Skip to content

Lakers finish win over Cavaliers with just four active players

Feb 5, 2014, 10:24 PM EST

Lakers bench AP

The Lakers were already shorthanded heading into Wednesday’s contest against the Cavaliers, but by the time it was over, they didn’t have a combination of qualified and healthy players to even field a five-man team.

L.A. led by as many as 29 points before holding on for the 119-108 victory, but things were a bit sketchy down the stretch.

The Lakers began the game with just eight active players, thanks to injuries suffered the previous night to both Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill that ruled them out for this one. Steve Nash was a scheduled scratch due to this being the second night of a back-to-back, along with the fact that he just returned on Tuesday from a prolonged, injury-forced absence.

Eight became seven once Nick Young suffered a knee injury and did not return for the second half. Seven became six after Chris Kaman fouled out with 8:29 remaining. Six became five after Jordan Farmar headed to the bench with what appeared to be a calf injury, though Mike D’Antoni said afterward that he simply cramped up and would be available for the team’s next game.

Now, here’s where things got interesting.

Steve Nash was technically active even though the Lakers had no plans to play him, so he was forced to dress and come back out and sit on the bench, presumably in case another injury took place. That turned out not to be necessary, even though Robert Sacre picked up his sixth personal foul with 3:32 to play, which should have meant a disqualification.

A rarely-needed rule, however, meant that Sacre could keep playing, with a technical foul as the price. As detailed in the NBA’s official rule book:

“Each team shall consist of five players. No team may be reduced to less than five players. If a player in the game receives his sixth personal foul and all substitutes have been disqualified, said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul. A technical foul shall also be assessed against his team. All subsequent personal fouls, including offensive fouls, shall be treated similarly. All players who have six or more personal fouls and remain in the game shall be treated similarly.”

Had someone else been injured or ejected, Nash still wouldn’t have been forced into action. Another rule states that if that were to happen, the last player to be disqualified for picking up six personal fouls would be allowed to return, and the team would be assessed a technical foul in that instance.

This is the state of the Lakers these days, such that we must scour the rule book to see what happens when two-thirds of the team becomes unavailable due to injury.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Mark Rachesky jumps into bidding for Hawks; price tag north of $900 million

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:14 PM EST

    Hawks pac man logo

    Don’t be shocked if the final price tag is close to $1 billion. Yes, for the Hawks.

  2. George Karl: Knicks could use a strong point guard next to Carmelo Anthony

    Mar 4, 2015, 5:15 PM EST

    Image (1) anthony_Karl-thumb-250x181-21662.jpg for post 6222

    Except you don’t really want a strong point guard in Phil Jackson’s triangle.

  3. P.J. Hairston has had a rough rookie season

    Mar 4, 2015, 4:30 PM EST

    Minnesota Timberwolves v Charlotte Hornets Minnesota Timberwolves v Charlotte Hornets

    Some guys turn things around, bu Hairston has a lot of work to do.

  4. Ray Allen announces he will not play this season

    Mar 4, 2015, 2:58 PM EST

    Miami Heat's Allen celebrates a three point shot against the Indiana Pacers during Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami Reuters

    Allen isn’t officially retiring just yet, says he’ll reassess things in advance of next season.

  5. Pelicans’ Anthony Davis a gametime decision Wednesday vs. Pistons

    Mar 4, 2015, 2:15 PM EST

    Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans Getty Images

    Davis has missed the last six games with a shoulder injury.

  6. Russell Westbrook confirms he will play Wednesday night vs. Sixers

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:28 PM EST

    He should put up numbers against the Sixers. Then again he puts up numbers on everyone.

  7. NBA admits missed foul call in final minutes of Timberwolves’ loss to Clippers

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:20 AM EST

    Andrew Wiggins, Spencer Hawes Andrew Wiggins, Spencer Hawes

    League is releasing officiating reports for all calls made in a close game’s final two minutes, and the results are fascinating.

  8. LeBron goes behind the back to avoid Avery Bradley on the break (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:40 AM EST

    Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

    Nifty but necessary move by LeBron to earn the easy two points.

  9. Derek Fisher questions ‘character and integrity’ of players after Knicks lose to Kings by 38 points

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:20 AM EST

    Derek Fisher AP

    Knicks starting five combined for just 24 points, and New York trailed by as many as 44 before this one was finished.

  10. Utah’s Rudy Gobert grabs a career-high 24 rebounds in win over Grizzlies (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:40 AM EST

    Utah Jazz v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

    Jazz are 5-1 in their last six games since Gobert was inserted into the starting lineup.

  11. LeBron James moves into 21st on NBA’s all-time scoring list (VIDEO)

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EST

    Miami Heat practice Getty Images

    James passed Ray Allen to achieve his latest milestone.

  12. Josh Smith calls Hawks fans “bandwagoners”

    Mar 4, 2015, 1:55 AM EST

    Houston Rockets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

    Hawks fans booed Smith every time he touched the ball.

  13. Josh Smith rattles in 3-pointer, taunts booing Hawks fans (video)

    Mar 3, 2015, 11:33 PM EST

    Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague

    Smith can’t stop shooting 3s, though, and you know how that ends

Featured video

Is Derrick Rose the next Penny Hardaway?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. R. Westbrook (8345)
  2. K. Durant (7816)
  3. D. Rose (7145)
  4. D. Cousins (7002)
  5. A. Davis (6984)
  1. D. Howard (6724)
  2. J. Harden (6517)
  3. L. James (6505)
  4. K. Irving (6232)
  5. P. George (6184)