The president of the players union isn't too bad at his day job.
Even at 37 years old, Derek Fisher simply takes and makes big shots. In a rough-and-tumble, low-scoring affair that saw Kobe Bryant's torrid scoring run come to an end, Fisher provided the final blow that kept the Lakers hot.
LA has won six of their last seven, and this win was especially gratifying, as it came against the Dallas Mavericks, the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season.
The Mavericks also acquired one of their most valuable players from the Lakers roster in Lamar Odom. Odom was traded for an $8.9 million trade exception and a protected first-round pick.
It was a move neither Bryant nor Odom was pleased with, even though Odom himself had requested the deal, after he was upset that the Lakers included him in a failed attempt to land Chris Paul.
Before the decisive play started, Bryant walked over to the Mavericks' bench and uttered something to Odom before play commenced. It appeared to be trash talk, but Odom's reaction was a little odd. He still doesn't appear to have transitioned out of his time as a Laker yet, but it seems this game may be the first step for him.
The play was for Bryant to go isolation against Shawn Marion, who had done a good job on Bryant up to that point. Kobe finished with 14 points on 7-of-22 shooting.
Still, the Mavs sent the trap at Bryant to force the ball out of his hands. He immediately passed the ball to Fisher, who without hesitation, drained the long three-point shot over the hand of the late-rotating Dirk Nowitzki.
It was an ugly game with a beautiful ending, if you're a Lakers fan. Fisher played well—he finished with 13 points—and Andrew Bynum led the Lakers with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Nowitzki paced the Mavericks with 21 points and seven rebounds, but his late rotation on defense compounded with a crucial traveling violation helped facilitate Fisher's opportunity at the end. This is commonplace for Fisher, who has hit plenty of big threes over the years.
"When opportunities like that present themselves, I'm confident in my ability to step up and make the right play. I've been fortunate in my career to come up with some of those big plays."
"This is what I do."
Indeed, it is.
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