Robert Sacre Remains in Lakers Game with 6 Fouls Due to Bizarre NBA Rule

The Los Angeles Lakers recorded a 119-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night despite suiting up just eight players, but it's the five players who were on the floor when the clock struck zero that are making headlines.

With 3:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, center Robert Sacre recorded his sixth foul of the game on a C.J. Miles field-goal attempt. Sacre, in typical situations, would have been disqualified for the rest of the night.

However, the Lakers had no one to replace him. Chris Kaman already fouled out, Jordan Farmar and Nick Young suffered in-game injuries, and the remaining four players on the Lakers' active roster were inactive due to injury or rest.

As Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News noted, the bizarre situation allowed Sacre to stay in the game thanks to a seldom-used NBA rule that requires both teams to have five players on the floor:

According to the NBA rulebook, Rule 3I states that no team may be reduced to fewer than five players. If a player, like Sacre, receives his sixth foul and his team lacks a replacement player, "said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul." 

The Lakers were also charged with a team technical foul, and they would be subject to additional technicals should Sacre have picked up any more personal fouls. Had Sacre or another Laker been injured or fouled out of the game, the next most recent player disqualified would have been allowed to reenter the game.

Kaman was the last player to foul out before Sacre, and he didn't exactly look like he was raring to go for game action, per Escoot:

The same rules would apply, meaning the reentering player would be charged with both a personal and technical for every foul. There is just one exception: illness. The NBA allows for an ill player to leave the floor during play and be ...

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