Derek Fisher helps Lakers close out the Kings

Reporting from Sacramento

He thought his night was done, that there would be no need for the Lakers to scramble, no need for anyone to have to step into a void and deliver some big plays.

But when Derek Fisher was called upon in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers close out the surging Sacramento Kings, Fisher came up big like he has so many times during his career.

Fisher scored seven of his 11 points in the final four minutes and nine seconds of the Lakers' 112-100 victory over the Kings on Wednesday night at Arco Arena.

He had one of his four rebounds and his only steal during that span.

"It was definitely a good feeling," Fisher said.

Through three quarters, Fisher wasn't much of an offensive factor. He had taken only two shots, making one, and had four points.

"There'll be nights because of our team, there just won't be a lot of opportunities," Fisher said. "We arguably have four or five guys that could be on All-Star teams and with the best player on a team. So for the rest of us, the opportunities will be limited. Some nights you can maximize them and some not."

Fisher finished the game three-for-five shooting from the field, two for three from three-point range.

"It's just a product of being out there and playing the game the right way and things come to you at a certain time," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. "Fish's opportunity came late. … He stood in there and played the game all the way through there until those opportunities came."

The Lakers had a 20-point lead in the third quarter, but that lead was getting cut up by the Kings.

When Fisher entered the game with 6:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Lakers' lead was 10 points.

It was down to eight points when Fisher drove to the basket and was fouled by Luther Head.

Fisher made the first of two free throws for a 99-90 Lakers lead.

Pau Gasol got the offensive rebound on Fisher's second missed free throw.

That led to Fisher shooting a bad three-pointer early in the 24-second shot clock that missed.

The Kings took advantage when Tyreke Evans scored to trim Sacramento's deficit to seven points.

But Fisher came up big again for the Lakers.

He made a three-pointer from the corner for a 102-92 Lakers advantage.

Then he got down on defense and made a steal.

Fisher turned that steal into a three-point play by scoring on a drive while being fouled. He made the free throw for a 105-92 Lakers lead that forced the Kings to call a timeout with 3:14 left.

"I missed the second free throw on the one sequence and then Pau got that offensive rebound and I felt like I missed an easy open three," Fisher said. "So that next one out of the corner, I was shooting it before it ever touched my hand. I already knew I was going to shoot and I knew it was going to go in.'"


The Lakers had a scary moment in the third quarter when Lamar Odom came up injured.

Odom bent over in pain, holding his left thumb.

He sprained his left thumb in the next-to-last exhibition game and didn't play in the final preseason game.

The swelling had gone down, but Odom has had the thumb taped for the first five regular-season games.

Odom said Kings guard Francisco Garcia ran into his thumb, causing him so much pain that Lakers trainer Gary Vitti was forced to come onto the court.

"He (Garcia) kind of popped it in," Odom said. "He got it pretty good."

Odom returned to the game but missed his next two shots.

But he made a three-pointer just before the third quarter expired.

"It (the thumb) was a little bit too much for me to handle at the time," said Odom, who finished with 18 points on eight-for-12 shooting and eight rebounds in 38 minutes. "But I was able to make it through."

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