Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
U.S. men's squad blasts federation, wants women's pay tripled
The U.S. men's national team on Wednesday called on the U.S. Soccer Federation to at least triple the pay of women's national team players and accused the federation of "working very hard to sell a false narrative" in opposing their quest for higher pay. Last year, all 28 members of the U.S. women's squad sued the governing body for soccer in the United States, alleging gender discrimination ahead of their successful World Cup title defense. A trial is scheduled for May.
Browns' Garrett reinstated after helmet-hit suspension
Cleveland Browns player Myles Garrett was reinstated to the NFL on Wednesday, three months after the league handed down a record indefinite suspension for attacking an opposing player with his own helmet during a game. Garrett, who met with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday, will be allowed to participate in off-season workouts as a result of the ruling, the Browns said.
Reports: Kobe, Gianna Bryant laid to rest
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were buried in a private funeral service in Southern California last week, multiple outlets reported late Tuesday. Citing Kobe Bryant's death certificate, Los Angeles Fox affiliate KTTV reported the remains of the former Lakers star and his daughter were transferred to Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary in Corona del Mar. Kobe and Brianna were laid to rest in a private ceremony there last Friday.
MLB announces rule changes, including 3-batter minimum
Major League Baseball made official its rule changes for the 2020 season on Wednesday, implementing a three-batter minimum for any pitcher and an expanded regular-season roster. The new pitching rule is the major change, designed to speed up the game by eliminating some pitching changes. Any starter or reliever must face three batters, or pitch until the inning is over, before coming out of the game.
Golf: All Blacks fan Lindberg tickled by tee-time with Barrett
Major-winning Swedish golfer Pernilla Lindberg is looking forward to the "incredible challenge" of competing as the lone woman at the New Zealand Open where she will tee off with two-time World Rugby Player of the Year Beauden Barrett. The 33-year-old Lindberg will be the first woman to play in the event, with the 101st edition to be staged at the Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown from Feb. 27 to March 1.
WTA roundup: Bencic reaches St. Petersburg quarterfinals
Top-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland knocked out hometown favorite Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarterfinals in Russia. Bencic won the first five points of the tiebreak and took the set on her second set point. She earned the only service break of the second set in the seventh game and finished the win in one hour, 44 minutes.
NBA roundup: Zion scores career-high 31 to lead Pelicans
Rookie Zion Williamson had a career-high 31 points, and Josh Hart scored 12 of his 17 points in a pivotal third quarter as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 138-117 on Tuesday night. Williamson, returning from a one-game absence caused by a sprained ankle, added nine rebounds and five assists. Hart started in place of All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, who missed his second consecutive game because of a sprained ankle.
NHL roundup: Pastrnak's hat trick boosts Bruins
David Pastrnak completed his fourth hat trick of the season and surpassed 40 goals as the Boston Bruins beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-1 Wednesday night. Pastrnak regained the league lead with his 41st goal when he scored his third of the night late in the second period. Patrice Bergeron added an empty-netter and Brad Marchand had two assists as the Bruins won for the seventh time in their past eight games. Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots to improve to 13-0-6 at home this season.
Coleman looking to post fast time in 60m at U.S. championships
World 60m record holder Christian Coleman wants to put some excellent training sessions to good use and go for a fast time at this weekend's U.S. Indoor Championships in New Mexico, his manager told Reuters on Wednesday. Coleman, who won the 100m world title in Doha last year and is a big favorite for the Olympic crown in Tokyo, set the indoor 60m world record of 6.34 seconds the last time he ran in the championships in the high altitude of Albuquerque in 2018.
Defending champion Monfils eases through in Rotterdam
France's Gael Monfils started his Rotterdam Open title defense with a convincing 6-3 6-2 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa on Wednesday to move into the last 16. Having won the Open Sud de France in Montpellier last week, Monfils needed only 70 minutes to dispatch his Portuguese opponent, firing five aces and converting four break points.