PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: With the season not yet half over, the Buffalo Braves have equaled the number of wins they achieved in each of their first two years in the NBA. notching their 22nd victory against Houston. 117-99. Bob McAdoo, the Braves' "Big Mac," led Buffalo that day with 30 points. Buffalo went on to extend its winning streak to seven against Capital 97-96 as Jim McMillian led a Buffalo comeback effort with 10 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter. Boston still was ahead of Buffalo by 10½ games and New York by six in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics swamped Chicago 106-89 but fell 111-103 to Los Angeles in a game that saw John Havlicek score 26 and become one of eight NBA players to surpass the 20,000-point plateau. Los Angeles' Gail Goodrich will soon reach the tens of thousands himself. Little Goody hit for a total of 118 as the Lakers won three of five games and remained atop the Pacific, 3½ games ahead of Golden State. Central leader Capital, theclub of the year for inducing cardiac arrests, beat Milwaukee 90-88 and Los Angeles 94-92; then lost to Milwaukee 115-113 and to Buffalo by that one point. The Bullets held a healthy five-game edge on Atlanta, which lost four. First-place Milwaukee saw its crippled force return and repel Chicago in the Midwest (page 20).
ABA: The New York Nets also matched their 1972-73 victory total of 30 this week when they registered a 109-106 win over Indiana behind the 35 points of John Williamson, who sank 15 of 19. The Nets' 28th win of the year, a 108-94 decision over Memphis, had given them sole possession of first place in the East Division. The New Yorkers then added No. 29, over San Antonio 105-93, shooting a torrid 60.5% from the floor in the first half. Kentucky rode some clutch shooting by Guard Louie Dampier to tough wins over Carolina 101-98 and San Antonio 99-95 and remained a game back of the Nets and one up on the Cougars in the East. On top out West, Utah ran its win streak to eight before falling to Virginia 109-103. The Stars wasted no time starting another, defeating San Diego 104-99, aided by hot fourth-quarter gunning by a newly acquired Rick Mount. Second-place Indiana's George McGinnis ran wild for 52 points and 37 rebounds (an ABA record) as the Pacers clobbered Carolina 124-105.
BOWLING—San Francisco's LARRY LAUB defeated Bill Allen of Orlando, Fla. 196-183 in the playoff match of the $70,000 Don Carter Classic to win the $7,500 first prize, in Arcadia, Calif.
GOLF—JOHNNY MILLER added the $150,000 Phoenix Open to his victory last week in the rain-shortened Bing Crosby tournament. Miller's 271 total beat Lanny Wadkins by one stroke.
HOCKEY—NHL: Philadelphia's Dave Schultz, who last year led the league in penalty minutes with 259 but never scored much, registered his second hat trick in successive home games in the Flyers' 7-4 rout of Minnesota. But Schultz missed the bully old days. "I can't let it affect me," he said. "I haven't been very aggressive lately." And just in case anyone thought he had really gone soft, Schultz was hit with a major misconduct penalty in the Flyers' 7-6 triumph over Atlanta. West leader Philadelphia remained four points up on Chicago, which won one of three games. In the East, second-place Montreal did what no other team had been able to do in 21 successive games at Boston Garden: they beat the Bruins. Frank Mahovlich led the 7-3 romp with two goals and two assists as the Canadiens won their third straight and moved to within three points of Boston. Toronto won three of three and pushed New York out of third. Darryl Sittler (5 goals, 1 assist) and MikePelyk (3 goals, 2 assists) were the chief Leafs in victories over Atlanta 6-2, Pittsburgh 6-4 and St. Louis 4-2. New York, meanwhile, began the long road back to confidence with a 6-1 decision over Vancouver, its first game under new/old General Manager and Coach Emile Francis.
WHA: Houston's Gordie Howe strengthened his bid for the Best Player in a Supporting Role award by contributing six assists in three Aero wins this week. Howe left the scoring to sons and strangers: Mark Howe tallied two goals in a 7-1 rout of Winnipeg; Murray Hall scored twice in a 6-2 win over Edmonton; and in a 5-1 mistreatment of Quebec, Frank Hughes (with his 27th goal of the year) and Marty-Howe (with his first) were the long and short of it for the Aeros. Houston now leads the West by four points. Edmonton edged Minnesota 6-4 and claimed second place from the Fighting Saints, who lost two of three. Winnipeg then downed Edmonton 7-4 to move into a tie for second with the Oilers. New England still led the East, but Cleveland received four goals and one assist from Gary Jarrett in wins over Vancouver 11-3 and Los Angeles 5-4 to move within one point of Toronto and three of the first-place Whalers.
HORSE RACING—ANCIENT TITLE ($6.40), ridden by Fernando Toro, held off favored Linda's Chief in the stretch to win the $57,300 Malibu Stakes by three lengths at Santa Anita.
MOTOR SPORTS—New Zealand's DENIS HULME, driving a McLaren, won the Argentine Grand Prix,.first Formula I test of 1974.
SKIING—ROLAND COLLOMBIN of Switzerland won his second major downhill in two weeks with a victory over Austria's Franz Klammer in the World Cup meet at Morzine, France. At Berchtesgaden, Germany, PIERO GROS led the Italians to a sweep of the first five places in the World Cup men's giant slalom. In women's World Cup competition in Grindelwald. Switzerland, CINDY NELSON scored the first U.S. victory of the season, upsetting Austria's Annemarie Proell-Moser in the downhill.
PRO SKIING—France's ALAIN PENZ registered his first triumph as a pro, the giant slalom worth $4,000 in the Benson & Hedges Grand Prix competition in Montreal, twice beating Rudd Pyles of Aspen, Colo.
SWIMMING—Australia's 13-year-old JENNY TURRALL broke her third world record in a month with a 16:48.2 clocking in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle at the New South Wales championships. The old mark was 16:49.9.
TENNIS—COLOMBIA stunned the United States 4-1 to win the Davis Cup zone final (page 54).
TRACK & FIELD—DICK BUERKLE kicked off the indoor track season with an impressive two-meet double. The former Villanova runner upset Steve Prefontaine by 60 yards in the two-mile at the Catholic Youth Organization meet in College Park, Md. Buerkle's time of 8:26.2 was the second-fastest American indoor two-mile clocking. The next night Buerkle won a 4:00.3 mile in the New York Knights of Columbus meet at Nassau Coliseum. Also at College Park: ROD MILBURN blazed through the 60-yard hurdles in 6.8 seconds, tying the world record for the second time in a month, and the quartet of MICHELLE McMILLIAN (0:57.3), CHERYL TOUSSAINT (56.0), LORNA FORDE (56.9) and BRENDA NICHOLS (56.8). representing the ATOMS Track Club of Brooklyn, bettered the women's world indoor mile relay mark by 3.5 seconds with a time of 3:47.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: LARRY POPEIN, 43, as coach of the New York Rangers, after the team's 7-2 loss to Buffalo, which left New York, highly rated before the season started, with a 18-14-9 record and only one point ahead of the fifth-place Sabres. General Manager EMILE FRANCIS took over as coach.
NAMED: As head coach of the New York Giants. BILL ARNSPARGER, top assistant on Don Shula's Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins.
NAMED: As head football coach at Colorado, BILL MALLORY, voted Ohio Coach of the Year after his Miami University team finished the season 11-0. Mallory replaces Eddie Crowder, who retired to become full-time athletic director.
DIED: U.S. ski team member KENT YALE, 22, from brain injuries suffered in a fall during a practice run at the Can-Am Trophy races in Vancouver.