Sports

The NBA Rule You Had No Idea About: You Can Play With 6 Fouls

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Lakers center Robert Sacre. (Getty Images)

Lakers center Robert Sacre. (Getty Images)

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(CBS) The most unusual of situations occurred in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 119-108 win at Cleveland on Wednesday evening.

Lakers center Robert Sacre picked up his sixth foul with 3:32 remaining in the game but was allowed to continue playing after Los Angeles was assessed a technical foul. That’s because NBA rules stipulate you must have five players on the court at all times, as the Associated Press wrote, and the injury-depleted Lakers were otherwise out of healthy players after dressing only eight to start, then having two get hurt and another foul out before Sacre’s sixth foul.

This unique situation brought up Rule No. 3, Section I, Part A of the NBA’s rulebook. It states that a technical foul is assessed against a team that’s down to five healthy players and must keep a player in the game with six fouls. Any subsequent foul by the said player or others in the same situation also are penalized with a technical foul.

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