PRO BASKETBALL—Midway through the Lakers' 107-94 win over Kansas City, Magic Johnson, while cutting on defense, suffered torn left-knee cartilage, leaving Los Angeles without the NBA's top assist man (8.8 per game) and 10th-leading scorer (22.4) for 10 to 12 weeks. In his absence, L.A. split two games with Phoenix and remained 1½ behind the division-leading Suns in the Pacific. After Walter Davis' 14 fourth-quarter points sparked a 102-99 Phoenix victory, three steals and 12 points in 18 minutes from newly acquired (from the Nets) Guard Eddie Jordan helped the Lakers to a 116-88 win. In the Atlantic Division, Boston went 3-1 to move past the Knicks (0-3) into second, but first-place Philadelphia swept four games and stretched its lead to 4½. Paced by Julius Erving's 30 points, the 76ers defeated the Knicks 113-99, and then Philly beat Golden State 110-101, Indiana 97-88 and the Midwest Division-leading Spurs 108-101. Larry Bird spearheaded the Celtics with 19 points and 18 rebounds in a 103-91 win over Indiana and 27 points in a 108-106 triumph over the Warriors. Boston also edged Chicago, 113-112, but lost 113-98 to Cleveland when the Cavs' Randy Smith, playing in his 700th straight game, scored 28. Houston also had a 3-1 week and jumped from fifth to third in the Midwest. With Moses Malone, the league's leading rebounder (15.5 per game) and second-best scorer (29.5), at or near his statistical averages in every game, the Rockets defeated Seattle 138-118, Cleveland 117-114 and New Jersey 116-108 before losing 129-120 to Indiana. The teams ahead of Houston, the Spurs and the Jazz, went a collective 1-4 even though San Antonio's George Gervin scored 112 points in three games and Utah's Adrian Dantley had 54 in two. One of the Jazz' losses was 126-93 to Milwaukee, which also won its 10th straight road game, 97-93 over the Trail Blazers, to finish the week five games ahead of the Pacers in the Central Division.
BOXING—YASUTSUNE UEHARA won a split decision over Leonel Hernandez in Tokyo to retain the WBA junior lightweight title.
Aaron Pryor successfully defended his WBA junior welterweight title with a sixth-round knockout of Gaetan Hart in Cincinnati.
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: Thanks to some last-ditch scoring, San Diego tied Oakland for first in the AFC West and the Browns pulled even with the Oilers in the AFC Central. The Chargers defeated Miami 27-24 on Rolf Benirschke's 28-yard field goal in overtime, while the Raiders lost 10-7 to NFC East-leading Philadelphia on a three-yard TD run by Wilbert Montgomery with just 2:56 remaining in regulation time (page 16). Oakland had used a late field goal by Chris Bahr to beat Seattle 19-17 on Monday night. Houston, after scoring four touchdowns in the final quarter to tie the Jets, lost 31-28 in overtime when New York's Pat Leahy kicked a 38-yarder. Ken Stabler threw for all four Houston TDs and a career-high 388 yards, but was intercepted four times. Cleveland had an easier time with Cincinnati, defeating the Bengals 31-7 as Brian Sipe passed for 310 yards and four touchdowns. The Browns and Oilers, at 8-4, hold a one-game lead over Pittsburgh, a 28-13 loser to Buffalo. Joe Ferguson tossed three TD passes and Curtis Brown ran 34 yards for another in the Bills' victory, which Buffalo needed to remain one game ahead of New England in the AFC East. Although sore-kneed Steve Grogan sat out a game for the first time since 1975, the Patriots scored on two fumble returns and an interception runback in beating Baltimore 47-21. The Colts' Bert Jones had to leave the game in the second quarter after reinjuring his right shoulder. Detroit regained the NFC Central lead by defeating Tampa Bay 24-10 while Minnesota was losing 25-13 to the Packers. Green Bay's Gerry Ellis and Eddie Lee Ivery rushed for more than 100 yards each, and Detroit's Billy Sims, the NFC leader with 1,118 yards on the ground, ran for a 21-yard touchdown. In other games, Atlanta, the NFC West leader, beat Chicago 28-17 on three Steve Bartkowski TD passes; J.T. Smith returned a punt 75 yards for a K.C. score in the Chiefs' 21-13 win over St. Louis; San Francisco defeated the Giants 12-0 to end an eight-game losing streak; Dallas beat Washington 14-10; and Denver won 36-20 over Seattle.
CFL: Edmonton won its third straight Grey Cup, defeating Hamilton 48-10, in Toronto.
GOLF—TOM WATSON shot a six-under-par 282 to win a $300,000 tournament in Miyazaki, Japan by two strokes over Mike Reid.
HARNESS RACING—NIATROSS, Clint Galbraith in the sulky, set a world pacing record for 1‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√±‚àö¬µ miles while winning the $98,500 final leg of the American Pacing Classic at Hollywood Park. The 3-year-old colt's time of 2:07[3/5] broke True Duane's 1966 mark of 2:09[1/5].
HOCKEY—After Mike Bossy's two assists and league-high 23rd goal, gave the Islanders a 6-4 win over the Rangers, the Isles were within one point of first-place Philadelphia, which won only once in four tries. The Islanders' 4-0-0 week included Glenn Resch's 5-0 shutout of Hartford, a 2-1 win over the North Stars—Minnesota's first home loss of the season—and a 7-2 rout of St. Louis. Against the Blues, Bossy had a hat trick, each goal set up by Clark Gillies and NHL-assist-leader Bryan Trottier. The Flyers' misfortune was having to face teams that were near the top or rising fast. Philly lost 1-0 to the Bruins, whose unbeaten streak was seven after a 4-2 victory over Colorado and a 2-2 tie with the Caps, and 7-3 to Montreal, which ran its undefeated string to eight games. Rejean Houle scored twice against the Flyers and did the same in the Canadiens' wins over Toronto, 5-4, and Detroit, 7-3. Minnesota, tied with Montreal for fifth place, tied the Flyers 1-1 on the sharp play of 19-year-old Goalie Don Beaupre, who also performed well in the Stars' loss to the Islanders. Philadelphia's only win was by a 5-1 score over the moribund Rangers. Dave Taylor rejoined the Kings after missing seven games with a sprained left shoulder and promptly scored two goals and had two assists in a 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs that left L.A. in third place, just two points behind the Flyers. Charlie Simmer put in his 20th and 21st goals in that win, while Marcel Dionne scored in a 3-2 victory over Vancouver and a 7-2 win over Winnipeg. The Jets, after an 0-4 week, had but a single win in 19 games.
HORSE RACING—TUNERUP ($3), ridden by Jacinto Vasquez, won the $137,650 Hawthorne Gold Cup by seven lengths over Pole Position at Hawthorne Raceway. The 4-year-old gelding covered the 1¼ miles in 2:00[3/5].
TENNIS—WOJTEK FIBAK won a $680,000 round-robin tournament in Dubai by beating Ilie Nastase 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Vijay Armitraj defeated Brian Teacher 6-3, 7-5 to win a $75,000 indoor tournament in Bangkok.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: RICK VENTURI, 34, who coached the Northwestern University football team to a 0-11 record in 1980 and a 1-31-1 mark over the last three seasons.
After only 18 games as coach of the Edmonton Oilers, BRYAN WATSON, 38, whose team was 4-9-5. General Manager Glen Sather, 37, took over as the team's interim coach.
MOVED: To Jacksonville, Fla., the NASL New England Tea Men, who ranked ninth in the league in attendance last season, with an average of 11,859.
NAMED: The American League's Most Valuable Player, Kansas City Third Baseman GEORGE BRETT, 27, whose .390 batting average was the highest in the majors since 1941. He had 24 home runs and 118 RBIs despite playing only 117 games because of injuries.
RESIGNED: After one season as manager of the Yankees, DICK HOWSER, 43, whose team won the American League East title with a 103-59 record but lost 3-0 in the playoffs to Kansas City. GENE MICHAEL, 42, will relinquish his job as Yankee general manager and replace Howser.
New York Ranger Coach FRED SHERO, 55, whose team got off to a 4-13-3 start this season and who had a three-year record with New York of 82-74-24. Ranger Director of Operations Craig Patrick, 34, was named interim coach.
DIED: CONN SMYTHE, 85, former owner (1927-60) of the Toronto Maple Leafs and a member of the NHL Hall of Fame; of a heart attack at his home in Toronto. A feisty promoter who often feuded with other owners, he built Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 and saw seven of his teams win the Stanley Cup.