Summary of sports events and persons who made news on Wednesday
LeBron James endured the worst defeat of his NBA career on Tuesday when the Los Angeles Lakers were thumped by 42 points by the Indiana Pacers.
The result was such a foregone conclusion that James sat out the entire fourth quarter in the 136-94 result in Indianapolis.
He had never in his 16-year career experienced worse than a 36-point loss before Tuesday.
James is playing his way back after missing more than a month with a groin injury.
The night was not a complete disaster from a personal standpoint for James, who scored 18 points, becoming the fifth player in NBA history to reach 32,000 points.
The four-time NBA most valuable player is in his first season with the Lakers, after his off-season move from Cleveland.
The Lakers are 27-27 for the season after Tuesday's loss.
Osaka pulls out of Qatar Open with injury
World No 1 Naomi Osaka has pulled out of next week's Qatar Open with an unspecified back injury, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.
Osaka, who was set play for the first time since her Australian Open triumph, has suffered with back problems in the past.
"I am sorry to have withdrawn from Doha this year as I was looking forward to playing and seeing my fans there," the 21-year-old said in a statement.
"I wish everyone a great week and hope to see everyone next year."
Simona Halep, the Romanian who Osaka replaced as world number one, Karolina Pliskova and Angelique Kerber head up the field in Doha from February 11.
Eying 2020 qualification, Dipa to compete at World Cups in Baku and Doha
Ace Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar will be competing in back-to-back World Cups next month to enhance her chances of qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dipa had claimed a bronze at the vault event of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Cottbus, Germany in November, last year, to make a strong bid for her Olympic qualification.
It was Dipa's first appearance after recovering from a knee strain which spoilt her Jakarta Asian Games, where she missed the vault final and also had to pull out of the team event due to a knee strain.
The Indian, who vaulted her way to a fourth place finish at the Rio Olympics, will now compete at the Baku World Cup (March 14–17) and Doha World Cup (March 20–23).
"This time the Olympic Qualifications is through several routes including the World Cups. I wanted to explore all possible routes to increase my chances for the 2020 Olympic Qualifications and my confidence has risen after winning a medal at the World Cup in Germany last year," Dipa said.
"I am now ready for the back to back World Cups in Baku and Doha this March. I hope to show up good performance and progress towards the Olympics," added the gymnast from Agartala.
The two events are part of an eight-event qualifying system for the 2020 Olympics, under which the gymnasts will make the cut based on the their top three scores.
Dipa decided to skip the World Cup in Melbourne (February 21-24) to prepare for next month's twin world cups.
"We decided to miss the Melbourne event to take a little more time to prepare for the upcoming World Cups at Baku and Doha," her coach and mentor Bisweswar Nandi said.