PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Washington eliminated Buffalo in the seventh game of their series, the Bullets taking charge of both the offensive and defensive ends of the court to overwhelm the Braves 115-96. Washington's Phil Chenier was on target for a game-high 39 points before a home crowd of 19,035. Bob McAdoo of the Braves scored 36 and Randy Smith had 17, but 22 turnovers blunted Buffalo's attack. Boston made short work of the Houston Rockets, winning the final two games 122-117 and 128-115 to take the series 4-1. Celtic Guard Jo Jo White, who scored 29 points in all, got 17 in a 36-point third-quarter Boston explosion that finished off Houston. Golden State captured its series 4-2. Keith Wilkes, who earlier was named NBA Rookie of the Year, scored 24 points in the fifth game, which the Warriors won 124-100. In the final game, at Seattle, Rick Barry broke out of a scoring slump with 31 points in a 105-96 victory. After the contest, Barry was kicked by a female Seattle fan and doused with beer by other rowdy spectators. Chicago triumphed over Coach of the Year Phil Johnson's Kansas City-Omaha Kings 4-2. In the sixth game, played in Kansas City, ice and cups were hurled from the stands during a fourth-period brawl resulting from a foul called on K.C.-Omaha Center Sam Lacey. Undaunted, Chicago went on to win the game 101-89 and the series. The Celtics blew a 12-point halftime lead in the first game of the Boston-Washington series and bowed to the Bullets 100-95 in Boston Garden. Elvin Hayes and Phil Chenier did most of the damage with 34 and 24 points. Golden State and Chicago opened their series in the Oakland Coliseum, the Warriors winning 107-89.
ABA: Indiana continued to raise eyebrows with its winning ways and moved to a 3-2 edge over Denver, running away with the fifth game 109-90 on the Nuggets' home court. Pacers Billy Knight and George McGinnis, who averaged 27 and 29.6 points per game, continued to frustrate the Nuggets' defense. Denver Coach Larry Brown took out some of his frustration on the officials when three of his players (Mack Calvin, Mike Green and Byron Beck) each collected six fouls in a 118-112 loss to the Pacers (page 79). Kentucky maintained its winning pace by taking a commanding 3-1 margin over St. Louis. The Spirits' lone victory, 103-97, came after they filed a protest over a 108-103 loss in which the Colonels were awarded 43 foul shots to St. Louis' 19.
GOLF—AL GEIBERGER recovered from a bogey 5 on the 18th hole to win the $200,000 Tournament of Champions and $40,000 in a sudden-death playoff with Gary Player at La Costa (page 60).
HARNESS RACING—Five-year-old TO RI BOY ($7.40), driven by Roger Hammer, won the $25,000 Governor Lawrence Pace by 1½ lengths over Billy Joe Byrd, covering the mile in 1:57[4/5] at Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It was the fastest mile of the year and a world record for an over-4-year-old gelding.
HOCKEY—NHL: Backs against the wall, do or die, no tomorrow, were the various descriptions of the New York Islanders' plight after dropping three games in a row to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfazed, the Islanders ignored the eight count and took four straight (3-1, 4-2, 4-1, 1-0) to win the series and the dubious honor of facing the Philadelphia Flyers for another best-of-seven (page 18). Earlier, Buffalo and Montreal defeated their opponents—Chicago and Vancouver, respectively—in five games, and began their semifinal series against one another. At home, in overtime, the Sabres took the first contest of their series with Montreal, 6-5.
WHA: After dropping the third game of their series to Quebec 6-1, Minnesota recovered from the drubbing and won 4-2, which lied the teams at two games each. Minnesota's other victory (5-3) very nearly didn't come about when a writ of seizure for the Fighting Saints' equipment was ordered on behalf of a Quebec bus company that was owed transportation charges. Only a few hours before face-off a Quebec judge lifted the writ when the team gave the company a check. The Houston Aeros skated past the San Diego Mariners 4-0 and 2-1, after figuring out a way to stop San Diego's high-scoring Andre Lacroix. In the regular season the Aeros lost five of six games to the Mariners.
HORSE RACING—MASTER DERBY ($4.60), Darrell McHargue riding, captured the $61,350 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland by half a length over Honey Mark. Master Derby covered the sloppy 1‚⅛-miles in 1:49 to post his fifth straight win (page 20).
MOTOR SPORTS—JOCHEN MASS of West Germany, driving a Texaco-McLaren, was declared winner of the Spanish Grand Prix for Formula I cars in Barcelona, after the race had been halted by a fiery crash. In the 26th lap of the scheduled 75-lap race, leader Rolf Stommelen of West Germany lost control of his Lola-Hill car on the Montjuich circuit and crashed through a barrier into the crowd, killing four spectators. Stommelen was reported to be in serious condition. Before the race, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association boycotted several practice sessions, claiming the circuit was "unsafe."
SOCCER—NASL: For the first time since 1972 the St. Louis Stars defeated the Dallas Tornado, Denny Vaninger tallying two first-half goals in a 3-0 victory. Miami commemorated the Hartford Bicentennials' inaugural game by shutting them out 4-0. Another first-year entry, Tampa Bay, edged Rochester 2-1 in sudden death. Approximately 12,000 fans turned out for the Rowdies' opening contest in Tampa. Now situated at El Camino College in Torrance, the Los Angeles Aztecs silenced the San Antonio Thunder 3-0. In an upset, the Vancouver Whitecaps bested the Seattle Sounders 2-1.
ASL: Bob Cousy became the 41-year-old league's first full-time commissioner as the ASL began its 20-game schedule. General manager-player James McMillan of Cleveland scored two goals and had an assist in his team's 3-1 defeat of the Connecticut Yankees. Defending champion Rhode Island was tied by the Boston Astros 2-2. The Chicago Cats, who moved into the Windy City only a month ago, tied Cincinnati l-l. The New York Apollos, trying out their new quarters in Mt. Vernon, blanked the New Jersey Brewers 2-0.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS triumphed over John Newcombe 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the $1 million showdown at Las Vegas (page 12).
Chris Evert won her third singles title in a row, defeating Martina Navratilova 7-5, 6-4 in the $100,000 Family Circle Cup tournament at Amelia Island, Fla. Evert got $25,000 for the victory.
TRACK & FIELD—WILLIAM H. RODGERS, a 27-year-old graduate student at Boston College, won the 79th running of the Boston Marathon in a record 2:09.55, shattering the previous mark of 2:10:30 set by England's Ron Hill in 1970. LIANI WINTER, 33, of Wolfsburg, West Germany, was the first woman to finish, crossing the line in 2:42.33.
At the Drake Relays in Des Moines, BRUCE JENNER of San Jose won the decathlon with 8,139 points, a world high this year. JIM BOLDING ran the 440-yard intermediate hurdles in 49.9 to better his own meet record by two-tenths of a second. EASTERN KENTUCKY'S all-British four-mile relay team (Swag Hartel, Tony Staynings, Chris Ridler and Nick Rose) established a meet mark of 16:17.4 in the university-college division. MIKE BOI, an Eastern New Mexico student from Kenya, ran the 880 in 1:46.6 to break Rick Wohlhuter's 1974 meet record by two-tenths of a second. FRANCIE LARRIEU continued to dominate the women's mile, setting a meet mark of 4:40.2. After world-record-holder Ivory Crockett was disqualified for a false start, HASLEY CRAWFORD won the open division 100 in 9.4, equaling Herb Washington's meet record set in 1969.
Wilson Waigwa, a Kenyan attending the University of Texas at El Paso, was the surprise winner of the Ben Franklin Mile at the 81st Penn Relays, with a time of 3:57.7. beating Rick Wohlhuter, who ran a 3:58.1 (page 67).
Steve Williams began his outdoor season with a wind-aided 9.1 in the 100, at the Mount San Antonio Relays in Walnut, Calif.
Steve Prefontaine recorded the best mark of the year in the 10,000-meter run—28:09.4—at Eugene, Ore.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: KEN HAYES, 42, as head basketball coach at New Mexico State, after resigning from the same position at the University of Tulsa. Hayes has a 19-year career coaching record of 308-126.
RESIGNED: JOE VANCISIN, 52, after 19 years as head basketball coach at Yale, to become executive secretary of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. His career record at Yale was 207-241, including two Ivy League titles.
DIED: BRUCE EDWARDS, 51, catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1946-51), Chicago Cubs (1951-54), Washington Senators (1955) and Cincinnati Reds (1956); of a heart attack; in Sacramento, Calif. Edwards had a lifetime batting average of .256.