BADMINTON—Three of the four singles finalists in the U.S. Open in Natchitoches, La. were Indonesians. RUDY HARTONO defeated his compatriot Muljadi 15-9, 15-12 for the men's title, and MINARNI beat Pirnilla Henson of Denmark 11-1, 11-2 for the women's championship.
BASKETBALL—NBA: The first-place Bullets were the first team to be eliminated in the playoffs (page 28), NEW YORK schneidering them 4-0. In the 115-108 final at Madison Square Garden, Captain Willis Reed scored 43 points, giving him a 28.3 average for the series; Earl Monroe had an identical average but only made 39% of his field goals compared to Reed's 51%. In the third game Reed scored 35, Bill Bradley hit on 10 of 12 from the floor and Walt Frazier had 17 assists—a career high as well as a club playoff record—as the Knicks came from nine points behind in the last quarter to win 119-116. It was the first time since 1953 that New York had advanced to the Eastern finals. Although Bill Russell said, "We do not think of ourselves as a playoff team," fourth-place BOSTON knocked off Philadelphia 4-1 (the 76ers won the fourth game) in pursuit of its 11th title in the last 13 years. The Celtics sewed it up when John Havlicek scored 22 points (after going 0 for 9 in the first half) and Hal Greer was held to a measly 16 in a 93-90 win at the Spectrum. Greer made only 32% of his shots in the series. In the Western Division playoffs (page 28) LOS ANGELES pulled itself together after two losses to San Francisco and swept the next four, three by lopsided scores—103-88, 115-98 and 118-78. The Lakers' success was due in part to Jeff Mullins' injured knee. After scoring 56 points in the first two games, Mullins hurt his left knee in the third, in which he scored only seven points, played 15 ineffectual minutes in the fourth game, 21 scoreless minutes in the fifth and was pretty much back to normal with 21 points in the sixth. But by then it was too late as Jerry West gunned in 25, 36, 29 and 29 to pace the Lakers. The other playoff series was undecided at week's end, SAN DIEGO taking two straight, 104-97 and 114-112, to pull even with Atlanta. Westley Unseld of Baltimore, already named league MVP, won Rookie of the Year honors as well, and his coach, Gene Shue, was voted Coach of the Year.
ABA: The 169-day season finally ended. In the East, INDIANA (44-34) was first, MIAMI (43-35) second, KENTUCKY (42-36) third, MINNESOTA (36-42) fourth and NEW YORK (17-61) last. In the West, OAKLAND (60-18), which was 22-56 last year, finished first with the best record in pro basketball this season. NEW ORLEANS (46-32) followed, then DENVER (44-34), DALLAS (41-37), LOS ANGELES (33-45) and HOUSTON (23-55), which played its final home game as the Mavericks before a crowd of 89. The team will now be known as the Carolina Cougars and will play home games at Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh. Mel Daniels of the Indiana Pacers was named the league's MVP.
BILLIARDS—RAYMOND CEULEMANS, a 34-year-old Belgian, took all nine of his matches to win his seventh consecutive World Three-Cushion championship in Tokyo with a 60-49, 48-inning victory over Koya Ogata of Japan in the finals.
DOG SHOWS—CH. ARRIBA'S PRIMA DONNA, a 2½-year-old boxer owned by Dr. and Mrs. P.J. Pagano of Pelham Manor, N.Y. and Dr. T. S. Fickes of Marblehead, Mass., and known to her familiars as Suzie, won best in show at the International Kennel Club's All-Breed Show in Chicago. A crowd of nearly 42,000 attended the two-day event.
GOLF—GENE LITTLER won the $160,000 Greater Greensboro (N.C.) Open on the fifth hole of the sudden-death round after he, Tom Weiskopf, Julius Boros and Orville Moody were tied at the end of 72 holes at 10 under par (page 34).
HOCKEY—NHL: At the conclusion of the regular season, the league's statistical leaders were Phil Esposito, who had the most points (a record 126), Bobby Hull, who had the most goals (a record 58) and Goalies Jacques Plante and Glenn Hall of St. Louis, who allowed the fewest goals (an average of 2.07 per game). In the second season MONTREAL took a four-game sweep from the Rangers, 3-1, 5-2, 4-1 and 4-3, and BOSTON won four in a row from Toronto 10-0, 7-0, 4-3 and 3-2. In the first game Esposito scored four goals and the Leafs' unruly Forbes Kennedy was ejected and subsequently fined $1,000 for decking Linesman George Ashley. Goalie Gerry Cheevers scored his second straight shutout (the playoff record is three in a row) in the next game and puck-shocked Toronto Goalie Bruce Gamble, who allowed seven goals in the opener, was relieved after permitting four more scores and replaced by 44-year-old Johnny Bower. Derek Sanderson scored twice in the 3-2 clincher. In the West, ST. LOUIS routed Philadelphia 5-2, 5-0, 3-0 and 4-1, Jacques Plante gaining his 11th and 12th career playoff shutouts. OAKLAND, after losing to LOS ANGELES 5-4, when Ted Irvine scored after 19 seconds had elapsed in the sudden-death period, came back to win 4-2 and 5-2 before the Kings tied the series with a 4-2 victory.
HORSE RACING—French-bred PETRONE ($7.60) gained his first U.S. victory in the $125,000, 1¾-mile San Juan Capistrano Handicap, run on the grass at Santa Anita, beating Fort Marcy by 2¾ lengths.
Dike ($16.80), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, won the $58,000 Gotham at Aqueduct by a neck from the 3-to-10 favorite, Reviewer, and Rooney's Shield, who finished in a dead heat for second (page 99). Dike ran the mile in 1:34 4/5.
ROWING—CAMBRIDGE defeated Oxford by four lengths in the four-mile, 374-yard race on the Thames from Putney to Mortlake in West London. It was Cambridge's 63rd victory in 115 meetings, and its time (18:04) was the third fastest since 1829, the year of the first race.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As head basketball coach at St. Louis University, JOE HALL, 39, an assistant to Adolph Rupp at Kentucky since 1965.
SUSPENDED: From the Nation of Islam for one year and denied use of his name, MUHAMMAD ALI, who was reportedly defrocked by Leader Elijah Muhammad a week ago for announcing he would return to the ring if his conviction for refusing to be inducted into the Army was reversed. Said Ali. who may or may not choose to revert to what he calls his "slave name" Cassius Clay. "He has the right to spank us all...I'm retired. I'll never climb into the ring or go into an arena again."
FIRED: GEORGE (Punch) IMLACH, coach and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had the longest tenure (11 seasons) of any present NHL coach and four Stanley Cup wins. Imlach's replacement as coach is John McClellan of the Tulsa Oilers.
RETIRED: WILLIAM EDWARDS, 63, as football coach at Wittenberg University. Edwards, who also coached at Western Reserve and Vanderbilt, won seven Ohio Athletic Conference championships at Wittenberg and was twice named Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. He had a 24-year record of 168-45-8.
DIED: MAX HIRSCH, 88, who trained three Kentucky Derby winners (Bold Venture, 1936; Assault, 1946, who also won the Triple Crown; and Middleground, 1950); of a heart attack; in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Hirsch, who practiced what he preached ("The best way to stay young is to stay busy doing what you enjoy"), became an exercise boy at 10, a jockey at 14 and a trainer at 20, and at 88 was fond of saying, "I still have all my facilities." Indeed, in 1968 Hirsch won more money than any trainer at New York tracks ($605,603) and saddled the champion 2-year-old filly, Gallant Bloom.