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A roundup of the week April 17-23


PRO BASKETBALL—"The times we beat them in the past they didn't play as a unit. They went one-on-one," the Knicks' Jim McMillian said of the 76ers. "Now they're more of a team than I've ever seen them." And Philadelphia, clearly playing as a unit, knocked New York out of the playoffs in four straight, 130-90, 119-100, 137-126 and 112-107. San Antonio won the first game of its series with Washington 114-103; then the Bullets took over and beat the Spurs 121-117, 118-105 and 98-95 for a 3-1 lead. In the Western Conference the Denver Nuggets easily won their first two games with the Milwaukee Bucks 119-103 and 127-111. But in the third game rookie Marques Johnson, with a career-high 35 points, led the Bucks to a 143-112 victory. Portland lost its first game to Seattle 104-95, won the second 96-93 but lost Center Bill Walton, whose ankle fracture will keep him out of the rest of the playoffs. In the third game the SuperSonics beat the defending champion Trail Blazers 99-84 to take a 2-1 lead in the series (page 20).

BOWLING—EARL ANTHONY defeated Teata Semiz 237-192 to win his second Firestone Tournament of Champions at Akron, Ohio. It was his 30th title on the PBA tour and was worth $30,000. Anthony, Jim God-man and Dave Davis have been the only two-time winners in the tournament's 14 years.

BOXING—HUGO CORRO, 24, of Argentina wrested the WBC middleweight championship from Colombian Rodrigo Valdes, 31, by a decision in a 15-round bout in San Remo, Italy.

Danny (Little Red) Lopez successfully defended his WBC featherweight championship in Los Angeles with a sixth-round knockout of Brazilian Jose de Paula.

Mexico's CARLOS ZARATE kept his WBC bantamweight title in San Juan by knocking out Andres (Pupy) Hernandez of Puerto Rico with a heavy attack in the 13th round.

At the AAU national championships in Biloxi, Miss. GREG PAGE defeated Tony Tubbs for the heavyweight title. The other winners were: ELMER MARTIN, light heavyweight; JEFF McCRACKEN, middleweight; J. B. WILLIAMSON, light middleweight; ROGER LEONARD, welterweight; EICHI JUMAWAN, featherweight; DONALD CURRY, 139 pounds; MELVIN PAUL, 132 pounds; JACKIE BEARD, 119 pounds; MIKE FELDE, 112 pounds; and JAMES CULLINS, 106 pounds (page 73).

GOLF—GARY PLAYER overcame a five-shot deficit and took his third consecutive tournament, the $200,000 Houston Open. He shot a three-under-par final round of 69 for a total of 270 (page 16).

Twenty-two-year-old AMY ALCOTT sank a five-foot birdie putt on the 1st hole of a sudden-death playoff with Hollis Stacy to win the $55,000 American Defender Classic in Raleigh, N.C. Alcott, who shot a four-under-par-68 final round for a 10-under 206 during regulation play, needed only a par 5 on the 18th but three-putted to force the playoff.

HOCKEY—NHL: The Boston Bruins took the Chicago Black Hawks in four straight. They opened the quarterfinal series with a 6-1 decision, then battled through a pair of 4-3 overtime victories and ended with a 5-2 win that left Chicago with a record 12 straight playoff losses. The New York Rangers (1968-70) and Philadelphia Flyers (1968, '69, '71) had lost 10 straight playoff games. The Detroit Red Wings beat the Canadiens 4-2 and recorded their first victory in Montreal since March 20, 1974, then lost to the defending champions 4-2 and 8-0. The Islanders won their first two games with Toronto 4-1 and 3-2 in overtime, but the Maple Leafs rallied to win the next two 2-0 and 3-1, evening the series. The Buffalo Sabres snapped a 10-game quarterfinal losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, but in the next game Rick MacLeish capped a three-goal first period for the Flyers with his sixth score of the playoffs as Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 4-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

WHA: About an hour before the New England Whalers' fourth playoff game with the Edmonton Oilers, Mark Howe burst into the dressing room yelling that his wife Ginger had given birth to their first child. The enthusiasm generated by the arrival of the overdue child didn't hurt grandfather Gordie, who celebrated by scoring a goal and adding an assist. Mark had two assists in a 9-1 win over the Oilers. New England went on to beat Edmonton again 4-1 and win their best-of-seven series. Quebec beat Houston 5-4 in overtime, 5-1, 3-0, then lost 5-2 to the Aeros. Winnipeg eliminated Birmingham in five games, winning the deciding match 5-2.

HORSE RACING—BELIEVE IT ($3.40), with Eddie Maple up, won the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ-mile, $109,900 Wood Memorial in 1:49[4/5] at Aqueduct in New York, 3½ lengths ahead of Darby Creek Road.

MOTOR SPORTS—GORDON JOHNCOCK won the USAC 200-mile race at Trenton, N.J. in a time of 1:32:04.18. A. J. Foyt was second.

Darrell Waltrip averaged 78.052 mph to win the $111,000 Virginia 500 Grand National stock-car race, his speed topping Richard Petty's 8-year-old Martinsville Speedway record for 500 laps by a little less than one mph.

SOCCER—The Washington Diplomats won their fourth straight match 1-0 over the Minnesota Kicks, the win putting the Dips in a tie for first place with the Cosmos in the National Conference's Eastern Division. The New Yorkers beat the Dallas Tornado 3-1, with Dennis Tueart making his debut and scoring the first goal for the winners. Vancouver and Portland are tied for the lead in the National West. Tampa Bay stayed atop the American East despite a 4-3 loss to San Jose, and Detroit gained first place in the American Central, handing San Diego its first loss, 2-0.

TENNIS—BRIAN GOTTFRIED beat Ilie Nastase 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the finals of the $175,000 WCT tournament at River Oaks Country Club, Houston.

TRACK & FIELD—KATHY DEVINE, a junior at Emporia (Kansas) State University, put the shot 53'3¾" at the Kansas Relays, breaking her own intercollegiate record by 2¾".

MILEPOSTS—FIRED: RON STEWART, 45, first-year coach of the Los Angeles Kings, who had a 31-34-15 regular-season record and two playoff losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stewart will be replaced by BOB BERRY, 34, a Los Angeles left wing from 1970 to '77.

NAMED: Basketball coach at Florida State University, JOE WILLIAMS, 44, whose Furman teams have won five Southern Conference titles in the last eight years.

RULED: Unconstitutional by the Illinois Appellate Court in Chicago, a state law banning messenger-betting services. The Attorney General's Office says it will appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court.

DIED: In a plane crash southeast of Indianapolis, seven U.S. Auto Club officials: FRANK DEL ROY, RAY MARQUETTE, SHIM MALONE, STAN WORLEY, DON PEABODY, JODY PHILLIPS, RUSS TEEGARDEN, along with BRUCE WHITE, USAC medical staffer, and DON MULLENDORE, pilot.