Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Thousands turn out to mourn Kobe Bryant as Lakers return to the court in LA
Tens of thousands of Kobe Bryant fans flooded the grounds around Staples Center on Friday ahead of his former team's first game since his death in a helicopter crash earlier this week that stunned basketball fans in the city and worldwide. Fans wearing Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers jerseys laid flowers, wrote messages on temporarily erected white walls and shared stories of the 41 year old, who perished along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people on Sunday.
For Miami stadium's neighbors, Super Bowl brings years-old tensions to surface
Renowned for flashy events and wild parties, South Florida has hosted more Super Bowls than anywhere. But many of those who live in the shadow of Hard Rock Stadium, site of Sunday's Super Bowl LIV and home of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, are hardly in a party mood. Residents of Miami Gardens, the mostly black, working class city surrounding the stadium, have long felt neglected and even exploited by the Dolphins organization. They say their quality of life has become a casualty in the region's eternal quest for tourism dollars, and fear the area's black community faces a fresh chapter in a history of displacement.
NBA roundup: Blazers top Lakers on tribute night for Bryant
Damian Lillard scored 29 of his 48 points in the second half, and the visiting Portland Trail Blazers posted a 127-119 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday as the Lakers paid tribute to the life of Kobe Bryant. Lillard, who just missed recording his second straight triple-double, also had 10 assists and nine rebounds. He connected on 7 of 12 3-point attempts and 17 of 30 shots from the floor. Hassan Whiteside had 30 points on 13-of-14 shooting while adding 12 rebounds and five blocks for Portland.
LeBron celebrates his 'brother' Kobe in emotional speech
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James delivered an emotional speech honoring his "brother" Kobe Bryant prior to the first Lakers game since the NBA great, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. James began by reading the names of all nine victims of the tragedy and then throwing a piece of paper containing his prepared remarks on the court.
13 minutes, $13 million: The logistics of pulling off a Super Bowl halftime show
The popular Super Bowl halftime show is only 13 minutes long, but the million-dollar-a-minute extravaganza takes thousands of people, months of planning and near military precision to pull off. Organizers have the Herculean task of turning a football field into a concert venue and back in less than half an hour, and without damaging the playing surface.
NHL roundup: Ovechkin passes Messier in Caps' win
Alex Ovechkin scored twice to reach 695 goals for his career and move into eighth on the NHL's all-time list, as the visiting Washington Capitals beat the Ottawa Senators for an eighth consecutive time, 5-3, on Friday night. Ovechkin drew even with Mark Messier for eighth place via a three-on-one with 9:33 left in the second period to give the NHL-leading Capitals a 3-1 lead. He took sole possession of the eighth spot with his 37th of the season and 11th goal in five games with a late empty-netter.
Super Bowl to feature women owners on each side for first time
When the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers take the field on Sunday, new ground will be broken with this year's Super Bowl being the first to feature two teams with women owners. With Denise York helping lead the Niners as co-owner and co-chair and Norma Hunt the matriarch of the Chiefs, Super Bowl LIV will represent a small crack in the glass ceiling of the overwhelmingly male-dominated world of pro football.
Comeback kid Kenin overpowers Muguruza to claim first major
Sofia Kenin showed grit and combativeness on the way to her maiden Grand Slam title on Saturday, as the 21-year-old American fought her way back from a set down to beat Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open final. Kenin may not have the strength or build of her Spanish opponent, but what she lacked in power she made up for in willpower as she took down double Grand Slam winner Muguruza 4-6 6-2 6-2.
Mahomes eyes throne, Garoppolo seeks respect as young quarterbacks cap transformative NFL season
With one day to go until Super Bowl LIV, it is safe to say quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Patrick Mahomes have had very different weeks. For the Kansas City Chiefs' 24-year-old phenom Mahomes, the media-saturated days in Miami ahead of Sunday's big game were a virtual coronation, with NFL insiders pawing over his 2019 stats as they speculated about whether he could become the league's next superstar.
Tennis-Mountaineer Muguruza falls short of Australian Open summit
Garbine Muguruza battled to the top of Africa's highest mountain during the offseason but fell just short during her final push to the summit of the Australian Open on Saturday. Instead, it was American 14th seed Sofia Kenin, a rank outsider in the scheme of things, who muscled past the twice Grand Slam champion to hoist the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy after a comeback 4-6 6-2 6-2 win in the final.