The Los Angeles Lakers, down to five players because of injuries and fouls, are aided by a rule that allowed Robert Sacre to stay in the game despite six fouls and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers. But what price victory?The Lakers were seemingly down to four players, but beat the Cavaliers 119-108, with help from an obscure rule that kept Sacre in Wednesday’s game after he picked up his sixth personal foul. The Lakers started with only eight players in uniform, lost two because of injury reasons (Nick Young, Jordan Farmar) and then another two because of fouls (Chris Kaman, Sacre). So referee Jason Phillips saved the Lakers’ day at Quicken Loans Arena. He informed them that Sacre could stay on the court despite picking up his sixth foul on a drive by CJ Miles with 3:32 to play. The only remaining Lakers were already on the court — Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Steve Blake, Kendall Marshall — and a team cannot drop to four players if there are no other substitutes.
Sacre was allowed to keep playing, a technical foul was assessed for the infraction and Cleveland made the free throw. The Lakers were ahead at the time of the foul, 111-101. “That was the craziest game I’ve ever seen,” said Kaman, the 11-year veteran. Pau Gasol (strained groin) and Kobe Bryant (knee swelling) were back in Los Angeles. Jodie Meeks (sprained ankle), Jordan Hill (strained neck) and Xavier Henry (bruised knee) were also out. “Four on five would have been unique to watch,” Sacre said. “But, yeah, I’m glad it didn’t happen that way.” Meanwhile, General Mitch Kupchek has re-signed Shawne Williams to a 10-day contract. Williams rejoins the Lakers after playing in 32 games (11 starts) for the club earlier this season, averaging 5.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 20.2 minutes.