The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off one of their most impressive wins in franchise history Wednesday night, beating the Cavs 119-108 in Cleveland. We know what you're thinking: The Lakers are terrible this season. They've had a lot of big wins over the years. And these aren't exactly LeBron's Cavaliers. But in one of the most bizarre finishes to a game the NBA has seen in quite some time, the Lakers ended their seven-game losing streak in Cleveland despite playing the final 3 minutes, 32 seconds with only four eligible players. That's right — four eligible players in a sport that requires five players on the floor at all times. Let's see the Magic & Kareem, West & Wilt, or Shaq & Kobe teams do that. A detailed recount of the game can be found here. But here's a quick run-down: Through attrition and an aging roster, the Lakers took the Quicken Loans Arena floor with only eight players available. The starting lineup? Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre. The bench? Chris Kaman, Kendall Marshall, and Nick "Swaggy P" Young. Not exactly the Dream Team to begin with. In fact, the injured Lakers not dressed fort the game was coach Mike D'Antoni's most star-studded group by far: Steve Nash (rest), Jodie Meeks (sprained ankle suffered Tuesday night in Minnesota), Jordan Hill (strained neck suffered Tuesday night in Minnesota), Pau Gasol (groin, did not make trip) and Kobe Bryant (knee, did not make trip). The Lakers started hot, led by double digits in the first quarter and held a 21-point lead at halftime. But they had also lost Young by the half, out with a twisted knee. Kaman fouled out in the fourth quarter, leaving LA with six players, and Farmar left the game for good with a leg injury shortly thereafter.
How Lakers finished with four 'eligible' players — and still won
Fox Sports | Feb 6