Entering Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers were already playing shorthanded as they only had eight healthy players available.
The Lakers held as much as a 29-point lead while being outmanned in their 119-108 win over the Cavaliers, but the game was more than just an impressive victory. It was more than Steve Blake recording his first career triple-double as a member of the Lakers. It was more than Ryan Kelly scoring a career-high 26 points and it was more than the team setting a franchise record 18 made 3-pointers in a single game.
It was a game that featured Los Angeles losing two more players in Nick Young, who did not play in the second half after twisting his left knee late in the second quarter, and Jordan Farmar, who exited the game in the fourth quarter with leg cramps. Then there was also Chris Kaman fouling out early in the fourth quarter, which put the Lakers at just five players for the remainder of the game.
Things got very interesting to say the least from that point as Robert Sacre committed his sixth foul with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter, but was able to stay in the game as he was the team’s fifth player. The Lakers were then assessed a technical foul.
So for the remainder of the game, Sacre had to play cautiously as any additional foul made by the center would result in a technical.
It was also at this juncture that Steve Nash, who was on the active roster but was not scheduled to play in Wednesday’s game as it was the second of back to backs, had to change from street clothes to his uniform just in case another injury were to occur.
But although Nash was ready to play, the NBA’s official rule book stated that the last player to foul would be permitted to return to the game and not the 39-year-old point guard.
Nonetheless, it was a game that had the deck stacked against the Lakers and they were somehow able to pull out an unlikely win despite being down to just five available players.
Ultimately what Wednesday’s game showed was that anything can happen on any given night in the NBA and for the Lakers it was a night unlike any other.
Below is recap of Wednesday’s game that features Lakers players’ post game reaction:
Photo Credit: Mark Duncan/AP