PRO BASKETBALL—"The atomic bomb, the F-14 Tigershark, the nuclear sub—nothing has the awesome power of the mighty Los Angeles Lakers," said Portland's Mychal Thompson after L.A. thrashed the Trail Blazers 139-120 to eliminate them from the playoffs. "They're a great, great, great, great talent, and that's what will pull them through. The road to the championship definitely goes through Los Angeles." And so it might. Shooting 64%, a club record and the second-highest playoff percentage in NBA history, the Lakers demolished Denver 139-122 to win the opening game of their Western Conference final. Los Angeles has won eight of its nine playoff games this season by a remarkable 17.6-point average margin while extending its at-home winning streak to 23. Denver had fared better earlier in the week. The Nuggets' 116-104 victory over Utah eliminated the Jazz in five games. Back East, Boston eliminated the Detroit Pistons in a scrappy 4-2 series. Two days later, the Celtics beat Philadelphia 108-93 in the first game of the Eastern Conference final (page 24). Despite the 76ers' one-week layoff after sweeping the Bucks in the semis, neither team was at full strength. Among the Celtics' walking wounded were Larry Bird (bursitis and bone chips in his elbow), Dennis Johnson (sore back) and Cedric Maxwell (recovering from a knee injury). The hurting Sixers included Charles Barkley (bruised thigh and sore foot), Bobby Jones (sore knee) and Maurice Cheeks (recovering from a separated shoulder). "This season has been a very large strain," said Boston coach K.C. Jones. "Last year when we won the championship we were a bunch of enthusiastic puppies. This year I've had to use a whip at practice to get us going. Plus, the other teams—Cleveland. Detroit and Milwaukee—are better than they were. When you're trying to repeat, you become the biggest target in the world."
BOXING—SANTOS LACIAR of Argentina won a unanimous 15-round decision over Antoine Montero of France to retain his World Boxing Association flyweight title in Grenoble, France.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: Oakland (8-3-1) slipped past Houston and Denver (both 8-4) to take the Western Conference lead by defeating ownerless and nearly winless Los Angeles 27-6. Houston contributed by losing to Memphis 17-15. Earlier in the week, the Gamblers had humiliated Portland 45-7 as Jim Kelly completed 32 of 45 passes for 348 yards and four TD throws to wide receiver Richard Johnson, a USFL record. According to New Jersey coach Walt Michaels. "When you've got a cannon you shoot it." and for the past half-dozen games his offensive weapon has been Herschel Walker. The Generals outshone the Baltimore Stars 10-3 Sunday as Walker rushed 29 times for 118 yards, his sixth consecutive 100-yard game. Elsewhere, Birmingham blanked Portland 14-0, Tampa Bay beat Jacksonville 21-10 to break the Bulls' four-game winning streak, and Denver topped Arizona 42-28.
GOLF—BOB EASTWOOD defeated Payne Stewart on the first hole of sudden death to win the $500,000 Byron Nelson Classic in Irving. Texas. Both players ended regulation play tied at 272, 12 under par.
Kathy Whitworth shot a nine-under-par 207, one stroke better than runner-up Amy Alcott, to win a $200,000 LPGA event in Suffolk, Va.
PRO HOCKEY—NHL Stanley Cup playoffs: Rebounding from a lethargic first-game loss, the Philadelphia Flyers stopped Quebec 4-2 in a chippy game that saw six major and nine minor penalties in the first period alone. Nordique fan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney must have known the game was going to be rough because he showed up with dozens of bodyguards. The Flyers, already missing leading scorer Tim Kerr, also lost captain Dave Poulin indefinitely with a sprained knee. In Game 3, Philly won 4-2 again as Quebec attempted just 12 shots on goal in the final 40 minutes. That victory cost the Flyers defenseman Brad McCrimmon, who was lost for the season with a separated shoulder. "A lot of times injuries work in reverse," said Flyer Mark Howe of the penalty-intense, injury-ridden series. "You realize you're missing a couple of key players, and you feel you have to do that much more." Philadelphia's injuries eventually caught up with the Flyers as the Nordiques retaliated Sunday 5-3. In that game, Nordique Alain Cote scored two goals, including the go-ahead goal. Philly and Quebec stand tied 2-2. In the Campbell Conference championship series, Edmonton was injury-free but still not home free as the Black Hawks deadlocked the Oilers 2-2. Chicago's 5-2 win in Game 3 marked goalie Murray Bannerman's first victory in eight games against the Oilers. "This is a monkey off my back." said Bannerman. "I was a little mad, especially after the first game [an 11-2 embarrassment], but we kept our composure and showed a lot of character." And a lot of defense. The Black Hawks shut out Wayne Gretzky, the NHL's top scorer with 73 season goals and 135 assists, for the first time in 37 games. I he upset also stopped Edmonton's record playoff winning streak at 12. The defending champion Oilers were surprised for the second straight time Sunday in an 8-6 Black Hawk victory.
INDOOR SOCCER—Top-seeded San Diego advanced to the MISL finals by defeating wild-card entry Minnesota 4-3 in a shoot-out. Branko Segota had led the Sockers with a hat trick in the fourth game of the series. In the other semifinal, Cleveland split two home games with Baltimore, tying their best-of-five series 2-2.
RUGBY—The Milwaukee Rugby Football Club, winners of the Midwestern Territory playoffs, defeated the Western champ, the Denver Barbarians, 10-4, to win the National Rugby Club Championships in Chicago.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL defeated John McEnroe 6-3, 6-3 to win the $615.000 Tournament of Champions in Forest Hills. N.Y.
Pam Shriver topped Dianne Balestrat 6-3, 6-3 to win the $200,000 Australian Women's Indoor Championships in Sydney.
TRACK & FIELD—JOE DIAL, an Oklahoma State senior, pole-vaulted 19'1½" at the Big Eight outdoor meet in Manhattan, Kans. to break Mike Tully's 1984 U.S. record by a half inch. Dial declined to make an attempt at the world record of 19'5¾" held by Sergei Bubka of the Soviet Union.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By DENNIS DIAZ. owner of Spend a Buck, that the Kentucky Derby winner will bypass the Preakness Stakes and a shot at the Triple Crown to race in the Jersey Derby for a possible $2.6 million (page 19).
EXPANDED: The field for the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament, from 32 to 40 teams, beginning next season.
HIRED: As an assistant coach by the Atlanta Hawks, WILLIS REED, 42, who resigned two weeks ago as the head coach at Creighton.
As coach of the Boston Bruins, BUTCH GORING, 35, who was a center with the Los Angeles Kings, the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins for 16 years. In a related move, Bruin defenseman Mike Milbury, 32, said he would retire to join Goring as a Boston assistant.
As athletic director at Arizona State, CHARLES HARRIS, 34, who held the same position for six years at Pennsylvania. Harris replaces Dick Tamburo, who resigned in March after four ASU teams were placed on conference probation
As basketball coach at James Madison, former JMU assistant JOHN THURSTON, 37, He replaces Lou Campanelli, who resigned last month to become the coach at California.
By Virginia Commonwealth, basketball coach MIKE POLLIO, 42, who took Kentucky Wesleyan to the Division II Final lour three of the last four years. Pollio succeeds J.D. Barnett. the new coach at Tulsa.
ORDERED: By baseball commissioner PETER UEBERROTH, mandatory random drug urinalysis for owners, scouts, coaches, other nonplaying personnel and more than 3,000 minor league players (page 32). Big league players were exempted from the order because testing can be implemented only with the consent of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Ueberroth said he wants baseball to be a leader in eradicating drugs from society and urged the union to join his plan.
DIED: Fifty-two people at a televised city soccer club match in Bradford, England when a flash fire engulfed a 77-year-old wooden grandstand holding 3,000 of the 11,000 spectators. More than 200 other people were injured. Fire officials would not speculate on the cause of the blaze but did say that the grandstand's rear exits had been padlocked.