Los Angeles Lakers beat Cleveland Cavaliers after enforcement of odd rule

By Thomas Leone,

The Los Angeles Lakers went into Cleveland very short-handed Wednesday night with only eight players eligible to play. They were missing six players, including Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash due to various injuries. Still, they ended up having a historic night against the Cavaliers and ended the victory in an unusual manner.

The Lakers were stuck playing a lot of their bench players for long stretches, but they had one of the best games offensively in the history of the organization. Led by Steve Blake and rookie Ryan Kelly, the team set a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a game going 18-for-37 from 3-point range, according to the Associated Press. That, however, was not the story of the night.

In the midst of the game, the Lakers lost two players to injury and one player fouled out, leaving the Lakers with only five eligible/healthy players (the amount of players you need on the court at one time). Then in the fourth quarter, Lakers player Robert Sacre committed his sixth personal foul, which would cause him to foul-out of the game.

However, he was allowed to stay in the game because as the NBA rulebook states: that a team cannot be reduced to less than five players in a game. If this happens the player can continue to play but every other foul committed by the team will be treated as a technical foul against the team, according to Sports Illustrated.

This rule is not well known by many players and coaches around the NBA. Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni told the AP that he did not know about the rule.

The Lakers won the game with a score of 119-108 over the Cavs, giving them their first win in two weeks.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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