PRO BASKETBALL—In a matchup of division leaders, San Antonio edged the 76ers 100-94 in Philadelphia, despite a 31-point effort from Doug Collins, who scored 25 a game during the week. The loss ended the 76ers' winning streak at four and dropped them a half game behind Washington in the Atlantic Division. The Spurs, who won three times to maintain a 1½-game Central Division lead over Houston, saw their eight-game winning streak end in Atlanta. John Drew, who had 27 points the night before in a 124-101 loss to San Antonio, scored 28 in the 115-107 Hawk victory. Drew later poured in a career-high 50 points in a 113-87 romp over Denver, which failed to win in four attempts and trails Midwest Division leader Kansas City by four games. The Kings dropped three of four, including a 112-108 decision to New York, which won three in a row with a revamped lineup, Glen Gondrezick and Mike Glenn replacing high-scoring Bob McAdoo and Ray Williams. In the Pacific Division, Seattle, which ended a six-game skid with a 122-103 defeat of New Orleans and then beat Phoenix 119-92, leads the second-place Suns by 15 percentage points. Phoenix, which won three of four, defeated Portland 129-127 in overtime in a game that featured a 42-point performance by Walter Davis and broke a string of five straight Blazer wins. Third-place Los Angeles, which is only 25 percentage points out of first, beat Portland 118-95.
BOWLING—KEVIN GANNON of Long Beach, Calif. defeated Gary Strand of Madison, Wis. 224-211 to win the $23,000 National Resident Pro Championship in Queens, N.Y. and a berth in the 1979 Firestone Tournament of Champions.
BOXING—KIM SANG-HYUN of South Korea won the WBC super lightweight title in Seoul on a 13th-round knockout of defending champion Saensak Maugsurin of Thailand.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—Alabama held off Penn State's bid for No. 1 ranking with a 14-7 victory in the Sugar Bowl. Paced by Quarterback Mark Herrmann, who threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Purdue broke to a 34-7 lead and went on to trounce Georgia Tech 41-21 in the Peach Bowl. In the Fiesta Bowl, Quarterback Steve Bukich's 15-yard scoring run midway through the final period lifted UCLA into a 10-10 tie with Arkansas. Clemson's Charlie Bauman intercepted an Art Schlichter pass with 1:59 remaining to preserve the Tigers' 17-15 victory over Ohio State in the Gator Bowl. Other results: it was Stanford 25, Georgia 22 in the Bluebonnet; Notre Dame 35, Houston 34 in the Cotton; Southern California 17, Michigan 10 in the Rose; and Oklahoma 31, Nebraska 24 in the Orange (page 14).
PRO FOOTBALL—Pittsburgh routed Denver 33-10 and Houston beat New England 31-14 to advance to the AFC title game. In the NFC, it was Dallas 27, Atlanta 20 and Los Angeles 34, Minnesota 10 (page 16).
HOCKEY—NHL: The Islanders, losers of only one game in their last 25 and undefeated on home ice this season, increased their Patrick Division lead to nine points by beating Toronto 5-1 and Atlanta 10-4 and 4-2. In the first victory over the Flames, Mike Bossy, who leads the league in goals with 30, had a hat trick and an assist, and Brian Trottier, whose 60 points are tied with those of Montreal's Guy Lafleur in the NHL scoring race, had a goal and four assists. In the second, Bossy added two goals, and Trottier scored once as he stretched his consecutive-game point-scoring streak to 16. Lafleur, who has had at least one point in 17 straight games, scored again in the Canadiens 6-1 victory over Adams Division leader Boston, which had gone eight games without a loss. Montreal, unbeaten in 15 games, leads the Norris Division by 22 points over Pittsburgh, which was 2-0 and knocked Los Angeles out of second with a 3-3 tie on Wayne Bianchin's two goals and an assist. Smythe Division leader Chicago, winner of only two of its last 10 outings, split two games and maintained a two-point lead over second-place Vancouver.
WHA: For the second straight week, New England and Quebec remained tied for first, and only five points separated the league's four other teams. Before dropping a 2-1 decision to Cincinnati, the Whalers beat Birmingham 5-0, as Al Smith got his first shutout of the season, and the Czechoslovakian All-Stars 10-4. Against the Czechs, Andre Lacroix had a hat trick, Mark Howe a goal and four assists, and John McKenzie two goals. The following night, the Nordiques' Richard Brodeur shut out the Czechs 4-0. Quebec also defeated Birmingham, 3-2, as Real Cloutier, the league's top scorer with 60 points, had a pair of goals, including the game-winner. Edmonton, winner of five of its last seven games, made the Czechs 0-3 against the WHA. Ron Chipperfield, who had five goals and two assists in three games, scored three times in the 5-1 victory.
HORSE RACING—DARRELL McHARGUE rode three winners at Santa Anita on the final day of the year, enabling him to break Steve Cauthen's record for earnings. McHargue finished with $6,188,353, breaking the year-old mark of $6,151,750. The 24-year-old went into the final day needing $15,323 to break the record and went over the top by taking the winner's purse of $8,800 in the $16,000 seventh race with a 9-to-2 shot, Syncopate. He then won with Sweet Little Lady in the $54,800 Las Flores Handicap.
SKIING—RAISA SMETANINA of the Soviet Union won the season's second women's Nordic World Cup cross-country race, finishing in 18:9.33 in a five-kilometer race in Furtwangen, West Germany. Marit Myrmal of Norway was second (page 42).
TENNIS—TIM WILKISON beat Kim Warwick 6-3, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2 to win the $228,000 New South Wales Championship in Sydney.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: By Ohio State, Football Coach Woody Hayes, 65, who had a 28-year record of 205-61-10.
HIRED: By the University of Minnesota to replace fired Football Coach Cal Stoll, JOE SALEM, 40, who had a 26-17 record at Northern Arizona.
DIED: Jockey NICK NAVARRO, 25; after being struck by lightning following a race at Calder; in Miami. Navarro was third in the standings at the fall meeting.
George McQuinn, 68, former first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees; of a stroke; in Alexandria, Va. A six-time All-Star, McQuinn hit safely in 34 straight games in 1938 and batted .438 for the Browns in the 1944 World Series.
Thomas Bolles, 76, former rowing coach (1937-51) and athletic director (1951-70) at Harvard; of a heart attack; in Raleigh, N.C. While he was coach, the Crimson won two Grand Challenge Cups at Henley and three Eastern sprint championships, and in 1947 his varsity boat won the Lake Washington Regatta 2,000-meter sprint in a world record 5:49.
John Mauer, 77, former basketball coach at Kentucky (1928-30), Miami of Ohio (1931-37), Tennessee (1938-47), Army (1948-51) and Florida (1952-60); of a circulatory ailment; in Knoxville, Tenn. Mauer had a career record of 344-272 and his Tennessee team won two SEC titles.