PRO BASKETBALL—With Coach Gene Shue suspended for swinging at a ref, San Diego Assistant Coach Bob Weiss stepped in to get his first victory in the NBA. And his second and third. Lloyd Free, the league's second-leading scorer (31.3 points per game) had 33, 39 and 32 points, respectively, in defeats of Milwaukee. Golden State and Utah. Swen Nater. second in the league in rebounding, with a 15.3 average, had 17 against the Warriors and 28 against the Jazz as the Clippers climbed to fourth in the Pacific, eight games behind division-leading Seattle. In Boston, backup Center Rick Robey knew what to do when he was forced into service in the first quarter of a game against Central Division leader Atlanta after Dave Cowens had been ejected as the result of a slugfest with the Hawks' Tree Rollins. "It's as simple as one, two, three." explained Celtic Coach Bill Fitch. "One. rebound; two, play defense: and three, score." Robey grabbed 10 of No. 1. did plenty of No. 2 and had 22 of No. 3 as the Celtics won 108-93. bringing their record at home to 18-1 and avenging their only Boston Garden loss of the season. The Celts held on to a game lead in the Atlantic over the 76ers. even though Philadelphia had won eight of its last nine games and 18 of 22. After beating both the Knicks 111-108 and the Nets 108-105, the Sixers handed Washington its first loss in five games, 119-106 as seven Sixers scored in double figures. Kansas City played Chicago at home, and blew the Bulls away 104-83. stopping them cold—0 for 15 from the floor; 11 points—in the second quarter and got 48 points from Bill McKinney and Bill Robinzine. A later 112-99 victory over Denver gave the Kings their 15th win in 19 outings and a 1½ game lead over Milwaukee in the Midwest. Thirteen fourth-quarter points by Junior Bridgeman—including a decisive three-point play with 21 seconds remaining—paced the Bucks to a 109-107 defeat of the Knicks. Joe Hassett hit four straight three-pointers as Indiana ran up a 43-point fourth quarter and beat Detroit 122-109. That was the Pistons' 11th straight road loss and their 24th defeat in 25 away games. Houston won its fourth straight while handing Cleveland its seventh straight loss. 112-96. Moses Malone, the NBA's leading rebounder (15.7 per game), grabbed 21 in an earlier 118-115 defeat of the Cavs and scored 72 points in the two games against Cleveland. San Antonio's George Gervin turned in the best scoring performance of the season—53 points. But it took James Silas' two free throws with: 16 remaining to give the Spurs, who lead the league in scoring but are last in defense, a 137-134 victory over Denver. "We only won because their defense was worse than ours." said Gervin.
BOWLING—WAYNE WEBB won the $135,000 Showboat Invitational at Las Vegas 278-249 over Mark Roth.
HOCKEY—'We didn't lose," said Philadelphia Coach Pat Quinn. "we got beat." Whichever, the Flyers' 35-game streak—25 victories and 10 ties without a loss dating to Oct. 14—had ended. With a bang. Playing before a record crowd of 15,962 at Minnesota's Met Center. Philly was done in by the North Stars, who got goals from seven players in their 7-1 victory. A 6-2 win over Hartford two nights later extended the North Stars' unbeaten streak at home to 13 games. But on Saturday. Minnesota played host to Marcel Dionne of Los Angeles, the league's leading scorer with 88 points and 36 goals. Dionne, who had had three goals and an assist in a 4-4 tie with Winnipeg, had another hat trick and two assists to beat Minnesota 6-5. The Flyers flew back to Philadelphia to face Winnipeg and for two periods appeared headed for another loss. Behind in the third, they erupted with a fury, scoring four goals in a 2:50 span—two seconds better than the previous club record—to beat the Jets 5-4. Then it was on to Montreal, where the Canadiens. after an 18-16-6 first half of the season, seemed determined not to lose in the second half. After defeating Edmonton 4-3 and Toronto 5-3, the Canadiens beat the Flyers 4-3 and brought their point total to 48. That's still 16 points behind the league-leading Flyers and 11 behind the team now being guided by former Montreal Coach Scott Bowman. Under Bowman. Buffalo is a solid 28-11-3. The Sabres defeated the Islanders 3-2 and Colorado 4-3, despite being held to just 17 shots by the Rockies. St. Louis had its biggest scoring outburst of the season, getting eight in a victory over Quebec: the triumph was the Blues' eighth in their last 11 games. Don Maloney of New York got his first NHL hat trick, and Kent Nilsson of Atlanta got one, too, as the Rangers and Flames tied 5-5. The Flames' Garry Unger, who has scored three goals or more 10 times in his career, did it again against the Nordiques. He scored all four goals in Atlanta's 4-3 win. The Flames also lost, 5-3, to Boston in a game that saw the Bruins' Jean Ratelle become the eighth NHL player to get 1,200 career points. At Joe Louis Arena, a packed house was on hand to see Hartford's Gordie Howe (page 30) make his first regular-season appearance in Detroit since leaving the Red Wings in 1971. Perhaps inspired by the standing ovation received by Howe, the Whalers snapped a nine-game winless streak by a score of 6-4. The victory was Hartford's first on the road since Nov. 6.
SPEED SKATING—ERIC HEIDEN surpassed his world record in the 1,000-meter sprint by 1.39 with a 1:13.60 clocking at an international competition in Davos, Switzerland.
Natalia Petrusheva of the Soviet Union won the women's world all-round championship in Hamar, Norway with 179.046 points. 1.117 better than 1979 champion Beth Heiden of the United States.
TENNIS—BJORN BORG won the $400,000 Grand Prix Masters 6-2, 6-2 over Vitas Gerulaitis (page 20).
Tracy Austin defeated Chris Evert Lloyd for the third time in two weeks, 6-2, 6-1. to win a $150,000 women's tournament in Cincinnati.
TRACK—LARRY MYRICKS of Gainesville. Fla. set an indoor world record in the long jump of 27' 5¾" at the East Tennessee Invitational at Johnson City, surpassing Bob Beamon's 1968 record by three inches.
MILEPOSTS—ELECTED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame, Al KALINE, 45, who collected 3,007 hits and 399 home runs in 22 seasons as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers, was the youngest player ever to win a batting title when he hit .340 as a 20-year-old in 1955. and hit .379 in his only World Series, in 1968; and DUKE SNIDER, 53, who hit .295 in 18 seasons as an outfielder for the Brooklyn-Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-62), New York Mets (1963) and San Francisco Giants (1964), and had 40 homers or more in five consecutive seasons starting in 1953. In 36 World Series games for the Dodgers, he hit 11 home runs, the most ever by a National Leaguer.
FINED AND SUSPENDED: By NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien, GENE SHUE, coach of the San Diego Clippers, who was assessed $3,500 and banned from any contact with his team for one week without pay for striking at Referee Dick Bavetta.
HIRED: As football coach by Georgia Tech, BILL CURRY, 37, offensive line coach of the Green Bay Packers since 1977, replacing Pepper Rodgers, who was fired.
MISSING: In the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Charles, Va., ROBERT E. (Bo) REIN, 34, newly appointed football coach at Louisiana State University, whose small plane mysteriously crashed in the Atlantic on a flight that was supposed to take him from Shreveport, La. to Baton Rouge. Rein and Pilot Lewis Benscotter are both presumed to be dead. Rein was a halfback at Ohio State (1964-66) and coached North Carolina State to a 27-18-1 record in his four seasons as head coach (1976-79). JERRY STOVALL, 38, assistant to the LSU athletic director, was chosen as Rein's successor.
NAMED: By the Professional Football Writers of America as the NFL's Most Valuable Player for an unprecedented second straight year. Houston Oiler Running Back EARL CAMPBELL, who led the league with 1,697 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns.
The LPGA Player of the Year for the second straight time, NANCY LOPEZ, 22, who earned $215,987 in 22 official and unofficial events and won nine tournaments.
By the AIAW as the outstanding women's college athlete of 1979, NANCY LIEBERMAN, 21, a guard on the Old Dominion University basketball team.
PLEADED GUILTY: In U.S. District Court in Little Rock, Ark., former Jockey ANTONIO AGILAR of Jackson, Ark., to one count of conspiracy arising from charges of race-fixing at Pocono Downs in 1974. Agilar has had his case transferred from Harrisburg, Pa.
DIED: TIM WILLIAMSON, 23, 1979 Rookie of the Year in NASCAR's Western circuit, of massive chest injuries suffered in a crash during the Stock Products 300 at Riverside International Raceway.