In the most bizarre of evenings, the Los Angeles Lakers set the franchise record for 3-pointers in a regulation game en route to beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-108 despite running out of eligible players.
With 3:31 remaining in the game, Robert Sacre fouled out. At that point, of the eight players that had lined up for the Lakers on Wednesday night in Cleveland, one was injured in the locker room with a twisted knee, one was cramping under his wrapped up calf and one was already fouled out and ineligible.
With Sacre’s sixth foul, the Lakers ran out of eligible players.
Under rules seemingly no one had heard before, the Lakers were allowed to keep Sacre in the game after the Cavs shot a technical free throw. From that point forward, any foul Sacre committed would count as a personal foul and a technical foul. Luckily, that never happened.
“It’s a nice rule,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game.
It was an odd night, to say the least.
First of all, the Lakers started out hot, especially from distance. They made nine of their first 12 attempts from three-point land.
Wesley Johnson led the charge with 15 points in the first quarter and 3-3 from behind the arc. Johnson may have lit the torch, but Jordan Farmar carried it for most of the game. The former UCLA Bruin, Farmar, finished 5-8 on 3-pointers.
Kendall Marshall contributed four bombs from distance as well, and Steve Blake tied and eclipsed the record with two game-clinching shots.
Blake had eight assists in the first half and finished with 10 points and 15 assists for the game. On the second night of a back-to-back and only two playing in his second game back, Blake played 40 minutes and only made two 3-pointers in the game. He picked the right two to make.
When the Cavs had cut the lead, which once stood at 25 points, to eight points with three minutes remaining in the game, Blake made a 25-footer to toss it back into double digits. With that shot, he tied the Lakers’ franchise record at 17 three-point field goals made.
Then, Blake iced the game with another 25-footer. The record-setter came with 56.9 seconds to play after the home team Cavaliers had drawn to within six points. Suddenly, a nine-point differential with less than a minute sealed the game.
The undermanned, injured and ineligible Lakers won on Wednesday in an odd ball game that had everyone scratching their heads afterwards. Long story short, the Lakers won and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Nick Young, who twisted his knee, will be examined on Thursday. Jordan Hill, per D’Antoni, is expected back on Friday. Steve Nash should start on Friday in Philadelphia and even appeared, dressed in a jersey, on the bench late in the game. Xavier Henry, Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol remain sidelined.