BASKETBALL—NBA: New York played only two games last week, but the results were wildly different. First the Knicks routed Los Angeles 114-93 as four New Yorkers scored at least 18 points. Then they lost to Atlanta, leader in the West, 122-106, the worst defeat New York has suffered this season. Los Angeles, with losses to New York, Baltimore and San Diego and only two wins, both over Milwaukee, slipped to three games behind Atlanta and suffered the temporary loss of Jerry West, who pulled a hamstring muscle. Until his injury, West had been leading the NBA in scoring by a wide margin, averaging 31.8 points per game, 4.6 better than Lew Alcindor of Milwaukee.
ABA: Denver, after weeks of struggling, finally took over the Western lead from New Orleans. Most of the reasons for the Rockets' spectacular climb from last place, where they were lodged as late as Jan. 3, are in the statistics sheets. Spencer Haywood, their 6'9" rookie, is first in the ABA in scoring (27.3 per game) and rebounding (20.02 average), Byron Beck of Denver leads the league in two-point field-goal accuracy with a .533 average and Rocket Guard Jeff Congdon is tops in three-point accuracy with .427. In fourth place but threatening Denver, New Orleans and Dallas are the Washington Caps, who enjoyed a 3-1 week behind the shooting of Rick Barry. He has scored 343 points in 11 contests since the All-Star Game, for a 31.2 average.
NBA—East: New York (1-1), Milwaukee (2-2), Baltimore (2-1), Philadelphia (3-1), Boston (3-2), Cincinnati (1-2), Detroit (2-2). West: Atlanta (3-0), Los Angeles (2-3), Phoenix (2-2), Chicago (1-2), San Francisco (1-2), Seattle (0-4), San Diego (3-2).
ABA—East: Indiana (1-3), Kentucky (0-3), New York (4-0), Carolina (2-2), Pittsburgh (1-3), Miami (1-2). West: New Orleans (1-1), Denver (1-0), Dallas (2-0), Washington (3-1), Los Angeles (1-2).
BIATHLON—Defending champion ALEXANDER TICHONOV of Russia defeated Norway's Tor Svendsberget to keep his title at the world championship in Oestersund, Sweden. Russia, the defending team champion, also won again, claiming three out of a possible four gold medals.
BILLIARDS—The world pocket billiard championship was won in Los Angeles by IRVING CRANE of Rochester, N.Y., who racked up 14 consecutive match victories to take the $5,000 first-prize purse.
BOATING—Less than half a boat length separated 72-foot Windward Passage from 72-foot Ondine as they crossed the finish line at the end of the 104-mile Miami-to-Lucaya race. Windward Passage was first, but James McHugh's 53-foot sloop, INFERNO, was fleet champion on corrected time with a 12.2522 decimal clocking.
BOXING—JOE FRAZIER of Philadelphia twice floored Jimmy Ellis in the fourth round and scored a fifth-round knockout when Ellis failed to answer the bell, to win the world heavyweight title.
In a preliminary-to-the-title bout at Madison Square Garden, undefeated Heavyweight GEORGE FOREMAN was awarded a unanimous decision over 35-year-old Gregorio Peralta of Argentina for his 16th consecutive victory.
GOLF—The $100,000 San Antonio Open was marred by rain and sleet, but young RON CERRUDO was bothered by neither as he shot a Pecan Valley Country Club course record-matching 65 in the second round to take the lead in the tournament, then followed with rounds of 69 and 68 to win by five strokes. It was Cerrudo's second victory in two years on the PGA circuit.
HOCKEY—NHL: For most of the week the New York Rangers held a narrow margin over Boston in the East, but a 4-2 defeat by Chicago, in which Bobby Hull scored two goals in the second period to become the third player in NHL history to hit 500, dropped the Rangers back to a first-place tie with the Bruins. In the West, Pittsburgh won three games and lost one, a 6-3 defeat by fourth-place Oakland, to tie Philadelphia, which had a 1-2-1 week, for the second spot. Otherwise the division was stable: first-place St. Louis did not lose any of its four games while last-place Los Angeles did not win any of its four.
NHL—East: Boston (1-0-2), New York (1-1-2), Montreal (1-2-0), Detroit (1-1-2), Chicago (3-1-0), Toronto (1-2-0). West: St. Louis (3-0-1), Philadelphia (1-2-1), Pittsburgh (3-1-0), Oakland (1-1-1), Minnesota (0-2-2), Los Angeles (0-3-1).
HORSE RACING—The 1‚⅛-mile, $33,350 Everglades Stakes at Hialeah was won by Her Jac Stable's NASKRA ($24.40), ridden by Johnny Rotz, in 1:48[4/5] (page 52).
Hobeau Farm's NEVER BOW ($8.80), with Eddie Belmonte in the saddle, ran the 1¼ miles in 2:01[3/5] to win the $133,800 Widener Handicap at Hialeah by 4½ lengths. Favorite Dike finished ninth.
At Santa Anita, Bill Perry's DEWAN ($11.60), Lafitt Pincay up, caught Rising Market in the stretch and won the $84,350 San Antonio Stakes, covering the 1‚⅛ miles in 1:47[3/5].
Process shot ($3.80), owned by Sonny Werblin and ridden by Larry Adams, defeated 13 other fillies and mares in the $59,600 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Bowie. Her time was 1:23[3/5] for the seven furlongs.
MOTOR SPORTS—PETER HAMILTON of Dedham, Mass. drove his Plymouth an average 149.601 mph to win the $204,800 Daytona 500 by three car lengths over David Pearson's Ford (page 16).
SKIING—The U.S.S.R. dominated the world Nordic championship at Vysoke Tatry, Czechoslovakia, winning 12 gold medals, including victories in both the 90-and 70-meter jumping events by GARI NAPALKOV (page 50).
TENNIS—Rumania's ILIE NASTASE defeated Cliff Richey 6-8, 3-6, 6-4, 9-7, 6-0 for the singles title at the U.S. National Indoor Open in Salisbury, Md.
TRACK & FIELD—LEE EVANS ran a world indoor record of 54.5 for 500 yards at the San Diego Indoor Games, .9 second faster than the pending mark set in 1969 by Larry James of Villanova. Also in San Diego an American record was set by JURIS LUZINS of William and Mary College, who ran the 1,000 in 2:05.6, only .1 second slower than the world mark; New Zealand's REX MAD-DAFORD missed a world record by 1.4 seconds when he covered the two miles in 8:28.6, the fastest indoor time this season; and GARY POWER defeated Willie Davenport for the third time this year with 7.0 in the 60-yard high hurdles. At the U.S. Olympic Invitation Meet in New York MARTY LIQUORI won his eighth consecutive Garden race when he took the 1,500 meters in 3:44.8 (page 30); TOM VON RUDEN set a world indoor record in the rarely run 1.000 meters with 2:21; and NORM TATE of the New York Pioneer Club did a meet-record 26'4" to take first in the long jump. Elsewhere, a world indoor mark in the women's 50-meter hurdles fell when CHI CHENG of Taiwan won the event in 6.9 at the Achilles International Games in Vancouver, and KARIN BALZER of East Germany broke the indoor world 60-meter hurdle record with 8.2 in Cosford, England.
MILEPOSTS—TRADED: Goalie DENIS DEJORDY, Forward GILLES MAROTTE and Center JIM STANFIELD of the Chicago Black Hawks to the Los Angeles Kings for Goalie GERRY DES-JARDINS, Defenseman BILL WHITE and Center BRYAN CAMPBELL. The Kings also traded Defensemen DALE ROLFE and LARRY JOHNSTON and Left Wing GARY CROTEAU to the Detroit Red Wings for MATT RAVLICH, BRIAN GIBBONS and GARRY MONAHAN. Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Kings, explained the trades in light of his team's 9-40-6 season: "We had to do something."
FIRED: From his job as head basketball coach at Memphis State, HENRY (Moe) IBA, 30, son of Oklahoma's Hank Iba, who began his career with the Tigers with a 17-9 record in the 1966-67 season but slipped the next two years to 8-17 and 6-19 and is 6-15 so far this year.
FIRED: As head coach of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, GEORGE WILSON, after a four-year 15-39-2 record including a 3-10-1 1969 season. Wilson will be replaced by DON SHULA, coach of the Baltimore Colts, who in seven years with the Colts compiled a 71-23-4 record and three times was named the NFL's Coach of the Year. Shula, who will be given stock in the Dolphins, said, "Being active in ownership while still coaching is something I've always wanted."
DIED: CARLOS TEO CRUZ, 32, the former world lightweight champion from the Dominican Republic, who won his title by defeating Carlos Ortiz in 1968 and then lost it in February 1969 when he was knocked out in the 11th round by Mando Ramos; in a plane crash near Santo Domingo.