The Los Angeles Lakers’ injury woes continued on Wednesday night, resulting in one of the most bizarre finishes in NBA history. The Lakers came into Cleveland with only eight players healthy, as Steve Nash did not dress in order to rest in the second leg of a back-to-back. Nick Young left the game during halftime after a “twisted” knee. Then, there were seven. Things just got worse from there.
Chris Kaman was whistled for his sixth and final foul early in the fourth quarter, leaving only Jordan Farmar on the bench. Then, it was revealed that Farmar would not return to the game, as his calf was wrapped in ice and he couldn’t continue. The bench was so depleted, Kaman used the unusual space to stretch his legs and back.
Kamans couch pic.twitter.com/GeZ3GLxdnN
— Artem (@nbarocksstc) February 6, 2014
With only five available players dressed to play, and all of them on the court, Robert Sacre received his sixth and final foul with three minutes left. But since the Lakers had no one to substitute, L.A. was forced to keep Sacre in and forfeit a technical foul for each subsequent called foul, per NBA rule 3I:
NBA rule 3I states no team may be reduced to less than five players. Last guy to foul out stays in, gets tech + more techs for each foul
— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) February 6, 2014
Steve Nash even suited up and made his way to the bench, just in case, but the Lakers miraculously held onto their lead and left Cleveland with a peculiar 119-108 win.
I've never seen this situation before!! Did anybody know about this rule!? #LakersvsCavs
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) February 6, 2014
The Lakers set a new franchise record for a regulation game with 18 made three-pointers. Steve Blake was one of the few in uniform, but his wife missed his triple-double after he scored 11, dished 15 dimes and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win:
— kristen blake (@kristenblake2) February 6, 2014
Ryan Kelly, making the most of such an unusual amount of playing time, led the seven of the eight playing Lakers in double-figures with a career-high 26 points. Young, who only played 17 minutes, was the only Lakers player who failed to score at least 10 points.
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