PRO BASKETBALL—The NBA playoffs got under way with 16 teams competing in best-of-five series. In the Eastern Conference, the Knicks, who set NBA records for three-pointers attempted and made during the regular season, made three crucial long-range shots in a pair of victories over the 76ers. With 16 seconds to go in Game 1, Mark Jackson sank a 30-footer to put New York ahead by four. The Knicks won 102-96. In Game 2, New York trailed by 10 with 2:04 remaining; then Jackson hit for three to start an 11-0 rally that was capped by Trent Tucker's three-pointer with 11 seconds left, giving the Knicks a 107-106 victory. The Bulls, 0-6 against the Cavaliers during the regular season, started the playoffs with a 95-88 upset of Cleveland, as Michael Jordan scored 31 points and Scottie Pippen converted 4 of 4 three-point attempts. Led by Ron Harper's 31 points (to Jordan's 30), the Cavs reasserted themselves in the second game, winning 96-88. Atlanta and Milwaukee also split their two games. The Hawks won the opener 100-92, but the Bucks made 28 of 29 free throws and held Glenn Rivers to six points in Game 2 to win 108-98. The Celtics, who hadn't lost an opening-round playoff series since 1956, found that streak in jeopardy as the Pistons beat them 101-91 and 102-95. Mark Aguirre led Detroit with 40 points in the two games. In the Western Conference, the defending world champion Lakers continued a five-year unbeaten streak in first-round playoff games by jumping to a two-games-to-none lead over the Trail Blazers. Los Angeles won the opener 128-108 as Magic Johnson and Byron Scott scored 30 and 29 points, respectively. Johnson added 35 in Game 2—12 on three-point shots—to pace the Lakers to a 113-105 triumph. The SuperSonics and the Rockets were 2-2 in the regular season, with each team winning on its home court. That pattern continued in the first two games of the playoffs, as Seattle won at home 111-107 and 109-97. The Suns beat the Nuggets twice, giving up a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of the first game, before coming back to triumph 104-103, and then winning 132-114 in Game 2 behind Kevin Johnson's 34 points. The Warriors were also one game away from a series sweep, as they beat the Jazz 123-119 and 99-91 (page 22).
BOXING—SIMON BROWN retained his IBF welterweight title by knocking out Al Long in the seventh round, in Washington, D.C
Pernell Whitaker knocked out Luis Lomeli at 2:43 of the third round to defend his IBF lightweight crown, in Norfolk, Va.
GOLF—SCOTT HOCH sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the fifth playoff hole of the Las Vegas Invitational to beat Robert Wrenn and win $225,000. Hoch and Wrenn were tied at 24-under-par 336 at the end of regulation play.
Kathy Postlewait shot a final-round three-under-par 69 to defeat Val Skinner by one stroke and win an LPGA tour event in Nashville. Postlewait, who finished with a 13-under-par 203, earned $63,750.
GYMNASTICS—VALERI BELENKY of the Soviet Union won the men's all-around, BRANDY JOHNSON of the U.S. placed first among the women, and the SOVIET UNION swept both team titles in the annual U.S.-U.S.S.R. dual meet, in Columbus, Ohio.
HOCKEY—Calgary skated away with the first of four division titles won during the week. Led by Joe Mullen's two goals, the Flames beat the Kings 5-3 to complete a sweep of the best-of-seven Smythe series. Wayne Gretzky, who scored just once in the four games against Calgary, nevertheless became the NHL's alltime leader in career playoff goals, with 86. Calgary's opponents in the Campbell Conference finals are the Blackhawks, who beat the Blues 3-2 and 4-2 to win the Norris Division title four games to one (page 24). The Canadiens, beaten by the Bruins in five games in the 1988 Adams Division finals, reversed that result this year. Montreal goalie Patrick Roy, who ran his record in the Forum this season to 30-0-4, made 22 saves as the Canadiens defeated Boston 3-2 in the final game. Each game in the series was decided by one goal. In the Wales Conference championship series, the Canadiens face the Flyers, who emerged from a seesaw seven-game series with the Penguins as the Patrick Division champions. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, who had just five points in the first four games against Philadelphia, dominated the fifth. Despite a stiff neck that threatened to keep him on the bench, he scored five goals and added three assists, as the Penguins won 10-7 and took a 3-2 lead. Lemieux's performance tied five playoff records, including that for most goals in one game, held by Maurice Richard (1944), Darryl Sittler (1976) and Reggie Leach (1976). The Flyers bounced back to hold Lemieux without a point and win Game 6 by a 6-2 score to tie the series for the third time. Philly wing Tim Kerr scored twice to raise his NHL-leading total of playoff goals to 14. In Game 7, substitute goalie Ken Wregget turned back 39 shots as the Flyers won 4-1 (page 31).
The SOVIET UNION beat Canada 5-3 to clinch the world championship, in Stockholm.
HORSE RACING—HOUSTON ($3), Laffit Pincay Jr. up, won the Derby Trial and $54,698, at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old colt covered the mile in 1:36[1/5] to beat Belek by five lengths.
INDOOR SOCCER—The MISL playoffs began with the best-of-five wild-card series between Wichita and Tacoma, and the Wings quickly pushed the Stars to the brink of elimination. Defender Mike Stankovic scored two goals to lead Wichita to a 4-1 victory in the opener. In Game 2, Tacoma scored first, but by the half the Wings were ahead 4-2, and they went on to win 7-4, as midfielder Chico Borja had two goals and an assist. The winner will next play regular-season champion Baltimore.
MARATHON—SALVADOR GARCIA of Mexico ran a 2:10:47 to win the New Jersey Waterfront event, finishing 1:09 ahead of Antoni Niemczak of Poland. The race served as TAG men's championship, and with his third-place finish, in 2:12:09, BILL REIFSNYDER became the U.S. national champion.
TENNIS—ALBERTO MANCINI outlasted Boris Becker 7-5, 2-6, 7-6, 7-5 in the final to win the Monte Carlo Open and $122,900.
Monica Seles upset top-seeded Chris Evert 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 to triumph in a women's tour event in Houston. Seles won $50,000.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As basketball coach, at Tennessee State, RON ABERNATHY, 37, who was an assistant coach at LSU for 13 years; at Central Florida, JOE DEAN JR., 34, who in six seasons at Birmingham-Southern led the Panthers to a 137-45 record; and at Northern Illinois, JIM MOLINARI, 34, an assistant coach at DePaul for 11 years.
As football coach, at Cornell, JACK FOUTS, 63, Big Red offensive line coach since 1984, replacing MAXIE BAUGHAN, 50, who resigned after six seasons (his teams were 28-29-2) at the helm; and at UC Santa Barbara, RICK CANDAELE, 41, who had been the Gauchos' interim coach since November.
TRADED: By the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder JESSE BARFIELD, 29, to the New York Yankees for lefthanded pitcher AL LEITER, 23.