Skip to main content
Original Issue

A roundup of the week Nov. 26-Dec. 2

PRO BASKETBALL—Sixteen games into the season, Boston had still lost only one game. The Atlantic Division-leading Celtics extended their win streak to 10 games by defeating Dallas 114-99, Houston 110-100 and Cleveland twice, 110-104 and 122-99, as Larry Bird scored 40, 23, 34 and 23 points, respectively. With a big boost from rookie forward Charles Barkley, Philadelphia stayed within 2½ games of Boston. Barkley came off the bench to get a total of 24 points and 23 rebounds in victories over Washington (93-89) and Indiana (122-101), and then in his first two starts had a total of 24 points and 21 rebounds during the Sixers' 126-116 defeat of Portland and 114-112 victory over New Jersey. "Starting Barkley is a new plateau for us," said 76er Julius Erving, who had 92 points himself on the week and passed John Havlicek to become the sixth-leading alltime scorer, with 26,485 points. The Lakers kept the Pacific Division lead with wins over Utah (114-109) and Kansas City (130-121) and a loss to Chicago (113-112), but Phoenix was hot on their trail. Sun forward Larry Nance, recovering from a sprained left ankle, had team highs of 28, 24 and 18 points in, respectively, a 139-110 rout of Utah, a 100-95 defeat of Chicago and a 115-103 beating of Golden State. The win over the Warriors gave Phoenix coach John MacLeod his 500th NBA victory, a milestone that only nine other coaches have achieved. Midwest Division-leading Denver had its nine-game winning streak snapped in a 116-97 loss to Utah, but the Nuggets came back to beat the Jazz the following night 118-111. Denver's Calvin Natt had 28 points in that victory, and Alex English had 26. English also contributed 28 points to the Nuggets' 139-110 triumph over the Clippers earlier in the week. Milwaukee won only one of four games, but still was atop the Central Division, one game ahead of Chicago, which was 2-2 (page 36).

BOWLING—MARK ROTH defeated Marshall Holman 194-177 to win a $150,000 PBA tournament in Charlotte, N.C.

BOXING—GREG PAGE knocked out defender Gerrie Coetzee in the eighth round to win the WBA heavyweight crown in Bophuthatswana, South Africa. On the same card, PIET CROUS scored a unanimous decision over defender Ossie Ocasio and won the WBA junior heavyweight title.

Mike McCallum retained his WBA junior middleweight championship when Luigi Minchillo's trainer threw in the towel at the beginning of the 14th round in Milan, Italy.

Jiro Watanabe stopped Payao Poontarat in the 11th round to retain his WBC junior bantamweight title in Kumamoto, Japan.

PRO FOOTBALL—The race isn't over in the AFC Central, where two overtime games narrowed Pittsburgh's lead in the division to one game over Cincinnati with two regular-season games to go. The Steelers were handed their first OT loss ever—they'd won five and tied one—when Houston kicker Joe Cooper made good on a 30-yarder to give the Oilers a 23-20 win. Jim Breech's 35-yard field goal gave the Bengals a 20-17 sudden-death victory over Cleveland, capping a dramatic comeback: With one minute left in regulation, the Browns were forced to punt, but the punt was blocked and recovered at the Cleveland 28 by Bengal cornerback John Simmons. Then, with one second left, Boomer Esiason tied the score with a one-yard pass to tackle Anthony Munoz, who was lined up as a wingback. New York, Dallas and Washington all won and remained tied atop the NFC East. The Giants, who made the shortest road trip in team history—to the visitors' side of the field in Giants Stadium—defeated the host Jets 20-10 as Phil Simms completed 18 of 28 passes for 252 yards. The Cowboys beat Philadelphia 26-10 behind the running of Tony Dorsett, whose 110 yards on 22 carries gave him his seventh 1,000-yard season in eight years in the NFL. The Redskins took a 31-0 lead and held on to beat Minnesota 31-17 on Thursday night. St. Louis beat New England 33-10 to stay one game behind the NFC East pack. With a 38-17 defeat of Detroit, Seattle broke a tie with Denver and took sole possession of the AFC West lead. The Broncos were 16-13 losers to Kansas City as the Chiefs' Nick Lowery kicked three fourth-quarter field goals, including the clinching 42-yarder with 1:56 to play. NFC West-leading San Francisco got its eighth straight road victory with a 35-17 defeat of Atlanta. The win extended the 49ers' record to 13-1, making only the tenth time in NFL history that a team has won 13 or more regular-season games. In other action, the Rams kept their playoff chances alive with a 34-21 triumph over New Orleans, Buffalo beat Indianapolis 21-15, Green Bay defeated Tampa Bay 27-14, and AFC East-leading Miami split a pair of games with a 28-17 win over the Jets on Monday night and a 45-34 loss to the Raiders (page 24).

HOCKEY—The big news out of Montreal wasn't that the Canadiens continued to hold the Adams Division lead, but that their 33-year-old right wing and erstwhile star, Guy Lafleur, retired. Highlights of Lafleur's 14-year career, all with Montreal, include 518 regular-season goals, ninth on the alltime list, and six straight seasons with 50 or more goals. "I've been in a slump this year," said Lafleur. "I saw the team was going well this year and thought it better to go out that way than when the team was in difficulty." Montreal had no difficulty finishing the week with a 3-2 win over Buffalo and a seven-point lead over Quebec in the division. Edmonton traveled east and pillaged Toronto 7-1 and Boston and Hartford both 4-2. The defeat of the Bruins, in which Oiler goaltender Grant Fuhr had 41 saves, gave Edmonton its first win in Boston Garden, dating back to 1979 when the Oilers joined the NHL. Wayne Gretzky and linemate Mike Krushelnyski together accounted for seven of the week's goals and eight of the assists that kept Edmonton atop the Smythe Division, eight points ahead of Calgary. In the Norris Division St. Louis began the week with a 6-1 triumph over Vancouver in which Alain Lemieux had a hat trick. That win gave the Blues sole possession of second place, which they had shared with Minnesota. With successive victories over Detroit, 5-3 and 10-5, St. Louis then climbed to within one point of Chicago, which held on to its division lead with a 5-3 defeat of New Jersey. The Devils crawled out of the Patrick Division cellar with two earlier wins, including a 2-1 upset of Philadelphia, the division leader. Aaron Broten scored both goals in that victory.

INDOOR SOCCER—San Diego defeated Tacoma 7-4 and Kansas City 8-4 to wrest the Western Division lead from Las Vegas, and with victories over Pittsburgh (6-1) and Dallas (7-4), St. Louis broke a four-way tie and took the Eastern Division lead.

MILEPOSTS—AWARDED: The 1984 Heisman Trophy, to Boston College quarterback DOUG FLUTIE, 22, who had 10,579 passing yards and 11,317 yards total offense, both NCAA career records. This season he completed 233 of 386 passes for 3,454 yards and 27 touchdowns in leading the Eagles to a 9-2 record and a third straight bowl appearance.

FIRED: As coach of the New York Cosmos, EDDIE FIRMANI, 46, after 13 months with the club and a 2-3 start in the current MISL season. In 1984 outdoor play under Firmani, the Cosmos were 13-11 and failed to qualify for the NASL playoffs for the first time since '75.

As football coach at Tulane, WALLY ENGLISH, 45, whose teams were 7-15 over two seasons.

NAMED: As football coach at Louisville, HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER, 50, who led Miami to the 1983 national championship and a five-season record of 41-16. Schnellenberger left Miami in May to become coach, beginning in the 1985 season, of a USFL franchise then based in Washington but scheduled to move to Miami. Schnellenberger wound up jobless when a reorganization of the USFL resulted in the club not shifting to Miami.

SIGNED: By the Chicago Cubs, to a reported three-year, $2.35-million contract, free-agent pitcher DENNIS ECKERSLEY, 30, who had a 10-8 record for the Cubs last season after being traded to them by the Boston Red Sox on May 25 (page 28).

DIED: Two-time All-America running back RICKY BELL, 29, who rushed for 3,689 yards and 28 touchdowns during his three seasons (1974-76) at USC and later played in the NFL for Tampa Bay ('77-82) and San Diego ('82-83); of a cardiac arrest stemming from dermatomyositis and polymyositis, diseases which affect skin, muscles and connective tissues; in Inglewood, Calif. As a USC junior, he led the nation in rushing with 1,875 yards, and as a senior he finished second behind Pittsburgh's Tony Dorsett in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Del Williams, 39, a former offensive guard at Florida State (1964-66) and with the New Orleans Saints ('67-73); of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease; in New Orleans.