PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: Despite 50 points from Utah's Adrian Dantley, Los Angeles handed the Jazz their 14th straight defeat, 122-118. But three nights later Dantley's 39 points were enough as Utah beat Golden State 112-104 for its third victory of the season. The Jazz then made it two in a row by surprising Seattle 97-95. Earlier the Sonics had won twice behind the hot shooting of Gus Williams. He hit for 37 points in a 107-102 defeat of Kansas City and 41 in a 127-116 victory over the Suns, who trail the first-place Sonics in the Pacific Division by .013. John Drew poured in 40 points, one more than San Antonio's George Gervin, to lift the Hawks to a 143-120 win over the Spurs and into first place in the Central Division. Milwaukee increased its Midwest Division lead to six games by upending Indiana 87-79 and Golden State 109-99. Those victories followed a 118-93 loss to New Jersey, which got 35 points from Mike Newlin. In a subsequent 127-118 win over Denver, Newlin had 39. Philadelphia knocked off Cleveland 117-105 for its sixth straight victory, but the Sixers could pick up only half a game on Boston in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics, who also have won six in a row, defeated Denver 119-97 behind Larry Bird's 29 points and Chris Ford's five three-pointers, and New York 100-97 to remain unbeaten at home. They then traveled to Indianapolis, where they edged the Pacers 106-102 in overtime.
WBL: Iowa's Machine Gun Molly Bolin, the league's top scorer with 35.7 points per game, had 25 in an 89-88 win over Milwaukee and 44 in a 122-111 defeat of Chicago to keep the Cornets unbeaten. Houston, the only other undefeated team, beat Milwaukee twice 107-98 and 74-62 and New Jersey 97-87.
BOXING—SUGAR RAY LEONARD stopped Wilfred Benitez in the 15th round to win the WBC welterweight title in Las Vegas. On the same card, VITO ANTUOFERMO retained his world middleweight crown by fighting to a draw with Marvin Hagler. MARVIN JOHNSON won the WBA light heavyweight championship with an 11th-round KO of Victor Galindez in New Orleans (page 26).
FIELD HOCKEY—CAL STATE LONG BEACH beat Penn State 2-0 in Princeton, N.J. to win the AIAW Division I championship.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—ITHACA (N.Y.) COLLEGE beat Wittenberg of Ohio 14-10 in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl to win the Division HI title. In Division I-A play Houston won a trip to the Cotton Bowl by routing Rice 63-0 while Texas A&M was upsetting Texas 13-7. Pittsburgh rallied to beat Penn State 29-14, Navy trounced Army 31-7 and undefeated Alabama secured a Sugar Bowl bid by knocking off Auburn 25-18.
PRO FOOTBALL—Mike Pruitt carried the ball 25 times for 111 yards and scored twice as Cleveland beat Houston 14-7. The loss dropped the Oilers out of a tie for the AFC Central lead with Pittsburgh, which was a 37-17 winner over Cincinnati. Steeler Quarterback Terry Bradshaw completed 17 of 29 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns—both by Lynn Swann (page 98)—and Franco Harris, who picked up 92 yards on 20 carries, surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the seventh time. Only Jim Brown has had as many 1,000-yard seasons. Harris also moved past Joe Perry into fourth place on the career rushing list with 8,404 yards. Quarterback Steve Bartkowski completed five of six passes in the final 2:05 of play, including a six-yard TD throw to Wallace Francis with 21 seconds remaining, to boost Atlanta to a 28-26 upset of San Diego. The Chargers, who wasted Dan Fouts' sixth 300-yard passing performance of the season, are now tied for first in the AFC West with Denver. The Broncos moved into the deadlock by beating Buffalo 19-16. Although the Denver defense forced seven turnovers, the outcome was in doubt until the offense moved 40 yards in the final 18 seconds to set up Jim Turner's game-winning 32-yard field goal. Philadelphia crushed Detroit 44-7 to stay a game up on Dallas and Washington in the NFC East and clinch at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs. Leading the Eagles were Harold Carmichael, who grabbed five passes for 96 yards and a pair of TDs, Wilbert Montgomery, who rambled for 108 yards on 22 carries, and a stingy defense that held the Lions to only five first downs. Joe Theismann's four touchdown passes lifted the Redskins to a 38-21 come-from-behind win over Green Bay, and Dallas rolled over the Giants 28-7 behind Roger Staubach's three TD passes to Drew Pearson. For the second straight week Tampa Bay failed to clinch the NFC Central title. This time the Bucs lost 14-0 to Chicago, which converted a blocked punt and an interception into touchdowns. With almost seven minutes gone in overtime and the ball on the Minnesota five-yard line, Los Angeles lined up for a field-goal attempt. But instead of putting the ball down for Frank Corral to kick, holder Nolan Cromwell swept around left end for the score, giving the Rams a 27-21 victory. In other games, St. Louis beat San Francisco 13-10; Kansas City upset Seattle 37-21; the Jets, who had lost 30-7 on Monday night to the Seahawks, defeated Baltimore 30-17; and Miami regained sole possession of first in the AFC East by upending New England 39-24 (page 88).
HOCKEY—It took 62 years and 17,267 NHL games, but it finally happened. Early in the third period in Denver, after the Rockies had pulled their goalie, New York Goaltender Bill Smith made a save that sent the puck sliding to the left of the cage. There Colorado's Rob Ramage took it and attempted to pass it to a teammate. Instead, the puck sailed the length of the ice into the vacant Colorado net, and Smith, the last Islander to touch it, became the first goalie in league history to be credited with a goal. But Smith's score wasn't nearly enough, as Colorado, which had never beaten the Islanders, won 7-4. Paced by Reggie Leach, who scored twice, the Flyers beat Hartford 6-2. Philadelphia, which leads the league with 38 points, then edged Minnesota 6-4 and tied Toronto 4-4 to extend its unbeaten streak to 20 games. Boston, Buffalo and Montreal are tied for second in points with 33. After beating the Canadiens 4-2, the Bruins lost 6-3 to Detroit and 5-2 to the Sabres. Buffalo, which has won seven of its last eight games, defeated Minnesota 6-2 and the Rangers 2-1. Following its loss to Boston, Montreal edged St. Louis 3-2 and skated to 4-4 ties with Hartford and the Red Wings. Gary McAdam had a hat trick and Greg Ma-lone contributed six assists as Pittsburgh increased Quebec's winless string to six with a 7-2 triumph. The score and the outcome were the same when the Nordiques later faced Washington, which had gone 10 games without a victory.
MARATHON—TOSHIHIKO SEKO ran a 2:10:35 to win Japan's Fukuoka Marathon for the second straight year. Shigeru Soh finished two seconds behind him.
TENNIS—HANA MANDLIKOVA defeated Wendy Turnbull 6-3, 6-2 to win a $110,000 tournament in Melbourne, Australia.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As coach of the NFL St. Louis Cardinals, BUD WILKINSON, after he rejected a suggestion by team president William Bidwill to start backup Quarterback Steve Pisarkiewicz in place of regular signal-caller Jim Hart. Wilkinson had a two-season record of 9-20. Former Cardinal Safety LARRY WILSON was named as an interim replacement.
HIRED: As football coach at Oregon State, JOE AVEZZANO, 36, who had been offensive coordinator at Tennessee for the past three seasons.
As football coach at Louisiana State, ROBERT (Bo) REIN, 34, who guided North Carolina State to a 27-18-1 record over the past four seasons.
NAMED: Winner of the National League's Rookie of the Year award, Pitcher RICK SUTCLIFFE, 23, of Los Angeles. The righthander was 17-10 last season and had a 3.46 ERA.
Co-winners of the American League's Rookie of the Year award, Minnesota Third Baseman JOHN CASTINO, 25, who hit .285 with 52 RBIs, and Toronto Shortstop ALFREDO GRIFFIN, 22, a .287 batter with 20 stolen bases.
TRADED: To San Diego, Second Baseman DAVE CASH, 31, a .287 lifetime batter who hit .321 for Montreal last season, for Outfielder-First Baseman DANNY BRIGGS, 27, a .207 hitter in 1979, and Infielder BILL ALMON, 27, who had a .227 average.
SEPARATED: Former Olympic decathlon champion BRUCE JENNER and his wife, CHRYSTIE.
DIED: Middleweight WILLIE CLASSEN, 28; as a result of head injuries incurred during a bout on Nov. 23 with Wilford Scypion; in New York.