PRO BASKETBALL—It was early December last season before Utah won its seventh game; this year the Jazz did it a month quicker. With Darrell Griffith, early favorite for Rookie of the Year, and NBA scoring leader Adrian Dantley, who's canning 36.0 points per game, shooting up four Western Conference opponents last week, the Jazz ran its record to 7-5. Utah beat Dallas twice, 104-96 and 144-122, as Dantley had 28 and 50 points and Griffith 33 and 37. In a 109-96 win over the Spurs, Dantley outscored Griffith 38-27, but it was Griffith who pressed defending scoring champ George Gervin into four-for-23 shooting. Griffith also led the Jazz to a 95-87 victory over Portland with 27 second-half points. Balanced scoring carried the Central Division-leading Bucks to a 4-0 week, which they needed to stay ahead of 3-0 Indiana. Only one Milwaukee player scored as many as 20 points in wins over Washington (111-88), Chicago (106-99) and New Jersey (132-116), though in a 99-93 victory over Atlanta, Marques Johnson (page 40) came up with 27. The same night that the Bucks' winning streak reached nine, Philadelphia got to eight as the 76ers defeated Boston 117-113 in overtime on Julius Erving's 45 points, the most he has ever scored in an NBA game. Earlier the Sixers had beaten Cleveland 119-101, Chicago 115-102 and Atlanta 107-96 to supplant the Knicks atop the Atlantic Division. New York remained close, however, by defeating the Bullets 111-93 and the Hawks 116-115. The win over the Hawks came in overtime when league assist leader (9.1 per game) Michael Ray Richardson put in an offensive rebound with six seconds left. In the Pacific Division, Phoenix pulled a game ahead of the Lakers with a 105-89 victory over San Diego and a 103-98 overtime win against Detroit. In the Suns' 127-100 triumph over K.C., the Kings became the first team in seven games to score as many as 100 points against Phoenix. The third-place Warriors gave Coach Al Attles his 450th career win, 123-108 over San Antonio, but struggled in a 120-104 loss to San Diego in which the Clippers' Swen Nater held 7'2" rookie Joe Barry Carroll to one point and three rebounds.
BOWLING—WAYNE WEBB defeated Jim Winklepleck 193-191 in the finals to win a $100,000 PBA event in Greenwood, Ind.
BOXING—JIM WATT stopped Sean O'Grady on a TKO in the 12th round in Glasgow, Scotland to retain his WBC lightweight title.
PRO FOOTBALL—New England took a one-game lead over Buffalo in the AFC East by defeating the Jets 34-21 while the Bills were losing 30-14 to Atlanta. The Patriots sacked Quarterback Richard Todd six times, and Roland James returned a Jet punt 75 yards for a touchdown as New England ran its record to 7-2. Buffalo, which blew a 14-0 advantage, turned the ball over five times and saw Atlanta's league-leading rushing defense limit Joe Cribbs to 31 yards. The Falcons remained tied for the NFC West lead with Los Angeles, a 45-31 winner over the 0-9 Saints. Detroit and Philadelphia, the two other NFC division leaders, needed last-quarter TDs to win, the Lions defeating San Francisco 17-13 on an eight-yard keeper by Quarterback Gary Danielson and the Eagles edging Seattle 27-20 on a five-yard pass from Ron Jaworski to Running Back Billy Camp-field. Detroit's victory came in spite of a 101-yard kick-off return by the 49ers' James Owens, a 1976 Olympian in the 110-meter hurdles. Dallas, one game behind the Eagles in the East, also had to bail itself out, winning 27-24 over St. Louis when Danny White threw a 28-yard TD pass to Tony Hill in the final minute. In the AFC, San Diego beat the Bengals 31-14 and Oakland defeated Miami 16-10 to remain deadlocked atop the West. Charger Safety Pete Shaw had three interceptions and Quarterback Dan Fouts threw touchdown passes to Kellen Winslow, and John Jefferson, the AFC's two top receivers with 52 catches apiece. Jim Plunkett passed for a pair of TDs in the Raiders' win. Houston, behind Earl Campbell's 157 rushing yards, took over the Central Division lead with a 20-16 defeat of Denver, but Pittsburgh showed signs of life, ending its three-game losing streak with a 22-20 win over Green Bay (page 26). In other games, the Vikings, with Steve Dils at quarterback, routed Washington 39-14; Baltimore ended Kansas City's four-game winning streak 31-24; Tampa Bay scored 13 points in the 48 seconds before halftime to beat the Giants 30-13; and the Dolphins lost to the Jets on Monday night 17-14.
HOCKEY—The Kings were reigning over the NHL after a week of brawls and ties. With Charlie Simmer, Marcel Dionne and Dave Taylor, the league's top three scorers, combining for 14 goals and 11 assists, Los Angeles (17 points) moved ahead of Philadelphia's born-again bullies (16) and St. Louis (15) with three wins and a tie—one of 12 played in the week's 33 games. Simmer scored twice and Dionne assisted twice in L.A.'s 4-4 deadlock with Edmonton, while Taylor had a hat trick in an 8-4 victory over Colorado. After the Kings' defense held Washington to 11 shots in the last two periods of a 4-2 triumph, the Triple Crown line members again were the stars, scoring five of L.A.'s goals in a 7-3 win over the Islanders. Philadelphia's main weapons in its 2-0-2 week were Left Wing Bill Barber and barbarism, with Barber getting three goals and three assists in a 6-1 win over Hartford and a 3-3 tie with Quebec and his teammates brawling their way through an 8-0 shutout of Calgary and a 3-3 tie with the Rangers. The Flyers and Flames amassed 216 penalty minutes, 73 more than Philly and the Rangers. New York's Anders Hedberg, who scored the tying goal against the Flyers and four goals as the Rangers beat Detroit 7-6, was shut out in a 5-4 loss to St. Louis in which Blues rookie Jorgen Pettersson had a hat trick. The Blues needed two last-period goals to tie Minnesota 2-2 and lost 3-2 to Calgary in their worst week so far this season. The Sabres and Black Hawks, on the other hand, had their best weeks to date, with two wins and a tie apiece, and Vancouver continued its best start (6-3-2) since 1974-75 by defeating Toronto 8-5 and tying Quebec 3-3 and Hartford 4-4. The Whalers' good news was their re-signing of free agent Blaine Stoughton, a 56-goal scorer for them last season.
HORSE RACING—LORD AVIE ($2.80), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, won the $250,000 Young America Stakes at the Meadowlands by 1½ lengths over Sezyou. The 2-year-old colt covered the 1[1/16] in 1:44[3/5].
Heavenly Cause ($5.20), Laffit Pincay Jr. in the irons, defeated Rainbow Connection by 2¼ lengths to win the $167,860 Selima Stakes at Laurel Race Course. The 2-year-old filly's time for the 1[1/16] miles was 1:43[2/5].
Cash Asmussen rode PLUGGED NICKLE ($5.20) to a six-length victory over Dr. Patches in the $114,800 Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct, galloping the 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles in 1:50[1/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH, averaging 131.19 mph, drove his Chevrolet to a 2.01-second victory over Neil Bonnett's Mercury in a $205,350 NASCAR 500-mile race in Hampton, Ga.
TENNIS—The United States defeated Great Britain 5-2 to win the Wightman Cup in London.
Jimmy Connors defeated Tom Gullikson 6-1, 6-2 to win a $300,000 tournament in Tokyo.
Bob Lutz won a $75,000 tournament in Cologne, West Germany by defeating Nick Saviano 6-4, 6-0 in the finals.
MILEPOSTS—FOUNDED: By the Formula I Constructors Organization (FOCA), a group of racing teams dissatisfied with the administration of Grand Prix racing by the International Auto Sport Federation (FISA), a $10 million series of 15 races beginning in February to rival that of the FISA. FOCA's drivers include Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet and Carlos Reutemann, the FISA's top three drivers in 1980.
HIRED: To manage the Boston Red Sox, former Yankee (1961-63; 1966-73) and Tiger (1974-78) skipper RALPH HOUK, 61, whose career record for 16 seasons is 1,307-1,249.
TRADED: By the Cleveland Cavaliers, Forward BILL ROBINZINE, 27, and first-round draft choices in 1983 and 1986, to the Dallas Mavericks for Forward RICHARD WASHINGTON, 25, and Center JEROME WHITEHEAD, 24. The Cavaliers also sent Center DAVE ROBISCH, 30, to Denver in exchange for Center KIM HUGHES, 28, second-round draft picks in 1981 and 1982 and a third-round selection in 1981.
DIED: Former Washington Redskin Linebacker (1969-78) HAROLD McLINTON, 33, of complications following an Oct. 1 hit-and-run accident in which he was struck by a passing car while giving directions to the driver of another automobile alongside a Washington, D.C. highway.