PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: After Buffalo beat Seattle 105-103 on Tuesday to move into first place in the Atlantic Division, Ernie DiGregorio boasted: "How about that. They said it couldn't be done." And it couldn't, not for long anyway. The Braves stumbled in their next two games despite 44 points from Little D and fell into third place behind Boston, which won its seventh in 10 starts, and New York. The Hawks (page 26) received heavy artillery, support from Pistol Pete Maravich (97 points in three games) and remained atop the Central Division. Cleveland replaced Philadelphia, last year's patsy, as the losingest team in the East with only two wins in 11 outings. In the Midwest, Chicago tied a club record by winning its eighth straight, 105-94 over the Cavaliers (who else?) only to be outdone by Milwaukee, which won its ninth consecutive game to lead the Bulls by 1½. Los Angeles lost to Portland and two nights later dropped one to New York 106-91. That was the first time the Lakers had lost a game in November since 1970. They clung to the division lead by half a game over stubborn Portland.
ABA: Kentucky's Dan Issel was not a bit impressed by Julius Erving Day at Nassau Coliseum, outscoring Dr. J. 37-17 as the Colonels won 121-109. Then in a rematch between the two teams in Bluegrass land, Issel pumped in 29 points to Erving's 19 and claimed the league scoring lead from the Doctor as the Colonels won their sixth straight and 10th in 11 games. They lead Carolina, which is 10-4, in the Eastern Division. Indiana paced the Western Division by virtue of a 107-103 overtime victory against Denver.
BOXING—ARNOLD TAYLOR gained the WBA bantamweight title before his home fans in Johannesburg, South Africa with a 14th-round knockout of Mexico's Romero Anaya.
PRO FOOTBALL—It was a revolt-ing week in the NFL. Teams that used to be doormats rose up to smite—or at least frighten—their betters. Foremost was Atlanta's 15-13 upset of Los Angeles. Rookie Nick Mike-Mayer booted five field goals, the last of which, a 16-yarder with 52 seconds to go, handed the Rams their second loss in as many weeks and cut their lead in the NFC West to one game over the now-tough Falcons. New Orleans' imposing defense led by Lineman Billy Newsome and Linebacker Jim Merlo, shackled O. J. Simpson for just 79 yards in 20 carries and dropped the Bills 13-0. The Saints have now won four of their last five games. Philadelphia's improving Eagles just squeezed by lowlier New England 24-23 on Tom Dempsey's 12-yard three pointer with 35 seconds to go. It was Philadelphia's second straight win. Miami received a surprising challenge from the New York Jets in the first half before a Griese-to-Warfield bomb in the third quarter opened the way for a 24-14 Dolphin win. Chicago's Bobby Douglass passed for 118 yards and ran for 100 more, including four touchdowns, to lead the Bears over sagging Green Bay 31-17. Denver again needed Jim Turner's toe, this week from 12 yards out, to tie St. Louis 17-17 with one second left. And Houston, the very least of all the have-nots (page 30), finally had a victory after 18 failures. The three-touchdown passing of Quarterback Lynn Dickey, in his first start this year, beat Baltimore 31-27. It wasn't a complete proletarian take-over, however. Minnesota beat Cleveland 26-3 on four Fred Cox field goals and a Big Bad Defense to continue undefeated. Dallas stomped Cincinnati 38-10 as Cowboy Linebacker Lee Roy Jordan intercepted three Ken Anderson aerials on consecutive Bengal possessions, one for a 31-yard touchdown. Oakland beat the dismal New York Giants 42-0 and stayed atop the AFC Western Division despite Kansas City's scalping of San Diego 19-0. And Detroit assumed a distant second behind Minnesota in the NFC Central with a 30-20 win over San Francisco.
GOLF—BEN CRENSHAW, playing in his first tournament as a full-fledged pro, won the San Antonio Texas Open by two strokes over Orville Moody with a 72-hole total of 270, 14 under par.
HARNESS RACING—STARLARK HANOVER, a 2-year-old filly driven by Dave Wade, won the $52,536 Harriman Trot at Yonkers Raceway by 5½ lengths over Noble Florie for her 21st victory in 22 starts.
HOCKEY—NHL: Atlanta rookie Tom Lysiak scored his first NHL goal and praised hometown fans: "They're really great...they cheer you when you make a good play, but don't always know when you make a bad one." The Flames didn't make too many bad ones in the 7-2 rout of California, and Lysiak made some more good ones, scoring both goals as Atlanta edged the Flyers 2-1 in Philadelphia to move within a point of the West Division leaders. In the East the New York Islanders shut out Phil Esposito and beat the Bruins 6-4. The Islanders moved into fifth place, a point ahead of the floundering Rangers, who lost to Los Angeles for the first time in 21 meetings. The Rangers remained winless in their last six starts under first-year Coach Larry Popein and were way out of the four-team scramble at the top: Boston, Montreal and Toronto shared the lead, with Buffalo only a point back.
WHA: Quebec vaulted into first place in the East when New England lost 5-4 to Toronto and Chicago broke Cleveland's home-ice unbeaten streak 7-4. The Nordiques stopped Los Angeles and Vancouver before slipping to Edmonton 5-4. Jim Harrison scored the winning goal in that contest as the Oilers maintained a three-point lead over Winnipeg and Minnesota in the West.
HORSE RACING—AGLIMMER ($10.20), Mike Venezia up, set a stakes record of 1:49[2/5] for 1‚⅛ miles to win the $60,250 Firenze Handicap at Aqueduct by two lengths over Garland of Roses.
Protagonist ($3.40), ridden by Angel Santiago, won the $127,940 Laurel Futurity by three lengths over Hasty Flyer.
Portentous ($77.20), under Jockey John Ramirez, upset favored Groshawk by one length and delayed Bill Shoemaker's 100th career victory in a $100,000 race by winning the Oak Tree Invitational at Santa Anita.
HORSE SHOWS—At the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden, SYMPATICO, an 8-year-old bay gelding ridden by Anthony D'Ambrosio Jr., jumped 7'4", bettering the American indoor record by an inch.
TENNIS—ILIE NASTASE defeated Stan Smith 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 to win the French Indoor Open in Paris.
Rod Laver halted Charles Pasarell's string of upsets with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory in the Viceroy Classic in Hong Kong.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: The retirements of National League Umpires AUGIE DONATELLI, 59, and KEN BURKHART, 56, by League President Chub Feeney.
AWARDED: To TOM SEAVER of the New York Mets, the Cy Young Award as the National League's outstanding pitcher, for the second time. Seaver finished with a 19-10 mark and became the first player to win the award without at least 20 victories.
MOVING: The HAMBLETONIAN, to Liberty Bell Race Track, Philadelphia, on a three-year contract beginning in 1975. The country's most famous harness race has been held in Du Quoin, Ill. for the past 17 years, with no betting. It will become a betting event again and will be run in the afternoon.
NAMED: Manager of the Year in the American League, Baltimore's EARL WEAVER, who directed the Orioles to a 97-65 record and the East Division pennant.
TRADED: CONNIE HAWKINS, 6'8" forward for the Phoenix Suns, to the Los Angeles Lakers for 6'5" Forward-Guard KEITH ERICKSON.
DIED: JOHNNY COULON, 84, world bantamweight boxing champion from 1910-1914; in Chicago. Between 1905 and 1920 he won 56 fights.