The Los Angeles Lakers enjoyed a morale-boosting 119-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night, despite technically running out of players.
26 points from rookie power forward Ryan Kelly, 20 from Jordan Farmar and a remarkable triple double - 11 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds - from Steve Blake secured a win but the Lakers finished with only four eligible players after second-year center Robert Sacre fouled out with just under three-and-a-half minutes left to play.
That just added insult to injury for the incredibly shorthanded Lakers, who only had eight players to start with in Ohio.
With the likes of Jordan Hill, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol already ruled out, the visitors also lost Nick Young and Farmar to injuries during the game and saw Chris Kaman leave the floor with six fouls in the fourth quarter.
However, by a quirk of fate on an extraordinary evening for the Lakers and head coach Mike D'Antoni, Sacre was allowed to carry on playing - despite fouling out - due to a little-known rule that does not allow teams to go down to four players.
This must surely go down as one of the most hard-fought and remarkable victories in the Lakers' long and illustrious history.
Sacre can certainly count himself lucky and will presumably have been kicking himself for allowing himself to run the risk of fouling out with his team in such dire straights.
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