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UTAH CAPTAIN RON BOONE slips between Mack Calvin and Ralph Simpson (44) to score a layup in the opening game of the American Over Stars, 122-107 Basketball Association playoffs. The Stars trailed by only 53-51 at halftimc but lost to Denver, 122-107. Game two is tonight in Denver and the teams are in the Salt Palace on Wednesday and Friday nights. Indiana, New York and Kentucky also won playoff openers over the weekend. Nuggets Race to Playoff Win DENVER (UPI) - The fuel shortage hasn't hit Denver. "A lot of people kept thinking we would run out of gas because that's what Carolina always did," said Denver Nugget Coach Larry Brown after his team opened the ABA Western Division playoffs with a 122107 win over the Utah Stars Sunday. "But this team is a lot better than the others." Brown coached Carolina the past two years. His first season, Carolina won the ABA Eastern regular season title with a 5727 record only to be eliminated in the playoffs by Kentucky in the .Eastern finals. Last year, the Cougars started with a 22-9 record and finished with a 4737 mark. This year, Brown has taken Denver, which finished last in the ABA West a year ago, and molded it into a team which had the best record in pro basketball at 65-19. And Brown says he's not about to quit now. Sunday, the only team that ran out of gas was Utah, which trailed only 53-51 at the half but saw Denver outscore it 22-9 in the first 6:35 of the third quarter and coast to the win. Utah guard Ron Boone kept pumping from outside, shooting 13 times but Nuggets Ralph Simpson and Roland "Fatty" Taylor alternated on him defensively and allowed him only two field goals and a total 12 points, well behind the 25.2 he averaged during the regular season in setting a team record. Meanwhile, Simpson led eight Nuggets in double figures with 20 points while Mike Green had 19 and Mack Calvin hit 17 and had 17 assists. Taylor had five steals as the Nuggets forced 29 errors. Moses Malone led Utah with 19 rebounds and had 25 points while Randy Denton had 26 points and 11 rebounds. The Stars' guards had a combined 8-for-34. "They are using that big lineup (three centers and two guards) so we decided to apply the defensive pressure to force them out of their offense because then they only have two guys that can be out there pounding the court," Brown said. "There's no way they can play with us in the playoff with only seven guys coming in." As far as the pressure is concerned, Stars Coach Tom Nissalke said it "dosen-'t bother a team if it has quickness, but then Artis Gilmore is saving his best for the playoffs. The Kentucky Colonels, who beat the New York Nets 10899 in a special playoff game Friday night to win the Eastern Division title, downed the fourth place Memphis Sounds 98-91 Sunday night to stretch their winning streak to 11 games. And a big reason was Gilmore. The 7-foot-1 center has been awesome in recent games, playing his best ball of the season when it counts. Gilmore, with 53 Be/iogen's Block Aids Knicks In Obtaining Wild Card Bid By United Press International The long arm of Ron Behagen reached all the way from Omaha to New York in the waning hours Sunday afternoon. Behagen stretched it out to block a last-second shot by Cleveland's Fred Foster and protect the Kansas City-Omaha Kings' 95-94 win. In so doing, Behagen also blocked the Cavaliers' entry into the NBA playoffs. The Cavs' loss, coupled with New York's 105-93 victory over the Buffalo Braves, pushed the Knicks into the NBA East wild card playoff berth. The Knicks, who huddled around TV sets to watch the game following their crucial win earlier in the afternoon, accepted Behagen's helping hand and probably felt a cooling breeze from the swipe half-way across the continent. the Knicks certainly needed the help. "The way we started out, neither team seemed to want the game," said New York's Walt Frazier. "Everybody was falling asleep. I was falling asleep in the first half and 1 was out there. Frazier's sleepiness ironically could have meant the end of Knick dreams but something got him going in the second half. The Knicks rebounded from a five-point halftime deficit, brought about largely by Bob McAdoo's 19 points, to reel off streaks of 11 and 14 points in the third quarter. Frazier finished with 26 points and Earl Monroe added 22. McAdoo had 32 for the Braves. "After the first half," Frazier said, "knowing the team was looking for leadership, I came out and got them moving." And they will keep on moving, now, for another week. Though Cleveland and New York finished the regular season with identical 4(M2 records, the Knicks move on to the playoffs because they won the season series against the Cavs. The Knicks enter the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season but for the first time by such a narrow squeeze. Along with the Detroit Pistons, they will be the only two teams to enter the playoffs with sub-.500 records. Bullets 119, Jazz 103 Wes Unseld grabbed 30 rebounds and the NBA rebound title by a fraction from Boston's Dave Cowens as Washington won its 60th game of the season. The Bullets had little trouble with New Orleans as Elvin Hayes scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half. They became only the 13th team in NBA history to win 60games in a season. Sonics 114, Suns 111 Seattle won its seventh straight game, tying the longest streak in the team's history, to cap its first season as a playoff entry. Archie dark led the Sonics with 31 points against Phoenix. Trail Blazers 126, Lakers 97 Portland finished the season with its best record ever after beating Los Angeles and player- coach Len Wilkens ended his playing career with a 14 point effort that lifted him into llth place on the all-time scoring list. Wilkens scored 17,771 points over 15 years. Bulls 112, Bucks 100 Rowland Garrett scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead playoff-bound Chicago past Milwaukee. Norm Van Lier led Chicago with 24 points and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Bucks led all scorers with 34. Jabbar Makes Quick Exit After Year-Ending Loss MILWAUKEE (UPI) - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar set some kind of a record Sunday night. The echo of the final buzzer was still in the air when he disappeared from the Milwaukee Arena after the Milwaukee Bucks had lost to the Chicago Bulls 112-100. There may have been some kind of irony in Abdul-Jabbar's hasty departure. He has said he would like to play elsewhere and Sunday night he seemed anxious to put his most frustrating season behind him. For the record, the Bucks, who began the season with a spirited hope and an almost certain berth in the NBA finals, finished the season in the Midwest Division cellar with a dismal 38-44 mark. The Bulls won the division with a 47-35 record and open playoff competition Wednesday night at home against the Kansas City- Omaha Kings. The loss to Chicago was symbolic of the troubles the Bucks have had all year. "Tonight we had a good effort," Bucks Coach Larry Costello said, "but we had too many bad passes and too many crucial turnovers." With just over four minutes left the Bucks trailed by only three at 101-98. But Milwaukee had four turnovers in the last four minutes and scored just two points while the Bulls got 11, seven of them from Rowland Garrett, to put the game a way. Garrett scored 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Bulls were led by Norm Van Lier's 24 points. Abdul-Jabbar had 34 to lead the Bucks. Somebody asked Costello if he was glad this trying season had finally ground to a halt. 'Glad—hell no," he said. "I wish we were in the playoffs. But it's been a strange year—a frustrating year. We've had injuries and some slumps I can't explain. We're going to have a meeting tomorrow and talk about the season. The story of the Bucks' fall from power ranks was just about the biggest surprise in the NBA this year. The team was expected to be right at the top again. But Abdul-Jabbar's broken hand and a series of other injuries—especially to guard Jim Price—were too much to overcome. NBA Playoff!Schedule By United Press International (All Times KDT) I First Round Action I Kastern Conference Houston vs. New York (Best of Three) Tues..April8—al Houston,9 00p.m Thurs., April 10—at .New York, 9:00 p.m x-Sat., April 12—at Houston, 1:40 p.m. Washington vs. Buffalo (Best of Seven) Thurs., April 10—iit Washington. 8 05 p.m Sat., April 12—at Buffalo, 1:40 p.m. Wed.. "April 111—ill Washington, 8:05 p m. Fri, April 18—atHuflalo.9 lOp.m x-Sun. April 20—at Washington. 1 10 p.m x-Tues., 4-22 or Wed., 4-23—at Buffalo, y-tba x-hYi., 4-25-at Washington. 8:05 p.m Western Conference Detroit vs. Seattle (Best of Three: Tus.. Aprils—at Seattle. ll:00p.m. Thurs., April 10—at IX-troit,8:35p m x-Sat.. April 12-atSeattle. 11 OOp.m Uiicago vs. KC-Omaha (Best of Seven) I All KC-Omaha Games To Be Hayed In Kansas C%) Wed. April 9—at Chicago, 8 30pm Sm.,4-13-atKCM)iiiaha. I :fip.m Tues., 4-15 or Wed., 4-ltt-al Chicago, 8 30 p.m. Thurs.. 1-17 or Fri.. 4-18-at KC-Omaha. b 35 p.m. x-Sat., 4-19 or Sun., 4-20-at Chicago, y -tba x-Tues., 4-22-at KC-Omaha, y-tba x-I-Yi.,4-25-atChicago,8:30p m x-if necessary y-tirne to be announced Hnal National Basketball Association Standings Eastern Conference Atlantic Division w. 1. pel. g.b. x-Boston 60 n 732 Buffalo 49 33 598 II New York 40 4:' 488 20 Itiiladdphia 34 48 115 26 Central Division w. I. pel. g.b. x-Washington 60 22 .732 Houston 41 41 .500 19 awJand 40 42 488 20 Atlanta 31 51 .378 29 New Orleans 23 59 .280 3V Western Conference Midwest Division w. I. pet. g.b. x<hicago 47 35 573 - KCOmaha 44 38 537 3 IMroit 40 42 488 7 Milwaukee 38 44 463 9 I'aeifie Division w. I. pet. g.b. x-Golden State 48 34 585 Seattle 43 39 524 5 I'ortland 3« 44 463 10 Ifoenix 32 50 390 16 I .us Angeles 30 52 366 18 x-diixted division title Sunday's Games New York 105 Hu/falo 93. aft. Washington. 119 New Orleans 103. aft. KC-Omaha 95 Cleveland 94, aft i\)rtland 126 Los Angeles 97, aft. Seattle 114 Phoenix 111, a/t Chicago 112 Milwaukee 100 San Antonio vs. Indiana I Indiana leads scries, 1-0) Sat. April 5-lndiana 122 San Antonio 119, ot Man.. April 7—at San Antonio, 9:35 p m Thur.. April 10—at Indiana. 9:05 p.m Sal .April 12- at Indiana, 9:05 p.m. x-M»n. April 14—alSan Antonio.8:35p m x-Wed .April 16-atIndiana.9:05pin. x-Sat .April 19-at San Antonio. 8:35 p.m Kastern Division Semifinals Kentucky vs. Memphis Sun . April6- at Kentucky—7:35p.m. Tus., .Apnl8-iitKentucky-7::i5p in. 'Iliur ..April 10—at Memphis, 9 10pm I'Yi. April 11—vaMernphis-8:10p.m. x-Sun.. April 13—at Kentucky-?:.'15p m X-TUIK. . April 15-at Memphis. 9:10 p m x-Wtd .April 16-at Kentucky, 7.35p.m. New York vs. St. Ixwis I New York leads series, 1-01 Sun . April 6-New York 111 St. l/wis 105 Wed, April 9-at New York, 8:05 p.m Kri, April ll-atSt. Ivouis9 OOp.m. Sun April 13-iil St. Louis, 2:35 p m x-Tues.. April 15--at New York. 8 05 p in x-Wed., April 16-at St. Louis, 9:00 p.m. x-Thur. April 17-at New York. 8:05 p in x-ifneccsiarv. ^-- - / " "»- - - ^ c? vJMJaSS; SPORTS Page 6- Provo, Utah, Monday, April 7, 1975 Major League Action Now 'All for Real' By United Press International Tlie dreams of spring training fade into harsh reality today when the major league baseball season opens on four fronts. Throw out those inflated batting averages and those long home runs that thrilled the eager fans during the exhibition season. Never mind those miniscule earned run averages which looked so scrumptious in the hot Florida and Arizona sun. They don't count for beans. As Frank Robinson of Cleveland, baseball's first black manager, puts it: "Now it's all for real." The 1975 season—the 100th for the National League and the 75th for the American—begins this afternoon in Cincinnati where the Reds entertain the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The game has attracted a sellout crowd of 51,786 at Riverfront Stadium and is the first of seven encounters between the two National League West Division favorites during the first two weeks of the campaign. While much of the midwest was hit by heavy snow last week, forcing cancellation of Tuesday openers at Chicago and Detroit, sunny skies with temperatures in the high 50's are predicted for the traditional opener at Cincinnati. Don Sutton, a 19-game winner last season, has been named to start for the Dodgers and southpaw Don Gullett, a 17- game winner, will go for the Reds. President Ford, who threw out the first bail at Cincinnati a year ago minutes before Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth's career home run record, had to turn down an invitation to attend the game, so the ceremonial first ball will be thrown out by Sen. Robert Taft Jr., R-Ohio. Taft, a native Qncinnatian, will be making his first public appearance since suffering a heart attack two months ago. The Dodgers-Reds game is the only scheduled this afternoon. Atlanta visits Houston and Montreal is at St. Louis in NL night action while California hosts Kansas City at night in the lone American League contest Phil Niekro, who besides Los Angeles' Andy Messersmith was the only other pitcher to win 20 games in the NL last year, will start for Atlanta with Larry Dierker, a disappointing 1110 a year ago, going for Houston. Dave McNally, a talented left- hander acquired from Baltimore in the off-season, will pitch for Montreal while 39-year-old Bob Gibson, playing his last season, goes for the Cardinals. In the most intriguing pitching matchup of opening day, Steve Busby will hurl for the Royals against California's Nolan Ryan. Both pitchers are rated among the best right- handers in baseball and each has tossed more than one no-hitter in his career. However, the prospects of tossing a no-hitter on opening day are remote. Cleveland's Bob Feller, who accomplished that feat in 1940, is the only pitcher ever to do it. captures Cougars, UA, ASU Baseball rebounds in his last two games, saved his best for last Sunday night, too, scoring 10 points in the last seven minutes and finishing with a game-high 25. But Gilmore is not the only Colonel who has bloomed with the April showers. In fact, the highest ranking Colonel of the night, according to Coach Hubie Brown, was Wilbert Jones. Called "Shaft" by his teammates, Jones gave the shaft to the Sounds' Stew Johnson. "Johnson is a gunner who usually throws up about 25 shots a game and hits a pretty fair percentage of them," said Brown. "But Jones did such a good job of denying him the ball that he had only 13 shots tonight and made just five." With Memphis' guards depleted by injuries, Coach Joe Mullaney moved George Carter from forward to guard to start the game. The 6-5 Carter took advantage of Kentucky's smaller guards to score a team high 22 points but without regular Rick Mount, the Sounds' frustration mounted. To compound Memphis' woes, guard Billy Shepherd had to leave the game with a twisted ankle in the third quarter. Nets 111, Spirits 105 Billy Paultz hit 9-of-9 shots in the second half as New York railed from a 15-point deficit to defeat St. Louis. Julius Erving led the Nets with 32 while Paultz had 24. The Nets have now beaten St. Louis 13 straight times without a defeat this season. Utah (107) Malone 10 5-5 25, tetrton 10 6-9 28, Eakins 4 M 11, Roche 3 2-2 8. Boone 2 8- II 12, Seals 5 2-2 12, Jones 1 2-2 4. Smith 3 <H) 7, Govan 0 0-0 0, Williaias 1 <H> 2. Totals 39 28-35 107. Denver (122) Joms 4 4-1 12, Beck 5 4-5 14, Green 5 9-10 19, Calvin 4 9-9 17, Simpson 8 4-8 20, Washington 00-00, Taylor 20-24, McFarland 0 (Ml 0, Terry 6 1-2 13, Robisrh 6 (M) 12. VanBreda Kolff 43-111. Totals 44 3*44 122 Utah 23282S30-107 Denver 25283435-122 Total fouls. Utah 30, Denver 35. Three point goals: Smith. A—7.200. AHA (layoff Schedule and Results By United I'rrss International (.Ul Times KDT) (All Series Best of Seven I Western Division Semifinals Utah vs. Denver (Denver lead series, 1-0) Sun.. April 6—1 Jenver 122 Utah 107 Mm .April 7 —:itDenver.9:35p.m. Wed . April9—at Utah,9:35pm Fa. April II—at Utah, 9:35p.m. x-Sat , April 12—at IVnver, 9 35 p.m. x-Mon..April l4—atUtah,9:35pm x-Tusday. April 15—at Denver, 9:35 p.m. Spanish Fork Golf Playoff SPANISH FORK - Jack Ridd defeated Arlan Peacock in a playoff Sunday to win low gross honors in the Spanish Fork Amateur Golf Tournament sponsored by the Rotary Club. Both golfers finished with 73 to force a playoff. Other low gross scores were Max Fillmore 75, Jack Noble 76, Keith Barton and Mac Christensen 77, Garth Ford 78, Ron Hitchcock 80, Phil Cannon, J.R. Zetterquist and Ken Cromwell 81. The low net winner was Randy Wightman with 69, John Bingham was at 70 followed by Jerry Caras, Dean Ludlow and Jim Tobey 71, Sam Bingham, Gary Hubbs and Gordon Amos 73, Ron Nilsson, Bob Bohne, Frank Mills, Earl Brim and Paul Carter 74. By MIKE TWITTY Herald Sports Writer Brigham Young, Arizona and Arizona State — familiar names in Western Athletic Conference baseball — are the unbeaten teams after the opening weekend of league action. The Cougars pounded out 22 hits in turning back Utah twice Saturday on the BYU diamond. The Wildcats pounded Texas-El Paso in three lopsided games in Tucson and the Sun Devils had a tough time in getting three wins over New Mexico in Tempe. Colorado State's Glenn Goya drove in Dave Moses with the winning run after two were out in the ninth inning Sunday to give the Rams a 6-5 victory over Wyoming in Laramie. On Saturday, CSU whipped the Pokes, 12-7, behind the pitching of Dave Giocomo. In the second came Dennis Southwick and the Alexander Gains Win TUCSON, Ariz. (UPI) Young Australian John Alexander feels like he's coming out from the shadow of such Aussie tennis greats as Rod Laver, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall. After defeating Hie Nastase 75, 6-2 to capture the $30,000 first prize in the American Airlines tennis games Sunday, the 23- year-old Alexander commented, "Sometimes the sun is directly overhead and there isn't much of a shadow." This was only the second tournament win for Alexander in four years and he played well above his 12th place seeding to capture the crown. In the quarter-finals, he had to beat fourth-seeded Arthur Ashe and then he knocked off Newcombe, the top seed and defending champion. Finally, came his win against the fifth-seeded Nastase. "I'm playing the best I ever did in my career," Alexander said. "I'm playing with more confidence against the big names and I hope that I can continue to do well against them." He also credited "increased training and constant conditioning" for the victory, which saw him play a controlled game against Nastase. Alexander entered the finals all set to deal with any antics of the tempermental Nastase. Nastase had walked off the court in protest over a linesman's call in his semi-final match with Rosewall. Nastase was trailing at the time, but came back to defeat Rosewall "I knew that in order to win today I could not allow Hie to disturb my game," Alexander said. "I've played him before and I've gotten smart enough not to get involved with that sort of thing." Rams were belted for 10 runs in the first inning as Wyoming won, 13-8. Southwick started again Sunday and went seven innings before giving way to Tom Brzezicki, a transfer from the Air Force Academy. Skip Person, who started Saturday's first game, was the loser in relief Sunday. Pat Green was the winner in Wyoming's victory. The Rams got two wins in the series despite having starter Steve Soo out with an ankle sprain suffered Thursday in a basketball game. This week, Wyoming visits BYU and Colorado State travels to Utah. In the southern loop, Arizona goes to New Mexico and ASU is at UTEP. NORTHERN DIVISION Brigham Young 2 0 1.000 Colorado State 2 1 .667 Wyoming 1 2 .333 Utah 0 2 000 SOUTHERN DIVISION Arizona 3 o 1.000 Arizona State 3 0 1.000 New Mexico o 3 .000 Texas-El Paso 0 3 .000 Friday's Results: Arizona 23, UTEP 4 Arizona State 4, New Mexico 2 Saturday's Results: BYU 9, Utah 4 BYU 9, Utah 2 Colorado State 12. Wyoming 7 Wyoming 13, Colorado State 8 Arizona 11, UTEP 4 Arizona 20, UTEP 1 Arizona State 4. New Mexico 2 Arizona State 2, New Mexico 1 Sunday's Result: Colorado State 6, Wyoming 5 Tuesday's Games: Southern Utah State at Utah (2) Northern Colorado at Colorado State (2) Grand Canyon at Arizona State Wyoming at Colorado Mines (2) Arizona at Tucson Toros Wednesday's Games: Southern Utah State at BYU (2) Friday's Games: Wyoming at BYU (2) 1 p.m Colorado State at Utah (21 Arizona State at UTEP Arizona at New Mexico Saturday's Games: Wyoming at BYU noon Colorado State at Utah Arizona at New Mexico (2) Arizona State at UTEP (2) AUSTRALIAN JOHN ALEXANDER hits a backhand shot against Hie Nastase of Rumania in winning the American Airlines Tennis Games, 7-5, 6-2, for his second tournament victory. He also knocked off Arthur Ashe and top-seeded John Newcombe.