PRO BASKETBALL—The question in Detroit was, could the Pistons, tied for first place with Milwaukee in the Central Division, cope with the loss of star Forward Kelly Tripucka (knee injury) for six to eight weeks? Tripucka went down during the first quarter of a 122-112 loss to red-hot Kansas City, winner of six of seven—good enough to take the lead in the Midwest Division over San Antonio. And what of Seattle? How could the Pacific Division-leading SuperSonics handle the loss of David Thompson, out indefinitely with an ailing knee? Early answers were provided by Terry Tyler and Phil Smith. Tyler replaced Tripucka in the Pistons' next outing and scored 32 points—11 of them in overtime—in a 132-118 victory over Portland. Smith, playing in Thompson's stead, had 16 points—all in the first half—to help Seattle to a 127-106 victory over Denver. In the Atlantic Division, Washington made a run at Philadelphia and Boston, tied for first. The Bullets shot up to third as Frank Johnson scored 30 points to trigger a 106-93 triumph over Phoenix and then killed off Indiana 87-85 with an 18-footer at the buzzer.
BOXING—LARRY HOLMES successfully defended his WBC heavyweight title for the 13th consecutive time with a unanimous 15-round decision over Randall (Tex) Cobb in the Astrodome (page 34).
CROSS-COUNTRY—PAT PORTER and LESLEY WELCH won the men's and women's titles, respectively, at the U.S. Championships at the Meadow-lands. Porter defeated Mark Scrutton by 17 seconds, running a 28:50 over the 10,000-meter course, while Welch ran 5,000 meters in 15:52 to beat Jan Merrill by 18 seconds (page 82); WISCONSIN won the NCAA Division I men's title by beating Providence College by 79 points in Bloomington, Ind. Colorado's Scrutton was the individual champion, with a time of 30:12.6 over the 10,000-meter course. VIRGINIA won the women's crown, as Cavalier sophomore Welch placed first with a 5,000-meter time of 16:39.7.
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: Two of last season's doormats, Seattle and New Orleans, continued to wipe up on notable opponents. The Seahawks won their second straight under Interim Coach Mike McCormack. The 16-0 victim: previously unbeaten Pittsburgh. The Saints, now 3-1, splashed past defending Super Bowl champ San Francisco 23-20 in heavy rain. While National Conference-leading Washington moved to 4-0 with a 13-9 win over Philadelphia (page 28), Dallas stayed on the Redskins' heels, roasting Cleveland 31-14 on Turkey Day. The New York Giants did a 13-9 number on Detroit that same afternoon, as Lawrence Taylor won it with a 97-yard, fourth-quarter interception return for a TD. The New York Jets booted Green Bay from the undefeated ranks 15-13 on Pat Leahy's 25-yard field goal, and Buffalo beat winless Baltimore 20-0. San Diego dropped Denver 30-20 as Kellen Winslow caught three TD tosses and Dan Fouts broke an NFL record with his 27th 300-yard passing game. New England defeated Houston 29-21 and Ottis Anderson ran for 122 yards and one score in the Cardinals' 23-20 upset in Atlanta. Tommy Kramer threw a career-high five touchdown passes—three to Wide Receiver Sammy White—in a 35-7 taming of the Chicago Bears. Wendell Tyler rambled for 138 yards and two scores as the Los Angeles Rams won 20-14 over Kansas City. And Cincinnati handed the Los Angeles Raiders their first defeat of the season, 31-17.
CFL: The Edmonton Eskimos won an unprecedented fifth straight Grey Cup, defeating the Toronto Argonauts 32-16 in Toronto as Edmonton Quarterback Warren Moon was named the game's MVP.
HOCKEY—The numbers were hardly in Hartford's favor when the Whalers visited Boston Garden. Hartford, last in the Adams Division with 13 points, stood little chance on the road against the Bruins, largely because of Pete Peeters, the NHL's leading goalie with a 2.35 goals-against average. And Peeters did his part against the Whalers, stopping all 16 Hartford shots in an 8-0 win, his second shutout of the season. The Bruins now trail first-place Montreal by only four points. Philadelphia, meanwhile, shone in a 4-0 shutout of Los Angeles, stretching its unbeaten string against L.A. to 31 games, dating back to Oct. 10, 1974, and moving the club to within four points of the slumping (3-7-5 in November) New York Islanders, leaders in the Patrick Division. Norris Division leader Chicago stayed hot: a 3-0 week made the Black Hawks 10-1-4 over the last 15 games, good enough for a four-point bulge over Minnesota. The Smythe Division-leading Edmonton Gretzkys upped their lead over L.A. to five points as The Great One ran his consecutive-game scoring streak to 26 games—two short of Guy Lafleur's record set in 1977.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Baltimore broke a three-way tie with Buffalo and New York by winning three straight, over Wichita (4-3), San Diego (6-3) and Memphis (5-2), to run its Eastern Division-leading record to 6-1. New York was next, thanks to wins over St. Louis (4-3) and Wichita (8-7). In the Western Division, Phoenix maintained its hold on first place with a 9-3 romp over Buffalo.
TENNIS—The United States defeated France 4-1 to win the Davis Cup in Grenoble, France (page 77).
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As the National and American League Rookies of the Year, respectively, Los Angeles Second Baseman STEVE SAX, 22, and Baltimore Third Baseman/Shortstop CAL RIPKEN JR., 22.
PENALIZED: By the NCAA, the 1981 National Champion CLEMSON football program, for two years effective Nov. 21, 1982, for more than 150 violations, mostly recruiting, committed from 1977 to '82. They included offering prospective players cars and giving them clothing and "substantial amounts of cash." The NCAA banned the Tigers from appearing on TV in 1983 and '84, limited them to granting 20 football scholarships, instead of the usual 30, in 1983 and '84 and excluded them from bowl appearances after the 1982 and '83 seasons. The ACC, Clemson's conference, further barred the Tigers from a bowl appearance after the '84 season and took away their share of conference TV revenue in 1983 and '84.
RESIGNED: After seven seasons as football coach at USC, JOHN ROBINSON, 47, who compiled a 67-14-2 record with three Rose Bowl appearances and one unofficial national title, to become a university vice-president. He will be replaced by current Trojan Offensive Coordinator TED TOLLNER, 42.
DIED: Two-time All-America Michigan Quarterback BENNY FRIEDMAN, 77, who also played professionally with four teams; of a self-inflicted gunshot wound; in New York.
1940 National League MVP FRANK McCORMICK, 71, of cancer; in New York. A 13-year major league veteran with a .299 lifetime batting average, McCormick, a first baseman, hit .309, with 19 home runs and 127 RBIs to lead the '40 Reds to the world championship.
Former Houston Colt .45s and Astro owner ROY HOFHEINZ, 70, of a heart attack; in Houston. An influential figure in his city's political and sports communities for nearly 50 years, Hofheinz headed the Houston Sports Association, which organized the construction of the Houston Astrodome in 1962, and controlled its operation until it was sold in 1976. Hofheinz brought big league baseball to Houston in 1962 and was principal owner of the Colt .45s-Astros until 1975.
College Basketball Referee and Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Meridian, Miss. JERRY YARBROUGH, 41, of a heart attack suffered during the first half of a Mid-South Classic game between Tulane and Wyoming; in Memphis.
Landaluce, 2, of an undetermined respiratory virus; at Santa Anita. The filly, who early in the week was scratched from Sunday's $518,850 Hollywood Starlet when she developed the virus, won five of five starts, had career earnings of $372,365 and was the top candidate for 2-year-old filly of the year.