PRO BASKETBALL—NBA: The league's biggest win of the week came when a nationally televised Laker-Celtic game drew a rating of 8.5 and an audience share of 24%, beating the Syracuse-Purdue game (aired concurrently on another network) by 3.2 points and 9%—a rare win for the pros. Philadelphia, winner of eight straight, stayed half a game ahead of Boston in the Atlantic Division as Julius Erving scored 112 points in four games. Atlanta saw its Central Division lead shrink to three over the Spurs as the Hawks lost 111-108 to San Diego, 101-99 to Phoenix on an eight-foot jump shot by Walter Davis at the buzzer and 108-102 to Los Angeles. Spur George Gervin, who leads the league's scorers with 33.4 points a game, had 121 points in just three games. Kansas City, atop the Midwest by three games over Milwaukee, beat New Jersey 120-101 and lost to Chicago 111-109. The Kings went on to defeat Milwaukee 112-108 and fall to Indiana 108-103 as the Pacers won their fourth in a row. Seattle maintained a 1½-game lead over L.A. in the Pacific Division with victories over Golden State (109-101), Washington (120-100) and New York (124-117), where the Knicks blew a 20-point lead to lose their sixth straight game. It was the Super-Sonics' sixth consecutive win. San Diego had a six-game streak, too, until it lost 92-91 to Golden State. It seemed the Clippers had tied that game when, with two seconds remaining and the score 92-89, San Diego's Freeman Williams hit a shot from the right corner that Referee Bob Rakel called a three-pointer. However, Rakel's colleague, Leroy Alexander, who was closer to Williams, ruled that Williams had toed the three-point line as he shot—thus making his goal a mere two-pointer. By scoring 16 points in a 122-112 loss to the Nets, Houston's Rick Barry became only the fifth player—Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek and Jerry West are the others—to score 25,000 in his pro career.
WBL: Iowa (14-5) maintained a half-game lead over Minnesota in the Midwest Division. New York increased its Eastern lead to six games over St. Louis, whose guard Liz Silcott leads the WBL in scoring with 33.5 points a game. In the West, San Francisco is on top with a record of 12-8, and the league took over the operation of the Dallas franchise until a new owner for the Diamonds can be found.
BOWLING—GARY DICKINSON of Fort Worth, Texas beat Ernie Schlegel 217-198 in the finals of a $125,000 tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
PRO FOOTBALL—PITTSBURGH beat Los Angeles 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena (page 10).
GOLF—JEFF MITCHELL won the $300,000 Phoenix Open with a 12-under-par 272 for his first PGA win. Rik Massengale finished second at 276.
HOCKEY—NHL: Philadelphia, which leads the league with 70 points, came within four seconds of losing at Washington before Bobby Clarke tied the score at 4-4. The Flyers have not fallen to the Capitols in 22 games over six seasons, and have a streak of 24 wins at home. Buffalo, the NHL's second-best club, with 62 points, tied Vancouver 2-2 and defeated L.A. 4-2, while third-place Boston extended its winning streak to five with a hard-hitting 6-3 victory over New York. After wins over Atlanta, 3-2, Chicago, 6-1, and Toronto, 7-2, Montreal has won six straight. Guy La-fleur scored two goals twice, and brought his point total to 85, second in the league behind Los Angeles' Marcel Dionne. In the first meeting ever between Edmonton and Pittsburgh, a 5-2 Oiler win. Penguin Kim Clackson high-sticked Wayne Gretzky across the face and precipitated a half-hour-long brawl. Referees ejected eight players and handed out 191 minutes of penalties, while doctors gave Gretzky four stitches above his left eye. In that game Edmonton's Blair MacDonald scored his second NHL hat trick, and in an earlier 7-1 Penguin loss at Hartford, Whaler Jordy Douglas got his first. Rejuvenated Minnesota split two games with St. Louis, losing 2-1 and winning 7-3, and lost to Detroit 5-4.
HORSE RACING—SPECTACULAR BID ($2.10), Bill Shoemaker up, won the $108,300 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita (page 56).
MOTOR SPORTS—DARRELL WALTRIP, driving a Chevrolet Monte Carlo at an average speed of 94.974 mph, won the Western 500 at Riverside, Calif.
SPEED SKATING—ERIC HEIDEN set his third world record in the last two weeks by skating 1,500 meters in 1:54.79 at a meet in Davos, Switzerland. Heiden's time was .39 of a second better than the previous record established in 1977 by Jan Egil Storholt of Norway.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS beat Eliot Teltscher 6-3, 6-2 to win the $175,000 Birmingham (Ala.) International Indoor Tournament.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As coach by the Baltimore Colts, MIKE McCORMACK, 49, to replace the fired Ted Marchibroda. McCormack, a former All-Pro guard with the Cleveland Browns (1954-62), had a 16-25-1 record as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973-75.
HIRED: As football coach at Arizona State, DARRYL ROGERS, 44, who had a four-season record of 24-18-2 at Michigan State.
SUSPENDED: By the New York State Athletic Commission following an investigation into the death on Nov. 28 of boxer Willie Classen, who was fatally injured five days before in a bout with Wilford Scypion at Madison Square Garden, MARCO MINUTO, Classen's manager, for one year; and LEW ESKIN, the referee in the fight, and cornermen AL LaCAVA and MIKE CAPRIANO, for six months each.
TRADED: By the San Antonio Spurs, Center BILLY PAULTZ, 31, to the Houston Rockets for Center/Forward JOHN SHUMATE, a third-round 1980 draft choice and an undisclosed amount of cash.
WAIVED: By the Utah Jazz, former NBA scoring leader PETE MARAVICH, 31. The Jazz will pay Maravich $1.8 million for the 2½ years remaining on his $3 million contract, signed in 1977.
DIED: HARLAN HOOSIER, a 13-year-old boxer from Beauty, Ky., of brain contusions six days after a Jan. 12 amateur bout, in Huntington, W. Va. The fight, which was held in Lenore, W. Va. and which Hoosier won, was not sanctioned by the AAU, under whose rules headgear, which Hoosier was not wearing, would have been mandatory. He was the fourth U.S. boxer in two months to die of injuries related to the ring.
DIED: Welterweight CHARLES NEWELL, 26, of brain damage suffered in a bout against Marlon Starling at the Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center on Jan. 9. Newell, an inmate at Connecticut's Enfield Correctional Institution, was knocked out in the seventh round of the fight and never regained consciousness.