PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Milwaukee Center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar threw himself into the Buck injury breach with a fury that had opponents clamoring for the swift return of starters Bob Dandridge, Lucious Allen and Oscar Robertson. First he hit for a season-high 39 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, had five assists and blocked three shots as the Midwest leaders topped Los Angeles 94-90. He followed that with a 38-point effort in a 114-88 rout of Buffalo, then got 31 points and 17 rebounds as the Bucks downed Phoenix 112-108 for their seventh straight win. Milwaukee still leads Chicago by 5½ despite four Bull victories (two without suspended coach Dick Motta) in four games. Detroit won four of five to close within 1½ games of the Bulls (Page 20). Amid rumors of Jerry West's imminent retirement, Los Angeles lost two of three and saw its Pacific Division lead dwindle to two games when Golden State won its third straight, 106-93, over Cleveland. Rick Barry was a Warrior run rampant in that one with 37 points, 20 in the second half. Seattle gave Coach Bill Russell his first win over his ex-teammates from Boston, nipping the Celtics 98-97 on two Spencer Haywood free throws with three seconds left. The SuperSonics climbed into third in the Pacific ahead of Portland, which lost four straight. Meanwhile, Atlantic leader Boston righted itself against Philadelphia 112-97 to lead New York by 7½ games. In the Central, Capital beat Houston 111-105, then was defeated by Golden State 99-97 and Los Angeles 143-124, but still led Atlanta by 5½.
ABA: At the beginning of the week the Kentucky Colonels won a skirmish for first place with New York 106-105 and Babe McCarthy thereby won the right to coach the East in the All-Star game. But from there on it was all downhill for the Colonels. They started fiat against San Diego and were soundly thrashed 106-99 by the Qs. San Diego rookie Caldwell Jones held Kentucky's All-Star Center Artis Gilmore to 11 points while scoring 20 and collecting 19 rebounds himself. The Colonels were again done in by rookies in a 93-84 loss to San Antonio as Bird Averitt scored a pro high 36 points and Swen Nater tallied 18 and helped limit Gilmore to six points. Utah was the next to beat Kentucky, 100-94. The Stars got 17 points in 16 minutes from ex-Colonel Rick Mount. Meanwhile, New York shook off a 118-110 defeat at the hands of Virginia, traded sixth man John Roche to Kentucky for defensive help in the persons of Wendell Ladner and Mike Gale, and edged San Antonio 93-89. By the end of (he week Kentucky found itself in second (with Carolina) again, one game back of New York. Mack Calvin led a balanced Carolina attack to three wins in four games. Carolina closed the week by shelling the Tarns 137-104, connecting on 63.3% from the floor in the process. The one that got away from Carolina was Utah, which squeaked by the Cougars 113-112 on Willie Wise's basket with four seconds left. The West Division leaders followed that win with two more, over Kentucky and Denver, to lead Indiana by five games.
GOLF—BOBBY NICHOLS won the Andy Williams-San Diego Open with a final-round 69 for a 72-hole total of 275, one stroke better than Rod Curl and Gene Littler.
HARNESS RACING—DELMONICA HANOVER, driven by Hans Fromming, became the first American-owned trotter to win the $250,000 Prix d'Amérique, beating France's Axius by a neck at Vincennes race course outside Paris. Favored Une de Mai was fourth.
HOCKEY—NHL: Montreal's young Steve Shutt and 19-year veteran Henri Richard were the alpha and omega in four straight Canadien wins. Shutt scored his seventh goal of the year in Montreal's 3-2 decision over Detroit. Then, with four starters hurt, he tallied two goals in less than two minutes to spark the Canadiens over Toronto 4-3, and the next night again scored twice in a 4-1 beating of Buffalo. On Henri Richard Night at the Montreal Forum, the occasion for a 4-1 whipping of Chicago, Shutt added two assists, and the Pocket Rocket rose to the moment with two assists of his own. All of which left Montreal in second, four points behind Boston. The Bruins received excellent goaltending from Gilles Gilbert, who stopped 34 shots in a 1-0 shutout of St. Louis. Boston then fell 2-1 to Chicago as Boston fans showed their displeasure with the officiating by throwing glass and other debris on the ice. The Bruins rebounded with their second shutout victory of the week, 4-0 over the New York Islanders, this time with Ross Brooks in the nets. The New York Rangers defeated Atlanta 4-1 behind Jean Ratelle's two goals and one assist to remain in third in the Fast, three points ahead of Toronto. In the West, Los Angeles downed Minnesota 3-1 to climb over the North Stars into fifth place. Then the Kings tied powerful Philadelphia 4-4 and beat Pittsburgh 2-0 on Rogie Vachon's fourth shutout of the season to move within two points of Atlanta and a playoff spot. Philly led the division by eight points as Bernie Parent registered his 10th shutout in a 5-0 win over California.
WHA: The West Division race is beginning to look like a 2-H Club affair—the H's being Houston's Gordie Howe and Winnipeg's Bobby Hull. In three straight Houston wins—over Los Angeles 3-1. Quebec 5-1 and Vancouver 4-2—Howe had two goals and four assists. In Winnipeg's 9-3 rout of Jersey, Hull collected three goals and two assists. Then the Golden Jet scored his 34th goal of the season as the Jets claimed second from Edmonton with a 4-3 decision. Houston H-power was further enhanced by Mark Howe (four goals, three assists) and the Aeros led the Jets by six points at week's end. New England remained atop the East despite losing two of three, with Toronto in second, six points back. Fifth-place Chicago extended its win streak to three by beating New England 5-3, but blew a chance to move into a fourth-place tie with Quebec by bowing to Minnesota 6-2.
HORSE RACING—Laffit Pincay guided ANCIENT TITLE ($10.60) to a 3½-length upset victory over favored Linda's Chief in the $84,000 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita.
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH, driving a Chevrolet, won the rain-delayed $104,600 Winston Western 500 stock-car race with an average speed of 101.140 mph. Richard Petty finished second.
SKIING—ANNEMARIE MOSER-PROELL won an unprecedented fourth straight World Cup title by placing sixth in the slalom at Badgastein, Austria. West Germany's CHRISTA ZECHMEISTER won the slalom, giving her a sweep of the season's first four World Cup slaloms. Proell now has 223 points, with three races to go. Zechmeister is second with 123 points and Switzerland's Marie-Therese Nadig third with 102. FABIENNE SERRAT won the giant slalom and gave once-mighty France its first World Cup victory of the season.
In men's competition at Kitzb√ºhel, Austria, ROLAND COLLOMBIN won his fourth straight downhill. Collombin currently leads the overall World Cup standings with 140 points. Austria's Franz Klammer has 122 and Italy's Piero Gros 120.
TENNIS—ROD LAVER defeated Arthur Ashe 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to win the $100,000 U.S. Pro Indoor championship in Philadelphia (page 22).
TRACK & FIELD—GEORGE WOODS of the Pacific Coast Club broke his world indoor shotput record at the Oregon Invitational meet in Portland with a put of 69'10¾", eclipsing his 1973 mark by ¼". In the two-mile, STEVE PREFONTAINE set an American indoor record with a time of 8:22.08. He held the previous mark of 8:24.6. JONI HUNTLEY gave the Portland meet its third record by bettering the American mark in the women's high jump by ¼" with a leap of 5'10¾". In New York. North Carolina's TONY WALDROP provided the Millrose Games with its first mile under four minutes, out-kicking Marty Liquori on the final lap and finishing in 3:59.7. RICK WOHLHUTER followed up his victory in the Millrose 880-yard run by posting the season's fastest mile, 3:59.1, on Indiana University's 220-yard track the next night.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As Bowler of the Year, DON McCUNE of Munster, Ind., by a vote of bowling writers. In 1973 McCune won six tournaments and led pro bowlers in winnings with $69,000.
NAMED: As AFC Coach of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America, JOHN RALSTON, who led the Denver Broncos to their first winning season ever with a 7-5-2 mark. In the NFC the award went to CHUCK KNOX, who took the Los Angeles Rams from 6-7-1 in 1972 to 12-2 and a divisional championship.
DIED: AL ROBINSON, 26, lightweight boxer and Olympic silver medalist in 1968; in Oakland. He had been in a coma for nearly three years following his collapse during a workout.
DIED: ARTHUR G. LENTZ, 65, executive director of the USOC from 1965 to 1973; after a brief illness; in New York.
DIED: JOSEPH A. (Jumping Joe) SAVOLDI, 65, a starting fullback on Knute Rockne's national champion football teams in 1929 and 1930, and the 1933 professional heavyweight wrestling champion; after a long illness; in Cadiz, Ky.