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Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers Discover Rule 3, Section I in 119-108 Lakers Win

February 6th, 2014 at 10:05 AM
By Douglas Hochberg

Last night’s bizarre Cleveland Cavaliers game ended with something most have never seen, and will probably never see again. The 119-108 Cavs loss will not be how most remember this game.

The ailing Los Angeles Lakers came into the Quicken Loans arena with only eight healthy players. Then Nick Young’s injury in the second quarter dropped the number to seven. But no worries for the Lakers, they would go into the second half with a 70-49 lead. Well, then an injury to Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman fouling out meant the Lakers were but a five man active roster.

'Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks' photo (c) 2010, Dan Fornal - license:

The Cavaliers began to feel the momentum shift and even got the game back to single digits from a peak of twenty-eight down. That is when Robert Sacre, at the 3:31 mark, was called for his sixth foul. Los Angeles now only had four active players.

But no, the NBA has a little known rule that kept him in the game.  According to Rule 3, Section I

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 already been disqualified, said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul. A technical foul also shall 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.

Sacre was assessed a technical foul and then allowed to continue to play. There would be no Hickory High moment for the young Lakers. Pau Gasol even tweeted his amazement at the situation.

The question for Cavaliers fans was the curious case of Steve Nash. Not injured and being held out for rest, the guard even began to lace up his sneakers before being told to stop. He was listed as active for the night and appeared healthy enough to play in lieu of Sacre. Referees have yet to comment on that particular issue, but who knows with this many injuries for L.A., maybe we will see this rule again.

After last night only one thing is certain, the Cavaliers cannot even beat a team with literally four qualified players at the end of the night.

Cleveland allowed rookie Ryan Kelly to have a game-high, and career best, 26 points, Farmar to score 21, and Wesley Johnson to finish with 20 points and nine rebounds. Also, Steve Blake recorded his second career triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists.

The Cavs' starters did not produce and were subsequently benched after the reserves got them back in the game. They were led by 15 from Anderson Varejao, but only got 11 from Kyrie Irving and three points from Luol Deng.

Cleveland travels to Washington on Friday to take on the Wizards.

Tags: Anderson Varejao, Basketball, Chris Kaman, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Jordan Farmar, Kyrie Irving, Los Angeles Lakers, Luol Deng, NBA, Nick Young, Pau Gasol, Robert Sacre, Steve Blake, Steve Nash

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