PRO BASKETBALL—Centers were very much the center of attention, most notably Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who netted his 33,000th career point as the Lakers whipped their L.A. rivals, the Clippers, 123-112 on Saturday. Earlier, the Lakers clinched the Pacific Division title by beating San Antonio. James Donaldson, the Clippers' man in the middle, sank a short jumper with two seconds remaining for a 113-112 victory over Indiana that snapped his team's 11-game losing streak. Denver forward-center Dan Issel scored 27 points in the Midwest Division-leading Nuggets' 124-119 loss to San Antonio and moved into fourth place on the alltime pro scoring list with 27,337 points. Despite a season-high 29 points and 16 rebounds by rookie forward-center Sam Perkins, Dallas lost to the Cavs 135-128 in overtime. Milwaukee reserve center Randy Breuer tallied a career-high 18 points in the Central Division-leading Bucks' 125-96 win over the Suns. Center Akeem Olajuwon had 36 points and 14 boards as Houston beat Denver 131-129. New York Knicks forward-center James Bailey sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in a 116-114 defeat of the Pacers. Eastern Division-leading Boston won four games, including a 134-120 victory over Houston as center Robert Parish had 38 points. Larry Bird—who's not a center—eclipsed Kevin McHale's nine-day-old team record of 56 points by scoring 60 in a 126-115 defeat of the Hawks.
BOATING—Olympic gold-medalist ROD DAVIS won a three-way sudden-death sailoff to take the 21st Congressional Cup held at the Long Beach (Calif.) Yacht Club (page 66).
BOWLING—ANNE MARIE PIKE defeated Lisa Wagner 236-222 to win a $20,000 LPBT event in Merritt Island, Fla.
Don Genalo beat Jim Miller 258-246 to win the $130,000 King Louie Open in Overland Park, Kans.
BOXING—LARRY HOLMES scored a 10th-round TKO over David Bey in Las Vegas to retain his IBF title (page 16).
PRO FOOTBALL—The winless Los Angeles Express had blown fourth-quarter leads in each of its three defeats and desperately needed a change of fortune. "The ball's not bouncing right for us now, but it's important for our players to maintain their poise and determination," said Express coach John Hadl. "We just need a win." Against San Antonio, the Express got one—a 38-7 ego-booster that set a single-game team scoring record. The Gunslingers, now 1-3, had replaced Rick Neuheisel with Fred Mortensen at quarterback but gained only 37 yards passing and 12 yards rushing in the first three quarters and didn't get past midfield until less than six minutes remained in the game. Memphis, which was humiliated 54-6 by Birmingham last year, fared only slightly better this time around, losing 34-19. The defeat dropped the Showboats into a three-way tie for the East lead with Birmingham and Tampa Bay, which beat Arizona 23-13. Jacksonville lost twice—41-21 to Arizona and 42-36 to Oakland, while Portland stopped Orlando 23-17. Baltimore finally won, beating New Jersey 29-9.
GOLF—JANE BLALOCK's final-round 75 gave her a five-under-par 287 to win a $300,000 LPGA tournament in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. Runner-up Pat Bradley was one stroke back.
Seve Ballesteros, with an 11-under-par 205 for 54 holes, defeated John Mahaffey by two strokes to win a rain-shortened $400,000 PGA event in New Orleans.
COLLEGE HOCKEY—It took two overtimes, but Providence upset Boston College 2-1 to win the Hockey East playoffs. Left wing Steve Rooney scored the sudden-death game winner with 2:10 remaining in the second OT, and Friar goalie Chris Terreri had 65 saves. Minnesota-Duluth edged Minnesota for its second straight WCHA playoff championship. The outcome was decided on two-game goal totals, Minnesota-Duluth outscoring the Gophers 10-8. RPI defeated Harvard 3-1 for its second ECAC title in a row and 29th straight victory, tying the consecutive-win record set by Cornell in 1969-70.
PRO HOCKEY—Talk about singing the Blues. First, St. Louis, the Norris Division leader, lost 6-5 to the Islanders. The next night, Blues center Doug Wickenheiser was hit by a car while snipe hunting and suffered severe ligament damage to his left knee. Wickenheiser, who had 23 goals and 20 assists, is out for the season. Finally, on Saturday, St. Louis fell to hapless Hartford, 5-0. Nevertheless, the Blues remained four points ahead of Chicago. Montreal, the Adams Division leader, had a less comfortable cushion. After two losses (4-1 to Winnipeg and 4-2 to Minnesota), the Canadiens were only one point ahead of second-place Buffalo. Edmonton, the Smythe Division leader, tied the Sabres 4-4, beat Detroit 7-6 and lost to Los Angeles 5-4. The Patrick Division-leading Flyers stopped the Rangers 5-2 (their fourth straight win over the New Yorkers), Toronto 6-1 (leaving the Maple Leafs with a club-record 46 losses), and the Isles 5-3.
HORSE RACING—RHOMAN RULE ($4.60), Jacinto Vasquez up, coasted to an eight-length victory over Creme Fraiche in the $110,800 Everglades Stakes at Hialeah. The 3-year-old colt's time for the 1‚⅛ mile course was 1:47[4/5].
INDOOR SOCCER—A crowd of 16,161 in Richfield Coliseum watched the Cleveland Force lose 3-2 to St. Louis on a goal by Steamer forward Armando Betancourt at 4:58 in OT. The Steamers were 6½ games behind Eastern Division-leading Baltimore, which split two games, losing 5-2 to Kansas City before beating Minnesota 5-4 with just 19 seconds remaining when Paul Kitson scored his second goal of the night. Western Division leader San Diego beat Wichita 8-3 and Dallas 7-3 to improve its record to 30-9, the best in the league.
MOTOR SPORTS—BILL ELLIOTT, driving a Ford Thunderbird, finished 2.64 seconds ahead of Geoff Bodine, in a Chevy Monte Carlo, to win the 500 Grand National stock car race in Hampton, Ga. He averaged 140.273 mph around the 1.522 mile Atlanta International Raceway oval.
SKIING—DIANN ROFFE of Williamson, N.Y. (SI, Feb. 18) won her first World Cup giant slalom race, in Lake Placid, N.Y.
TENNIS—MARTINA NAVRATILOVA defeated Chris Evert Lloyd 6-3, 6-4 to win a $150,000 indoor tournament in Dallas.
WRESTLING—Iowa outscored runner-up Oklahoma 145¼ to 98½ to win the NCAA wrestling championship in Oklahoma City. It was the Hawkeyes' eighth consecutive title and ninth in 10 years.
MILEPOSTS—CONVICTED: By a Tampa jury, two-time Cy Young Award winner DENNY McLAIN, 40, of loansharking, extortion, bookmaking and cocaine possession. He faces up to 75 years in prison and a possible $75,000 fine.
EXPELLED: From the NASL, for failing to post a $150,000 letter of credit, the COSMOS, five-time league champions. Only Toronto and Minnesota now remain in the NASL, which had nine teams as recently as last year.
FORFEITED: By the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 18 football victories over the past two years, including a win in the 1984 California Bowl over Toledo, because of the academic ineligibility of seven players. UNLV's 1983 record goes from 7-4 to 0-11 and its 1984 record from 11-2 to 0-13.
RESIGNED: As head coach of Louisiana Tech's women's basketball team, SONJA HOGG, 39. Hogg compiled a 306-54 record during her 11 years with the Lady Techsters, including national championships in 1981 and '82. Co-head coach Leon Barmore, 38, assumes sole coaching responsibilities.
TRADED: By the Detroit Red Wings, DAVE (TIGER) WILLIAMS, 31, the NHL's career penalty minutes record-holder (3,157), to the Los Angeles Kings for future considerations; by the Hartford Whalers, 1984 Olympian DAVID A. JENSEN, 19, to the Washington Capitals, for goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz, 21, and center Dean Evason, 20.
DIED: Hall of Fame hockey player EDDIE SHORE, 82, in Springfield, Mass. The only defenseman to win the NHL's MVP award four times, Shore played 13 seasons with the Boston Bruins (1926-40), during which he was regarded as the game's toughest performer.
Lee Shepherd, 40, a four-time world champion pro stock drag racer, of head injuries suffered in a crash, in Ardmore, Okla. Shepherd won 29 NHRA races, third on the alltime list behind Bob Glidden (43) and Don Purdhomme (34).