PRO BASKETBALL—The teams with the best and worst records in the NBA reversed courses. Philadelphia, which began the week at 22-7, lost two of four and fell two games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division. Sleepy Floyd had 35 points to lead Golden State past Philly 115-106, and then Cleveland beat the Sixers 106-98 behind World Free's 36. It was the Cavs' first win in nearly four years over the 76ers, who played without Julius Erving, out with a bruised forearm. Despite that victory, Cleveland remained in last place in the Central Division because Indiana, which began the week with a league-worst 7-21 mark, won three straight. But then the Pacers were blown out 140-103 in New York, to drop their road record to 1-15. At the other end of the Central, Detroit pulled even with Milwaukee for the lead after beating the Bucks 111-100. The Pistons also were victims of one of the week's two remarkable comebacks. They led Washington 102-97 with :11 left but lost 103-102 when Bullet rookie Jeff Malone threw in a three-pointer off the fast break with :01 to play. The other surprising comeback belonged to the Lakers' Magic Johnson, who, in his first game since sustaining a dislocated right index finger on Dec. 2, scored 11 fourth-quarter points to lead Los Angeles past Cleveland 106-99. L.A. lost twice, however, and relinquished the Pacific Division lead to Portland, which beat Denver 144-129 behind guard Jim Paxson's 32 points. The most spectacular West Coast performance was put on by Warrior forward Purvis Short, who scored 57 points in Golden State's 154-133 rout of San Antonio. Dallas won three of four but remained three games back of Midwest Division-leading Utah (page 82).
BOWLING—WAYNE WEBB beat top-seeded Bill Straub 224-178 to win a $140,000 PBA tournament in Anaheim, Calif.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL—In major bowl games, Ohio State outscored Pittsburgh 28-23 in the Fiesta; Georgia edged Texas 10-9 in the Cotton; UCLA shocked Illinois 45-9 in the Rose; and Auburn beat Michigan 9-7 in the Sugar.
PRO FOOTBALL—The WASHINGTON REDSKINS beat the San Francisco 49ers 24-21 to win the NFC title, and the LOS ANGELES RAIDERS crushed the Seattle Seahawks 30-14 for the AFC crown (page 14).
GOLF—TOM WATSON defeated Gil Morgan 2 and 1 to win a $708,000 PGA match-play event in Tucson (page 30).
HOCKEY—Edmonton, the Smythe Division pacesetter, completed a two-night offensive orgy with a 12-8 win over Minnesota, but Oiler Wayne Gretzky wasn't satisfied. "We open ourselves for criticism playing games like that," said Gretzky of the defenseless win over the Norris Division-leading North Stars, in which he tied his personal single-game best of eight points (four goals, four assists) and the teams combined for 20 goals, a modern league high, and 53 points, which tied the NHL record. Edmonton left wing Mark Messier tied a league single-period assist mark with four in the second and six assists overall. The night before, the Oilers had beaten Calgary 9-6. Edmonton later defeated Hartford 5-3, with Gretzky getting a hat trick and scoring in his 42nd straight game. Washington's Bengt Gustaffson scored five goals in the Caps' 7-1 win over Philadelphia. The North Stars suffered a devastating setback when defenseman and captain Craig Hartsburg was lost for the season with retorn ligaments in his left knee in a 5-4 loss to Calgary. Quebec and Buffalo were both unbeaten during the week, but Boston nonetheless held on to the Adams Division lead by beating the New York teams. The Bruins, who haven't lost to the Islanders during the regular season since Nov. 24, 1981, beat them again, 4-2. The Bruins were then shellacked 8-3 by the Nordiques, with each of the three Stastny brothers scoring a goal, but rebounded to whip the Rangers 5-2. Boston goalie Doug Keans, who had been out 10 games with strained knee ligaments, celebrated his 26th birthday with 29 saves. Don Maloney's goal at 18:41 of the third period gave the Rangers a 5-4 win over the Isles, moving them to within three points of the Patrick Division leaders.
HORSE RACING—MORNING BOB ($4), Eddie Maple up, beat Rexson's Hope by 1½ lengths to win the $148,850 Tropical Park Derby at Calder, the year's first stakes for 3-year-olds. The colt ran the 1 [1/16] miles in 1:46. Stewards then dropped Rexson's Hope from second to last for interfering with Papa Koo and D. White and moved Don Rickles up to place.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: Kansas City ran its home record to 7-1 and its Western Division lead to three games with two wins. Goalkeeper Enzo Di Pede got his first shutout of the season in a 4-0 victory over Memphis, and defenseman Gino Schiraldi scored a power-play goal at 13:44 of the fourth quarter to beat last-place Tacoma 6-5. Eastern Division-leading Cleveland lost its second straight, 5-2 to St. Louis, as Steamer midfielder Ricky Davis had three goals.
NASL: Forward Jan Goossens scored a hat trick to give Golden Bay a 6-5 win over Tampa Bay and a share of the league lead with the Cosmos, but the New Yorkers gained sole control of first place again with an 11-4 triumph over Tulsa. Alan Green had three goals and two assists for the Cosmos. San Diego hovered in third, a game back, with a 10-2 win over Tampa Bay.
TENNIS—HANA MANDLIKOVA beat Zina Garrison 6-1, 6-1 to win a $150,000 women's tournament in Washington, D.C.
TRACK & FIELD—ZOLA BUDD of South Africa, a 17-year-old who runs barefoot, broke the world record for the women's 5,000 meters with a time of 15:01.83, 6.43 seconds faster than the mark Mary Decker set in 1982. Because of South Africa's apartheid policy, however, Budd's time won't be recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation as a world record.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As coach of the Houston Oilers, HUGH CAMPBELL, 42, who guided the Los Angeles Express of the USFL to an 8-10 record in 1983 and the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL to an 81-22-5 mark and five Grey Cup victories from 1977 through '82. Campbell's replacement in L.A. is JOHN HADL, 43, who was an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos in 1983.
As football coach at Indiana, BILL MALLORY, 48, who had a 99-52-1 record in 14 years at Miami of Ohio (1969-73), Colorado (1974-78) and Northern Illinois (1980-83).
As coach of the USFL Oklahoma Outlaws, WOODY WIDENHOFER, 39, who had been an assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers since 1973.
NAMED: As winner of the Lambert Trophy, honoring the best college football team in the East, BOSTON COLLEGE, which was 9-3 in 1983.
Winners of horse racing's Eclipse Awards as the best of 1983: 2-year-old colt, DEVIL'S BAG; 2-year-old filly, ALTHEA; 3-year-old colt, SLEW o' GOLD; 3-year-old filly, HEARTLIGHT NO. 1; older horse, BATES MOTEL; older filly, AMBASSADOR OF LUCK; turf horse, JOHN HENRY; turf filly or mare, ALL ALONG; sprinter, CHINOOK PASS; trainer, WOODY STEPHENS, 70; and jockey, ANGEL CORDERO, 41.
SIGNED: By the San Diego Padres, free-agent reliever RICH GOSSAGE, 32, late of the New York Yankees, to a reported five-year, $5.5 million contract.
DIED: KEN SITZBERGER, 38, gold medalist in springboard diving at the 1964 Olympics and swimming and diving commentator for ABC-TV since 1967; in his sleep, apparently of a blow to the head; in Coronado, Calif.