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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fisher helps Lakers make it 12 out of 13

LOS ANGELES (AP) Derek Fisher sticks to the background most nights for the Los Angeles Lakers, contributing a few assists and an occasional 3-pointer while his high-profile teammates get all the attention.

News photo
Dish the rock: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passes the ball between Blazers defenders Gerald Wallace, left, and LaMarcus Aldridge on Sunday in Portland. L.A. won 84-80. AP PHOTO

Every once in a while, the old D-Fish comes out to remind the Lakers' potential playoff opponents there's a world-class closer lurking back there behind Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

Fisher spearheaded a late comeback with big back-to-back defensive plays to put the Lakers ahead, followed by the clinching jumper with 10 seconds left in Los Angeles' 12th win in 13 games since the All-Star break, 84-80 over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

"I do relish the opportunity to help us win from time to time, whether it's the first quarter or the fourth," the five-time NBA champion guard said with two big wraps around his knees and both feet in a bucket of ice. "Experience does create a lot of situations where it allows you to think clearly under pressure in big-time situations. It's like riding a bike."

Bryant scored 10 of his 22 points in a dynamic fourth quarter for the Lakers, who won their first game without suspended center Andrew Bynum. Fisher had early foul trouble and scored just eight points, but he took over late.

"He makes big shots all the time," Bryant said of Fisher. "He didn't have a good game (statistically) because he was in foul trouble, (but) his stroke was there, and he's shooting the ball well. He makes big plays."

Rockets 110, Jazz 108

In Houston, Kyle Lowry had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Rockets' first triple-double of the season, and Houston moved past Utah in the Western Conference standings.

Houston has won four in a row. The Jazz have dropped seven of their last nine road games.

Raptors 95, Thunder 93

In Oklahoma City, Amir Johnson made a layup with 1.4 seconds left to help Toronto stop a 14-game road losing streak.

Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points for the Raptors, who earned their first road win since Jan. 5 at Cleveland.

Bucks 100, Knicks 95

In Milwaukee, Carlos Delfino scored a career-high 30 points and Brandon Jennings finished an assist short of a triple-double, leading the Bucks to the win.

Suns 108, Clippers 99

In Los Angeles, Steve Nash had 23 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds, Channing Frye added 19 points and Phoenix grabbed control early in the fourth quarter.

Mavericks 101, Warriors 73

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Peja Stojakovic added 17, helping the Mavericks get back on track.

Hawks 104, Pistons 96

In Atlanta, Al Horford scored 18 points, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson each added 17, and the Hawks stopped a two-game slide.

Kings 127, Timberwolves 95

In Minneapolis, Samuel Dalembert had 26 points and 17 rebounds and Marcus Thornton added 23 points to lead Sacramento to the victory.

Wizards 98, Nets 92

In Washington, John Wall scored 26 points and the Wizards overcame a 17-point deficit to get the win.

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