Obviously, the stakes were just a bit different between Derek Fisher’s key seven-point scoring streak from Wednesday’s early-season road win in Sacramento and his absolutely critical 11-point scoring stretch in Game 3 of the NBA Finals last June.
But there were similarities worthy of comparison, born out of a combination of the defense overreacting to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, and Fisher’s confidence/experience/moxy in key situations.
Here’s the play-by-play from last night:
4:09 Fisher grabs a defensive rebound, pushes in transition and draws a foul, converting 1-of-2 free throws to put L.A. up 99-90.
3:35 Fisher drains an open three-pointer, L.A.’s first field goal make since the 7:43 mark, their offense stalled with Sacramento overplaying Gasol and Bryant.
3:17 Fisher strips Carl Landry at the other end and races down to convert an and-1 layup, essentially putting the game out of reach for good at 105-92.
Fisher offered some explanatory thoughts on Wednesday at the team’s practice facility:
I think it’s the recognition of how we’re being defended as well as stepping into those opportunities. From the beginning of the game to the end, if the other team has any smarts they’re going to overplay Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. That’s just the reality of it. From my position and really anybody on our team, you just have to find that balance between playing your game and taking your shots and opportunities but also recognizing who we’re playing against. You play against a team like Sacramento who wants to score in transition, maybe you don’t take some of those shots that you normally take. You play against a team like Portland, who we’re going to play on Sunday, they play really good half court defense so maybe you want to take some good early transition shots. It’s that combination of things that takes place, and last night I was able to get couple that I guess were timely for us.