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Key to Lakers win over Cavs: desperation once Sacre fouled out

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The Los Angeles Lakers won a game last night. They beat the Cleveland Cavs 119-108 in Cleveland after losing 19 of their previous 22 contests.

They began the night with only 8 eligible players, the NBA league minimum to field a team for a game. The Lakers ended the night with 4, using Robert Sacre as their fifth despite him fouling out.

An obscure NBA rule was dusted off in the waning minutes of the game as officials checked with each other and informed the clueless coaches and players.

Sacre's fifth foul was designated both a personal and technical foul. Each time Sacre committed a foul from that moment on would be a T and the Cavs would get the ball.

And the Cleveland Cavaliers still couldn't win. On a night when Kyrie Irving only played 28 minutes, scoring 11 points and dishing out 4 assists, the hapless team shot itself in the foot.

It turns out it was the tipping point for the team's general manager. This morning, the Cavs announced he was relieved of his duties.

How did the Lakers get to the point where they only dressed 8 players? Well, the night prior in a big loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota, they lost Jordan Hill to a neck injury and Jody Meeks to a severe ankle sprain. Steve Nash was not available in Cleveland, by coaches choice and he hadn't dressed. Mike D'Antoni chose to sit him after he played his first game in months.

In Cleveland the Lakers promptly lost Nick Young to a lower extremity issue and then Jordan Farmar got such severe cramps he had to sit. He'd played big minutes in Minnesota, also his first after rehabbing a weeks-long injury.

When Chris Kaman fouled out, only five players were left to play and Rob Sacre, filling in for Kaman already had five fouls.

There you have it Lakers fans. Steve Blake played the game of his life with a shattered eardrum. He was on the court 40 minutes scored 11, dished out 14 dimes and took 15 rebounds.

Rookie Ryan Kelly played the most minutes with 42, was high scorer with 26 points. 3-7 from beyond the arc.

Next stop on this ghoulish road trip, hitting snow storms, getting into town at ungodly hours, is Philadelphia on Friday night. Who will dress for the game? Stay tuned..

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