NBA reviewing sexual assault allegations against Mark Cuban
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA says it is reviewing 2011 allegations of sexual assault against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and the decision by prosecutors not to pursue the case.
League spokesman Mike Bass said Wednesday the NBA was looking into the matter after a weekly alternative newspaper in Portland, Oregon, reported a woman’s claim that Cuban put his hands down her pants and touched her inappropriately while they were taking a photo at a Portland nightclub.
The report Tuesday in the Willamette Week came about a week and half after a Sports Illustrated account that portrayed a hostile work environment for women in the front office of the Mavericks. While Cuban wasn’t implicated, the SI report raised questions about what he knew and when.
Cuban flatly denied the woman’s allegations and provided a prosecutors’ report detailing the decision not to file charges.
Prosecutors wrote that “there is no evidence to corroborate the complainant’s statement and there is evidence contradicting the claim.” The report also said the woman didn’t want to proceed with the allegation.
In other NBA news:
— The NBA says three plays were officiated incorrectly in overtime of Tuesday’s Miami-Washington game, all aiding the Wizards in what became their four-point victory. The National Basketball Referees Association, however, disagreed with the league’s assessment in one of those situations.
Lakers rally to beat Magic
UNDATED (AP) — Brook Lopez scored 27 points and hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a nine-point lead in the final 90 seconds before rallying back to beat the Orlando Magic 108-107. The game ended with a curious officiating decision. When the Magic inbounded the ball at midcourt after Lopez’s free throws, the clock apparently started before anyone had touched the ball. But after video review, the referees ruled the teams must have a jump ball at center court.
In other games:
— LeBron James scored 39 points, including nine down the stretch, and dished out 10 assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 113-108 after squandering a 16-point lead Wednesday night. James made one off-balanced shot after another in the waning minutes to turn back the Nuggets, who didn’t take their first lead of the game until 8:35 remaining on a driving layup by Mason Plumlee.
— James Harden scored 26 points, Eric Gordon had 18 points and two momentum-swinging 3s in the third quarter, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-99 for their 17th straight win. The Rockets passed the Boston Celtics for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.
— Fred VanVleet’s jumper from the left corner with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Toronto Raptors to a 121-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons. DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points for the Raptors, who became the first NBA team to clinch a playoff berth this season.
— Anthony Davis scored 17 points before rolling his left ankle and leaving in the third quarter, and the New Orleans Pelicans matched a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, beating the Sacramento Kings 114-101 on Wednesday. Davis went down after battling Sacramento’s Kosta Koufos for a rebound. The five-time All-Star winced and grabbed at his ankle before slowly getting to his feet. Davis remained in the game briefly before leaving.
— Lauri Markkanen scored 22 points, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn added 21 apiece, and the Chicago Bulls hung on to hand the Memphis Grizzlies their 15th straight loss, 119-110. The Bulls saw a 21-point lead whittle to one but came away with their fourth win in 18 games.
— Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell finished with 20 points and six assists, and the Utah Jazz snapped the Indiana Pacers’ four-game winning streak with a 104-84 victory. The Jazz improved to 15-2 over their last 17 games. Ricky Rubio finished with 18 points and seven assists for Utah, and reserve Jae Crowder added 16 points. Joe Ingles had 11 points and 10 assists.
AP Sources: Eagles get Michael Bennett from Seattle
UNDATED (AP) — The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles have acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks, according to three people familiar with the trade. They tell the Associated Press that Seattle will get wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday.
Bennett had 8 ½ sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career. The 32-year-old has three years remaining on his contract, with a base salary of just $1.65 million in 2018. That number jumps to $6 million in 2019 and $7.5 million in 2020.
In other NFL news:
— A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks. The Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season’s leading tackler. Los Angeles gets the Giants’ fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft.
— The Patriots have released tight end Martellus Bennett, who was due a $2 million roster bonus next week. His release will save New England about $6 million in salary cap space. Bennett joined New England in November of last season after being released by Green Bay for “failing to disclose a physical condition.”
— Oakland Raiders long snapper Jon Condo says the team has told him he won’t return in 2018. Condo said on his Twitter account that the Raiders told his agent he won’t be back when he becomes a free agent next week. Condo played every game over 11 years with the Raiders.
Mariners bring back 44-year-old Ichiro Suzuki
UNDATED (AP) — The Seattle Mariners are bringing back Ichiro Suzuki.
Seattle finalized a one-year deal with 44-year-old Japanese star on Wednesday after several outfielders got hurt. Suzuki underwent a physical in Seattle on Monday.
Suzuki spent the first 11 major league season with the Mariners, earning 2001 AL Rookie of the Year and MVP, winning a pair of batting titles and becoming a 10-time All-Star. He was traded to the New York Yankees midway through 2012, played parts of three seasons with the Yankees, then spent three seasons with Miami.
In other baseball news:
— Tim Lincecum (LIHN’-sih-kuhm) has passed the physical he needed to finalize his $1 million, one-year contract with the Texas Rangers. Texas general manager Jon Daniels says the 33-year-old right-hander will be a reliever and could be the Rangers’ closer as he attempts to pitch in the big leagues for the first time since 2016.
— The Tampa Bay Rays say right-hander Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The 25-year-old is the second top Rays prospect to incur a major elbow injury this spring training. De Leon made his big league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 and pitched in one game for Tampa Bay last year, winning at Texas on May 29.
Flames snap 4-game skid with 5-1 win over Sabres
UNDATED (AP) — Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski scored three minutes apart in the first period and the Calgary Flames snapped a four-game skid with a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. Calgary improved to 1-3-1 in its last five games to gain ground in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.
Calgary improved to 1-3-1 in its last five games to gain ground in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race. With 76 points, the Flames jumped into 10th place, a point ahead of idle St. Louis, and within one of Los Angeles and Colorado.
In other league action:
— Derek Stepan scored with 58 seconds left in the third period, leading the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. Clayton Keller assisted on the winning goal and also scored in the first period for the Coyotes. Arizona is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games. Jussi Jokinen scored for the Canucks.
— Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Pittsburgh has won three straight and moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.
Francis out as Hurricanes’ GM
UNDATED (AP) — Hall of Fame player Ron Francis is out as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes after four years but will remain with the team in another front-office position. New owner Tom Dundon says the team will begin a search for a new GM to report directly to Dundon. Francis will move into a new role as the team’s president of hockey operations. The move came a day after Carolina’s 6-1 loss at Minnesota.
In other news:
— Boston Bruins forward David Backes has been suspended for three games for a shoulder to the head of Detroit’s Frans Nielsen. The decision was announced by the league on Wednesday, a day after Backes knocked Nielsen from Boston’s 6-5 overtime victory.
T25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-T25
North Carolina beats Syracuse 78-59 at ACC and honors Durham
NEW YORK (AP) — Theo Pinson had 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Kenny Williams scored 17 points as No. 12 North Carolina beat Syracuse 78-59 on Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (23-9) face third-seeded Miami on Thursday night in the quarterfinals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Injury could keep Azubuike out of NCAA tournament
UNDATED (AP) — Kansas forward Udoka Azubuike (oo-DOH’-kah ah-zoo-BWEE’-kay) sprained his left knee during a scrimmage this week, ruling him out of the Big 12 Tournament and putting his availability for the NCAA Tournament in question. The ninth-ranked and top-seeded Jayhawks open the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said Wednesday that Azubuike hurt the medial collateral ligament in his knee the previous day. Azubuike is averaging 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds this season.
In other news:
— Kentucky says freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt is being evaluated on a daily basis after sustaining an unspecified injury in practice. Basketball spokesman Eric Lindsey said via text that the 6-foot-9, 214-pound Vanderbilt was injured Tuesday and his status for Southeastern Conference Tournament is “day-to-day.” The fourth-seeded Wildcats play their first game in Friday’s quarterfinals at the tournament in St. Louis.
NCAA passes $1 billion in revenue, surplus of $105 million
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year, most of which came from its television deal for the men’s basketball tournament, and distributed $560.3 million to Division I schools.
The NCAA released Wednesday its audited financial statement for September 2016 to August 2017. The media rights deal with CBS and Turner for the tournament was worth $761 million. That increases to $869 million this year.
The NCAA also was paid $35.75 million from ESPN. The NCAA does not make anything from major college football and the College Football Playoff media rights. Those deals are struck with conferences.
The NCAA listed $956 million in total expenses leaving it with a surplus of 105.1 million. The previous year, the NCAA reported $995 million in revenue.
Kevin Harvick docked playoff points for illegal winning car
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Harvick has been stripped of the playoff points he earned for winning at Las Vegas because of violations discovered on his Ford.
NASCAR ruled Wednesday that Harvick’s No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team violated the rule requiring rear window support braces holding the rear window glass rigid, as well as a rule requiring the right side rocker panel extension to be aluminum.
The penalty is the loss of the seven playoff points Harvick earned for winning Sunday’s race and both stages. It was Harvick’s second consecutive win of the season.
Harvick also was docked 20 points. Harvick now has six playoff points instead of the 13 he had earned through three races.
Crew chief Rodney Childers was fined $50,000, and car chief Robert Smith was suspended two races.
Vettel lowers Ricciardo’s unofficial record at F1 testing
MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — Sebastian Vettel broke the unofficial track record at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona in Formula One preseason testing Thursday.
Vettel pushed his Ferrari to a lap of 1 minute, 17.182 seconds. That bettered Red Bull driver’s Daniel Ricciardo’s effort of 1:18.047 set Wednesday.
The times were established on the “hypersoft” tire compound introduced this year.
They were both more than a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton’s pole position with Mercedes in last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Times set in testing are not officially recognized as track records.