PRO BASKETBALL—Even though Julius Erving missed two games with an injured wrist, the Philadelphia 76ers, leaders in the Atlantic Division, stretched their unbeaten string to 11 games—and ran their record to 31-5—by polishing off Atlanta 109-99, Central Division-leader Milwaukee 122-121, Detroit 115-105 and Indiana 114-105. Portland and Phoenix took advantage of Seattle's swoon, which ran to seven straight losses, to gain ground in the Pacific Division. Walter Davis closed a 3-0 week for the Suns with a career-high 38 points in a 114-101 victory over San Diego. The Suns now set in second place, a half game ahead of Portland, winner of 15 of its last 19, and Seattle, yet trail first-place Los Angeles by five games mainly because NBA assists-leader Magic Johnson (9.9 per game) has the Laker fast break humming. Johnson had a career-high 21 assists in a 120-101 win at Atlanta. In the Midwest Division, San Antonio spurted ahead of Kansas City despite a 118-113 loss to the Kings in K.C. Cleveland came up with a shocker, parlaying 25 points from Cliff Robinson and 24 from World B. Free into a 90-86 upset of Boston only a day after the Celtics had cracked New Jersey's club-record win streak at 11 games with a rousing 133-108 rout in the Boston Garden (page 80).
BOWLING—GARY SKIDMORE beat Steve Cook 234-180 to win a $135,000 PBA tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
PRO FOOTBALL—In the conference semifinals of the Super Bowl Tournament, the Washington Redskins marched past the Minnesota Vikings 21-7, and the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-26 in the NFC, while the New York Jets upended the Los Angeles Raiders 17-14, and the Miami Dolphins shut down the San Diego Chargers 34-13 in the AFC (page 14).
GOLF—GIL MORGAN won the $300,000 Los Angeles Open, shooting a 14-under-par 270.
HOCKEY—Hartford's Mickey Volcan and New Jersey's Garry Howatt saw some unexpected ice time. When a snowstorm delayed the arrival of Referee Ron Fournier and Linesman Dan Marouelli at Hartford Civic Center, Volcan and Howatt were pressed into service: They were selected by their teams to work as substitute linesmen with linesman-turned-referee Ron Foyt. Fortunately, nothing unusual happened before Fournier and Marouelli arrived for the second period of an eventual 2-1 Whaler win. Boston opponents must be trying to figure out ways to keep Bruin Goaltender Pete Peeters from getting to work. In helping Adams Division-leader Boston to a 3-0 week, Peeters turned back Toronto 6-4 and threw back-to-back 2-0 shutouts against Quebec and the New York Rangers. They were his fifth and sixth blankings of the season. Peeters, who's unbeaten in his last 22 starts and has a league-leading 2.19 goals-against average, was the first goalie to shut out high-scoring Quebec in 231 games. Despite the absence of standout Goaltender Pelle Lindbergh, out with a broken wrist, Philadelphia extended its club record win streak to 10 before a 4-4 tie with Norris Division leader Chicago broke the string. Flyer rookie Bob Froese's first NHL shutout, 4-0 over the Rangers, left Philly with a seven-point Patrick Division lead. Edmonton's high-octane offense continued to make a shambles of the Smythe Division race. The Oilers, who had 27 goals in blasting St. Louis, Chicago and Minnesota, have won 17 of their last 22 games and lead second-place Calgary by 17 points. Another bright spot was burning in Buffalo. The Sabres climaxed a 3-0 week with home (3-2) and away (4-2) wins over Washington, and are 9-1-3 in their last 13 starts. They trail struggling Montreal (page 82) by only three points for second place in the Adams Division.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: The league made more news at the podium than on the playing surface. The New York Arrows' new management announced that, to further Americanize the four-time league champions and bolster sagging ticket sales, they had placed Forward Steve Zungul, leading scorer in indoor history (372 goals and 186 assists) and four-time league MVP on 72-hour waivers, first step toward trading Zungul to another MISL club or to an NASL outdoor team. The Arrows, who beat Memphis 5-0 and Los Angeles 5-4 to draw within two games of Eastern Division-leaders Baltimore, Cleveland and Chicago, also announced the signing of Duke University sweeper and Hermann Trophy-winner Joe Ulrich, a New York native, to a one-year contract. In the Western Division race, the management of the Phoenix Inferno, tied with Wichita for first place, disclosed that the club had been purchased by cable-TV magnate Bruce Merrill for $175,000 in a bankruptcy court sale.
TENNIS—MARTINA NAVRATILOVA won a $150,000 women's indoor tournament in Houston by beating Sylvia Hanika 6-3, 7-6, in the finals.
TRACK & FIELD—A world indoor record fell at an international meet in Ottawa: BILLY OLSON, 24, vaulted 18'10¼" to erase his own mark of 18'10" established last year.
MILEPOSTS—ACQUIRED: By the New York Mets, Righthanded Pitcher MIKE TORREZ, 36, from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later.
ELECTED: To the Baseball Hall of Fame, 16-time Gold Glove Third Baseman BROOKS ROBINSON, 45, of the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Pitcher JUAN MARICHAL, 45, who had a career record of 243-142.
FINED: By Baseball Commissioner BOWIE KUHN, New York Yankee owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER, 52, $5,000, and Chicago White Sox owners EDDIE EINHORN, 37, and JERRY REINSDORF, 46, $2,500 after a public exchange of insults last month following the free-agent signings of Outfielder STEVE KEMP by New York and Pitcher FLOYD BANNISTER by the White Sox.
FIRED: As coach of the Atlanta Falcons, LEEMAN BENNETT, 44, who had a 46-41 record and took the Falcons to the playoffs in three of his six seasons.
By the Seattle Sounders, Coach ALAN HINTON, 40, who had a 58-38 record and took his team to the 1982 Soccer Bowl during his three seasons.
HIRED: As manager of the New York Yankees, BILLY MARTIN, 54, who previously held the same job from August 1975 to July 1978 and June 1979 to October 1979. Martin signed a reported five-year, $2.5 million contract and became the fourth manager in major league history to manage the same team more than twice.
As USFL football coaches: by the Arizona Wranglers, DOUG SHIVELY, 44, formerly the Atlanta Falcons' linebacker coach; by the Philadelphia Stars, JIM MORA, 47, erstwhile defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
RESIGNED: As coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, DICK VERMEIL, 46, a self-professed workaholic who said he was "emotionally burned out" after 23 years as a football coach. Vermeil, who had a 54-47 regular-season record in seven seasons in Philadelphia, was replaced by his defensive coordinator, MARION CAMPBELL, 53, who agreed to a five-year contract for an undisclosed sum.
As coach of the Minnesota North Stars, GLEN SONMOR, 53, also saying he was "emotionally burned out" after 4½ seasons and a 153-125-71 record. Sonmor was replaced by Assistant Coach Murray Oliver, 45, for the remainder of the season.
As football coach at Iowa State after an 18-24-2 record in four seasons, DONNIE DUNCAN, 42.
SIGNED: By the USFL Washington Federals, SMU Tailback CRAIG JAMES, 22, to a four-year contract for an undisclosed sum; by the USFL Birmingham Stallions, Southern Mississippi Quarterback REGGIE COLLIER, 21, to a reported five-year, $1 million contract.
TRADED: By the Cleveland Cavaliers, Forward SCOTT WEDMAN, 30, to the Boston Celtics for Forward DARREN TILLIS, 22, a 1983 first-round draft pick, and an undisclosed amount of cash.