BASKETBALL—NBA: San Diego is in sixth place in the West, but Elvin Hayes has taken over the league lead in rebounding with a 16.2 average, replacing San Francisco's injured Nate Thurmond. Los Angeles' Jerry West continued as high scorer, averaging 31.6 as the second-place Lakers won all four of their games. West scored 38, 41 and 36 in the first three games, then had 22 as L.A. defeated Atlanta 102-87 to come within half a game of the lead. In the East, Milwaukee dropped two out of five and fell farther behind New York, which enjoyed a 5-0 week.
ABA: The Denver Rockets almost made it to the top in the West, but the New York Nets beat them 115-98, the Rockets' first loss in 16 games, and left Denver one game behind New Orleans, which won one out of three in the week. Behind the playing of Center Spencer Haywood, who leads the league in rebounds with 19.7 per game and is second in scoring with a 26.7 average, and with the coaching of Joe Belmont, who took over only a month ago, the Rockets have risen from last place and a 9-19 record to second and 27-22. In the East, Indiana won a couple and lost a couple but remained far ahead.
NBA—East: New York (5-0), Milwaukee (3-2), Baltimore (2-2), Philadelphia (2-2), Cincinnati (3-2), Boston (2-3), Detroit (1-3). West: Atlanta (1-4), Los Angeles (4-0), Chicago (1-4), Phoenix (2-2), San Francisco (1-2), San Diego (1-3), Seattle (2-1).
ABA—East: Indiana (2-2), Kentucky (2-0), Carolina (2-2), New York (3-1), Pittsburgh (2-2), Miami (0-2). West: New Orleans (1-2), Denver (2-1), Dallas (1-2), Washington (1-0), Los Angeles (0-2).
BOATING—The 12-meter yacht American Eagle fought a 22-knot head wind to finish first and also win on corrected time in the 105-mile St. Petersburg-to-Venice, Fla. race. The strong winds eliminated almost two dozen of the 86 starters, including the pre-race favorite, Windward Passage, which ran aground.
BOBSLEDDING—ITALY captured its fifth world title in 10 years when a four-man team piloted by Nevio de Zordo edged the West German squad by .26 of a second with a four-run clocking of 4:55.44 over the St. Moritz, Switzerland course.
BOWLING—DAVE DAVIS of Miami defeated Earl Anthony of Tacoma, Wash. 244-237 and Skee Foremsky of Houston 216-172 to take the $10,000 winner's purse at the $65,000 PBA San Jose Open.
BOXING—GEORGE FOREMAN, the 21-year-old Olympic heavyweight champion, knocked out 235-pound Jack O'Halloran of Boston in the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round match at Madison Square Garden for his 15th consecutive win.
In his first middleweight fight, CURTIS COKES, the former world welterweight champion, knocked out Mexico's Roberto Pena at 1:47 of the fifth round in Fort Worth, Texas.
GOLF—PETE BROWN, who has won only one PGA tournament, in 1964, shot a seven-under-par final-round 65, then survived a sudden-death playoff with Tony Jacklin to take home the $30,000 first prize at the $150,000 Andy Williams-San Diego Open.
HOCKEY—-NHL: The Los Angeles Kings, last in the West with a 9-33-5 record, the worst in the league, snapped an eight-game losing streak with a disputed 5-4 win over the New York Rangers, the top NHL team, at 27-10-10. Left Wing Ross Lonsberry of the Kings put the puck in the net as the final buzzer sounded, and Referee Bob Sloan ruled that the goal counted. Things soon were back to normal; the Kings dropped their next two games and the Rangers, who haven't lost two consecutive games this season, defeated Oakland 2-1.
NHL—East: New York (2-1-0), Boston (2-0-1), Montreal (2-0-1), Detroit (2-1-0), Chicago (1-1-1), Toronto (2-0-1). West: St. Louis (2-2-0), Philadelphia (1-2-1), Pittsburgh (1-1-1), Minnesota (0-4-0), Oakland (1-2-0), Los Angeles (1-3-0).
HORSE RACING—French-bred VENT DU NORD ($10.60), owned by Emanuel Mittman and ridden by Ron Turcotte, equaled Hialeah's 1[1/16]-mile turf record of 1:41 in winning the $32,150 Palm Beach Handicap by 2½ lengths over Blasting Charge. High Hat, the favorite, finished fourth.
MOTOR SPORTS—Mexico's PEDRO RODRIGUEZ and Finland's LEO KINNUNEN drove their Porsche 917 to victory by nearly 200 miles over another Porsche in the 24 Hours of Daytona (page 20).
SKIING—Eighteen-year-old GUSTAVO THOENI of Italy tied France's PATRICK RUSSEL for the lead in World Cup points—each has 140—by winning two giant slalom events and finishing second, behind Henri Brechu of France, in the special slalom at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy. Next week the two leaders will meet at the World Alpine Championships in Val Gardena, Italy. In the women's competitions at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany, FRANCOISE MACCHI of France won the downhill with a time of 1:08.62, ahead of Austria's Wiltrud Drexel and France's Mich√®le Jacot, the World Cup leader. Karen Budge of the U.S. finished sixth, the best American showing in the downhill this season. The Foemina Cup at Abetone, Italy was also won by a Frenchwoman, BRITT LAFFORGUE, as Americans Judy Nagel and Karen Budge finished third and fourth.
At the National Ski Jumping Championships in Eau Claire, Wis. BILL BAKKE of Madison jumped a record-tying 251' to win the U.S. title over Peter Robes of Etna, N.H. and Greg Swor of Duluth.
TENNIS—PANCHO GONZALES won the second round—and another $10,000—of the $200,000 Tennis Champions, Inc. Classic when he defeated Australian John Newcombe 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, in Detroit (page 14).
At the White City Stadium in Sydney, fourth-seeded ARTHUR ASHE defeated Richard Crealy of Australia 6-4, 9-7, 6-2 to become the first foreigner to win the Australian National Singles title since 1959. MARGARET SMITH COURT of Australia won her ninth women's singles title when she beat Kerry Melville 6-3, 6-1.
TRACK & FIELD—TOM VON RUDEN took the 1,000 in the American record time of 2:07.1, RALPH DOUBELL won the half-mile in a meet record 1:49.2, MARTY McGRADY ran the 600 in 1:10 for another meet record and MARTY LIQUORI took the Wanamaker Mile in 4:02.6 at the Millrose Games in New York (page 54). A world record was set at Long Beach (Calif.) State College when GEORGE FRENN threw the 35-pound weight 71'3", more than two feet farther than his own listed mark of 68'7½". At the Oklahoma City Jaycee meet, EARL HARRIS of Oklahoma State tied the world indoor mark of 5.9 in the 60-yard dash and broke the American indoor 300-yard record with a time of 30.4. ART DULONG of Holy Cross highlighted the 81st annual Boston Athletic Association Indoor Games with a 4:01.1 in the Hunter Mile, a meet record and the fastest mile this season by a collegian. Czechoslovakia's JOSEF PLACHY took the 1,000 with a meet record of 2:07.4, and LEE EVANS won the 600 in 1:10.8.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Oldtimers' Committee, FORD FRICK, president of the National League, 1934-1951, and baseball commissioner from 1951 until his retirement in 1965; EARLE COMBS, leadoff batter for the Yankees in the '20s, whose ability to get on base led Joe Cronin to describe him as "the table setter for Ruth and Gehrig"; and JESSE HAINES, knuckleballer for Cincinnati and St. Louis from 1918 to 1937, who compiled a 210-158 record during his long career, including a no-hitter in 1924 and three World Series wins.
TRADED: To the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, WALT BELLAMY, the 6'10½" veteran, by the Detroit Pistons, for a player to be named later and a "substantial" amount of money.
RETIRED: As head football coach at Florida A&M, ALONZO (JAKE) GAITHER, who in 25 years with the Rattlers compiled a 203-36-4 record with no losing seasons, won eight national titles and failed to win the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship only three times. Assistant Coach Robert Griffin will replace him.
RETIRED: The former world flyweight and bantamweight champion, FIGHTING HARADA, 26, the only Japanese to win two world boxing titles, and HIROYUKI EBIHARA, 29, a former world flyweight champion. Both plan to become boxing commentators on Japanese television.
FIRED: As head coach of the NBA's San Francisco Warriors, GEORGE LEE, whose team, midway through his second season as coach, has a 22-30 record and has lost its 6'11" star Center Nate Thurmond through injuries. Lee will be replaced by Al Attles, a 10-year veteran with the Warriors, who also will continue playing.