With five seconds left in a 70-all game against Dallas on Monday evening, Kobe Bryant saw Jason Terry jump his way for a quick double-team, leaving Derek Fisher uncovered from three-point distance on the right wing.
Knowing Fisher’s history of dropping clutch shots better than anybody, Bryant didn’t hesitate before finding Fisher, and 27 feet later, the ball swished through the net to give L.A. a 73-70 victory (after a desperation attempt from Vince Carter went well wide).
The two most famous shots from Fisher in the clutch are likely burned into the collective mind of any Lakers fan: the 0.4 second buzzer beater at San Antonio (5/13/04), and the game-tying three-pointer with four seconds left in overtime of Game 4 of the 2009 Finals against Orlando, preceding the go-ahead triple he’d nail in overtime.
The two Orlando threes, however, don’t register in the official “Clutch*” stat tracked by the Elias Sports Bureau since 2000, which has Fisher hitting six game winning field goals, three with the Lakers:
*Defined as field goal made in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime.
- The three-pointer vs. Dallas
- A running three-foot layup high off the glass as the buzzer sounded to give the Lakers an 87-86 victory on 12/8/10 at the LA Clippers last season.
His other game winners came with Utah (2/10/07 vs. NY (104-102 win) and Golden State (3/25/05 vs. MIL (118-117 win), 12/28/05 vs. BOS (111-109 win)).
“This is what I do,” Fisher said of hitting big shots after the win over Dallas. “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.”
Speaking of game winners…
Bryant had six in 2009-10 alone, the most game winning field goals by any player over the last decade in a single season (Carmelo Anthony is second with five in 2005-06). And since the stat has been tracked, Bryant — who has certainly attempted the most that would qualify — leads the NBA with drained 20 shots that have given the Lakers the lead within the last 10 seconds of a fourth quarter or overtime.
Between L.A.’s starting back court, that’s 26 game winners.