BASKETBALL—NBA: After dropping six straight, the New York Knicks finally kicked the habit and upended Phoenix 114-99. Milwaukee moved to an 11½-game margin over Detroit by winning all four of its games—against Phoenix 118-94, Detroit 107-106, Los Angeles 122-88 and Chicago 103-96. In the Pacific Division, San Diego won its three games and took the No. 3 spot from Seattle. The Rockets beat Seattle 124-107, San Francisco 119-111 and Cincinnati 120-116. Baltimore lost two of three but retained a fat 11-game lead over Cincinnati in the Central Division.
ABA: The Kentucky Colonels went down to the Squires' Old Virginia Home and were reduced to privates 128-123. The Floridians, meanwhile, won four of five games and moved past Pittsburgh and out of last place. West Division-leading Utah lost to Kentucky 130-118 but then won three straight to hold a two-game lead over Indiana.
BOXING—In his first defense of the world lightweight championship KEN BUCHANAN of Scotland won a unanimous decision over Ruben Navarro in Los Angeles (page 54).
FIGURE SKATING—JULIE HOLMES won America's only gold medal in the Pre-Olympics in Sapporo, Japan (page 16). Miss Holmes accumulated 1,540 points to Japan's Kazumi Yamashita's 1,458. Dorothy Hamill of New York was third.
GOLF—ARNOLD PALMER sank a 25-foot putt for a birdie on the first sudden-death hole to defeat Ray Floyd and win the $140,000 Bob Hope Desert Classic at Palm Springs (page 12).
HOCKEY—In the East, Boston trounced New York 6-3 and expanded its lead to nine points in the East Division. Vancouver left the basement by downing Detroit 5-3 and Buffalo 6-3. Detroit defeated California, occupant of the West's cellar, before dropping two in a row and into last place. The Chicago Black Hawks slipped from 22 to 17 points ahead of St. Louis, while Pittsburgh jumped from fifth to third.
HORSE RACING—The second-longest shot on the board, a 49-1 choice, registered a stunning upset in the $132,100 Charles H. Strub Stakes at Santa Anita. WAR HEIM ($100) ran the mile and a quarter in 2:00[3/5] to beat Hanalei Bay by a nose.
Rokeby Stable's Fort Marcy, America's Horse of the Year in 1970, made his first start in three months and lost to SHELTER BAY ($8.40) by a head at Hialeah.
MOTOR SPORTS—RICHARD PETTY of Randleman, N.C. won the Daytona 500 late-model stock-car race, his third such win in eight years, by finishing 10 seconds ahead of teammate Buddy Baker (page 56)
SKIING—MARILYN and BARBARA COCHRAN, crediting their mother's cooking, finished 1-2 in the special slalom in Mont Ste. Anne, Quebec to give the U.S. its first victory in World Cup competition this season. Marilyn had a combined clocking of 1:22.20, with Barbara 1.25 seconds behind.
SPEED SKATING—In Inzell, Germany 15-year-old ANNE HENNING of Northbrook, Ill. equaled the women's 500-meter world record of 43.2. Miss Henning tied Tatjana Sidorova's record established in January 1970. Ruth Schleiermacher of East Germany was second in 44.0.
SWIMMING—JOHN KINSELLA of Indiana University, winner of the AAU's John E. Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete in the U.S. last year, broke the NCAA 500-yard freestyle record in Bloomington, Ind. by clocking a 4:31.8, five-tenths of a second better than his old mark.
TENNIS—JOHN NEWCOMBE won the $62,500 Philadelphia International Indoor title (page 59), snapping fellow Australian Rod Laver's 17-match winning streak 7-6, 7-6, 6-4. In the women's final No. 2 seeded ROSIE CASALS defeated Fran√ßoise D√ºrr of France 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.
TRACK & FIELD—At the Los Angeles Times Indoor Games KJELL ISAKSSON of Sweden set a world indoor record in the pole vault with a mark of 17'7¾", bettering the standard of 17'7". MEL PENDER, who later in the week tied his indoor mark of 6.8 in the 70-yard dash, edged Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa of Westmont (Calif.) College in the 60-yard dash, a 10th of a second off the world record. Both runners were timed in 6.0 seconds. HENRYK SZORDYKOWSKI of Poland and JOHN MASON tied in the mile run as they were timed in 3:58.9. RANDY MATSON bested Al Feuerbach to make it five out of six in their continuing duel with a toss of 67'11¾" in the shotput. In the U.S. Track and Field Federation's national indoor championships at the Astrodome, Marty Liquori, who, the next night, clocked a 3:57.2 open mile, did a 3:57.4 one-mile anchor leg to help VILLANOVA run the fastest distance medley ever—indoors or outdoors. The 9:31.5 time cannot be recognized as an indoor record because it occurred on an oversized, five-laps-to-the-mile banked track. The UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN'S two-mile relay team was timed in 7:19.8 to establish a new world indoor mark, but also on the oversized track. CHRISTA MERTEN of West Germany set a world indoor record for the women's 1,500 meters in 4:17.9, and her teammate HAROLD NORPOTH turned in a world indoor record for the men's 1,500 with a 3:37.8. Both marks came in a meet against Spain in West Berlin. At the East German indoor championships in East Berlin, RENATE STECHER-MEISSNER tied the 50-meter-dash world record with a 6.0 clocking. ANNELIE EHRHARDT-JAHNS equaled the women's 50-meter record of 6.8.
WEIGHT LIFTING—Super Heavyweight VASSILI ALEXZIEV established three new world records on the same day at an international meet in Paris by lifting 489½ pounds in the press, snatching 390½ pounds and jerking 506 pounds. Fellow Russians added record-breaking performances of their own. Heavyweight YAN TALTS pressed 446[3/5] pounds; GHENNADY IVANTECHENKO lifted 335½ pounds in the snatch and VASSILI KOLOTOV lifted a total of 1,188 pounds in the snatch, press and clean and jerk, both in the light-heavyweight division. Bulgarian LADEV KUTCHEV set a lightweight world record by pressing 332 pounds.
MILEPOSTS—APPOINTED: BOB HOLLWAY, defensive coach of the Minnesota Vikings, as head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals. Hollway became the ninth new pro head coach to be selected since October.
ELECTED: JESS NEELY and DR. EDDIE ANDERSON, who each coached his team to more than 200 victories, to the College Football Hall of Fame.
ELECTED: SATCHEL PAIGE, legendary pitcher in the old Negro leagues before joining the Cleveland Indians in 1948, to a special nonmember status in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Paige is the first player selected to enter the special exhibit that will be housed in a separate wing of the building.
NAMED: ROBERT E. BRODHEAD, controller of the Cleveland Browns, as the new general manager of the Houston Oilers.
REINSTATED: As independent players rather than contract pros: BILLIE JEAN KING, NANCY RICHEY GUNTER, MARY ANN CURTIS, ROSEMARY CASALS, PEACHES BARTKOWICZ, DENISE CARTER and KRISTY PIGEON; by the USLTA.
DIED: LEW RUSSELL ROBINSON, 37, known in drag racing circles as Sneaky Pete; of injuries sustained when his dragster crashed into a guard rail while qualifying for the Winternational event; in Pomona, Calif.