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Lakers History: Bryant-Fisher Backcourt Sinks Orlando in Finals
On its home court, Orlando had the opportunity to tie up the 2009 NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher had another idea.
As with most nights, Bryant was the engine of the Lakers’ offense. He led the way with 32 points (despite needing 31 shots), while also throwing in eight assists and seven rebounds.
The master of hitting contested shots, Bryant was able to cash in the face of tough defense from Mickael Pietrus.
Bryant averaged 32.4 points and 7.4 assists throughout the series, earning himself Finals MVP honors.
On this night, it was his mid-range game that stung Orlando, as Bryant routinely sunk tough jumper after tough jumper.
But it was Bryant’s passing that pushed the Lakers over the top.
Down by five with about 35 seconds left, Bryant led a fast-break, spun his way through four defenders and flipped the ball over his shoulder to a trailing Pau Gasol.
The ridiculous assist brought the Lakers close enough for Derek Fisher to sink the game-tying 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining.
And when the game was tied with 35 seconds left in overtime, it was again Bryant’s distributing that set the table for victory.
He backed down Pietrus and waited for Orlando to send a double-team at him. When the second defender came, he dished to Fisher at the top of the arc.
The point guard delivered, putting the Lakers on the path to a 99-91 win and a 3-1 series lead.
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