Raptors clinch…Rockets sizzling…Mavericks owner denies allegations

DETROIT (AP) — The Toronto Raptors are the first NBA team to clinch a playoff berth this season. It took a nail-biter. Fred VanVleet’s jumper from the left corner with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Raptors to a 121-119 victory over the Detroit Pistons. DeMar DeRozan scored 42 points for the Raptors.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Houston Rockets keep blasting the competition. James Harden scored 26 points, leading to a 110-99 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. It was Houston’s 17th straight win. The Rockets passed the Boston Celtics for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. Houston hasn’t lost since Jan. 26 at New Orleans.

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is denying a sexual assault allegation. The NBA says it is reviewing a 2011 allegation and the decision by prosecutors not to pursue the case. 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.

UNDATED (AP) — What do you do after taking a high-scoring Super Bowl win? For the Philadelphia Eagles the answer is working on defense. The Eagles have acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks. That’s according to three people familiar with the trade. They tell The AP 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.

BOSTON (AP) — 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.”

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