Injuries have defined the 2013-14 season for the struggling Lakers (17-32).
On Wednesday, the team simply ran out of players in its odd, 119-108 victory over the Cavaliers.
After losing Nick Young (knee), Jordan Farmar (calf) and Chris Kaman (fouled out), the team was down to just five available players. Then Robert Sacre fouled out.
Having no one to replace him with, the Lakers, under a rarely invoked rule, took a technical foul and kept Sacre on the floor. For every additional foul Sacre might have incurred, the team would have been penalized an additional technical foul -- but Sacre made it through the last 3½ minutes without another transgression.
With Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Jordan Hill (neck) sitting out in Cleveland, the team’s final two ironmen missed their first games of the season.
No Laker has played in every game this season.
Wesley Johnson, Meeks, Young and Hill have played in 48 of the Lakers’ 49 games.
Young is questionable for Friday, when the Lakers visit the Philadelphia 76ers. He sat out a game recently on suspension after an on-court altercation in Phoenix.
On the other side of the coin, the Portland Trail Blazers (35-14) have been one of the surprise teams this season in the Western Conference.
The Blazers have had the exact same starting lineup for all 49 games. Reserves Mo Williams and Joel Freeland have played in 48 each. Thomas Robinson (42) and Dorell Wright (38) have also been readily available, sitting at times by coach’s decision instead of injury.
Pau Gasol may have Robinson beat with 44 games played, but the Lakers center/forward is sidelined until at least the All-Star break with a groin injury.
Steve Nash finally made his return this week, playing in just his seventh game this year with back, nerve and hamstring issues. Kobe Bryant has made just six appearances while recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury and a knee fracture.
Xavier Henry is also sidelined with a knee injury after playing 31 games for the team.
The revolving door of healthy players has led Coach Mike D’Antoni to start every single player on the roster at least five times.
Hill and Farmar have a reasonable chance of being available Friday in Philadelphia. Nash is expected to play after sitting out in Cleveland, where the Lakers played on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Lakers shouldn’t run out of players against the 76ers.