 for the 30-mile race. Perry Connolly's 40-foot sloop RED JACKET, out of Ontario, finished seventh in the event, but won the 1968 circuit championship.
BOWLING—JOHNNY GUENTHER of Seattle won the $60,000 Miller High Life Open in Milwaukee, defeating Joe Joseph 200-199 in the finals. Jim Stefanich of Joliet. Ill., who took the last two PBA events, came in third.
BOXING—In a doubleheader at New York's Madison Square Garden NINO BENVENUTI gained a unanimous decision over Middleweight Champion Emile Griffith to regain the title and JOE FRAZIER scored a TKO over Buster Mathis in the 11th round to win the New York version of the heavyweight championship of the world (page 35).
COURT TENNIS—NORTHRUP KNOX and WILLIAM F. TALBERT won the U.S. National Amateur Doubles title, beating Alastair Martin and Stephen Vehslage 5-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 in New York.
CURLING—BUD SOMERVILLE's rink of Superior, Wis. won the national men's championship in Madison, Wis. and will represent the U.S. in the world championships in Montreal at the end of the month.
GOLF—GARDNER DICKINSON of North Palm Beach took the Doral Open with a 72-hole total of 275, finishing one stroke ahead of Tom Weiskopf, who bogeyed the 18th hole (page 54).
HARNESS RACING—CARDIGAN BAY, the 12-year-old New Zealand pacer, became the richest horse in harness history when he won the 530,000 Provincial Cup in Windsor, Ont. The prize money raised his earnings to $932,571, boosting him ahead of Bret Hanover, who earned $922,616 during his career.
HOCKEY—NHL: MONTREAL (37-18-10), after going four games without a victory, won three in a row, including back-to-back shutouts by Gump Worsley, and moved to a snug six-point lead in the East over NEW YORK (33-20-12), which won two, tied one and lost one (page 30). The Rangers beat the Hawks 4-0 for Eddie Giacomin's seventh shutout of the season (the Hawks made only 13 shots on goal) and whacked the Red Wings 6-1 to run their win streak to six and set a new club mark for victories in one season. A 1-1 tic with the North Stars snapped the string and a 4-3 loss to the Kings slowed down the Rangers' drive for first. Three BOSTON (33-23-10) victories in four games—9-3 over the Blues as Eddie Shack scored three goals, 5-3 over the Hawks on four last-period goals and 2-1 over the Flyers—put the revitalized Bruins in third place, two points behind the Rangers. CHICAGO (30-21-15) dropped from a tie for second to fourth place, nine points out, when the Hawks lost three in a row before shutting out the Maple Leafs 4-0, Stanley Cup champion TORONTO (27-28-9) won two of three and DETROIT (23-31-10) split four as both teams skated farther away from a playoff spot. In the West, PHILADELPHIA (27-28-10) had a 1-2-1 week and held a slim two-point lead over LOS ANGELES (28-31-6), which split four games and popped from third to second. ST. LOUIS (24-27-13), with three victories—3-1 and l-0 over Oakland and 4-2 over Pittsburgh on three third-period goals—and a loss, moved up a notch, one point out of second, while MINNESOTA (24-28-13) dropped from second to a tie for third by tying two, losing one. PITTSBURGH (22-30-12) had a 1-1-1 week, and last-place OAKLAND (15-18-14) tied the Flyers 1-1 before dropping four in a row.
HORSE RACING—MR. RIGHT ($41.80), owned by Mrs. Peter Duchin and ridden by Miguel Yanez, won the 1-mile $145,000 Santa Anita Handicap by two lengths over Jungle Road.
SKIING—JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY, caught up in controversy over his amateur standing (page 22), won the giant slalom in World Cup competition at Meribel, France, defeating teammate Georges Mauduit by .04 second.
Judy Nagel of Enumclaw, Wash. won the combined title at the National Alpine Championships at Crystal Mountain, her home slope, with a first place in the slalom, a third in the giant slalom and an eighth in the downhill. MARILYN COCHRAN of Vermont took the giant slalom and ANN BLACK of Seattle won the downhill. In the men's events. SCOTT HENDERSON of Banff. Alta. won the downhill, was second in the giant slalom and fourth in the slalom to lake the combined title over RICK CHAFFEE of Rutland, Vt., who won both the giant slalom and slalom.
SQUASH RACQUETS—MRS. NEWTON MEADE of Bala-Cynwyd, Pa. gained her third U.S. women's championship in a row when she defeated Joyce Davenport 15-10, 15-8, 16- 13 in the finals in Gladwyne, Pa.
TRACKS & FIELD—ERV HALL, DAVE PATRICK and LARRY JAMES of Villanova led the Wildcats to a 47—24 victory over runner-up Harvard in the IC-4A championships in Madison Square Garden when Hall took the 60-yard high hurdles and finished third in the 60-yard dash; Patrick won the mile—his first of the year—in meet record time of 4:06.1; and James took the 600 in 1:10.2 and anchored the mile relay team to a 3:19.9 victory.
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: As president of the Hanover Shoe Farms, one of the largest horse-breeding establishments in the world, JOHN F. SIMPSON, Hambletonian winner and a leading standard bred trainer and driver for many years, replacing the late Lawrence B. Sheppard.
RETIRED: Former All-Pro Split End RAYMOND BERRY, 35, of the Baltimore Colts, who in 13 seasons caught an NFL record of 631 passes for 9,275 yards and scored 68 touchdowns, after injuries limited him to 11 receptions for 167 yards last season. Said Berry, "It may be that your body reaches a point all at once where you are more prone to injury, and it seems to me that I have probably reached that point."