Lakers survive with just four players available

The Lakers injuries this year are well-documents — from Kobe Bryant to Pau Gasol to Steve Blake's recent return to Steve Nash's recent reutnr — the team has been a revolving door of injured players. Los Angeles has rarely been a complete team.

They may never have been more incomplete than they were Wednesday.

Los Angeles had the minimum number of players necessary in uniform for an NBA game — eight. The team consisted of Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar with Nick Young, Chris Kaman and Kendall Marshall available off the bench.

The Lakers took as much as a 29-point lead in the game and led the entire way. That says a lot about the mess the Cavaliers were in. But that is not what made this game noteworthy.

No, what made this game noteworth were the strange events and occurrences that happened after that as the game unraveled. And that should lead to more embarrassment for the Cavaliers.

First, Nick Young left the game after twisting his knee, leaving the Lakers with seven available players. Young played 17.5 minutes in the game before leaving. That gave Chris Kaman plenty of space to lounge on the bench:

That space got even bigger when Jordan Farmar tweaked his previous injury and was forced out of the game. The Lakers were down to six.

Then came the explanation of perhaps the oddest finish in NBA history. Kaman fouled out and shortly after that in the fourth quarter Robert Sacre fouled out. The Lakers were down to four eligible players.

NBA rules state a team must have five players on the floor so when Sacre fouled out, the Lakers were assessed a technical foul and were allowed to keep him in the game. Should Sacre commit any more fouls, it would be another technical foul plus any free throws the Cavaliers would have been owed.

Cleveland had a real shot at coming back in this game.


Unfortunately, the Cavaliers appear to be more of a mess than the injury-depleted Lakers. Cleveland gave up 53.2 percent shooting to this mismatched, undersized Los Angeles team and shot only 37.6 percent from the floor. The Cavaliers suffered an embarrassing 119-108 loss at home to this team. Blake even recorded a triple double.

And now they become the butt of this historical and statistical joke.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily