By JIMMY GOLEN, AP Sports Writer

Derek Fisher broke down the court after yet another miss by Ray Allen, with nothing between him and the basket. And nothing—not even three hard-charging Celtics—was going to keep the Los Angeles Lakers guard from finishing off a Game 3 victory.

A hard foul from all three pursuing Celtics sent Fisher sprawling to the floor, but not before he laid in his fifth basket of the fourth quarter and converted the three-point play to help the Lakers beat Boston 91-84 and take a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.

“Truthfully, he’s done it over and over and over again,” said Kobe Bryant, who scored 29 points. “So it’s almost his responsibility to our team to do these things.”

Bryant had 25 points after three quarters, but he did not score for the first 10 minutes of the fourth. That’s when Fisher took over, hitting four of five Lakers baskets after Boston cut a 17-point first-half lead down to one point to reclaim the home-court advantage they lost when the Celtics won Game 2 in L.A.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Boston, and a Lakers victory would put them within one win of avenging the loss to their longtime rivals in the 2008 finals — not to mention the eight other times the Celtics have won an NBA title at the Lakers’ expense.

“Our thoughts are really just still on how disappointed we are, or were, losing that second game on our home court. I think that had more of our attention and focus than what happened in ’08,” Fisher said. “We didn’t doubt our ability to win here. … We understand when you want to be the best, you have to win wherever, whenever.”

Fisher finished with 16 points, and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum had 10 rebounds apiece for Los Angeles.

Kevin Garnett, who had just six points in Boston’s victory Sunday, had 25 in Game 3. But Allen, who had 32 points in Game 2, missed all 13 field goal attempts—one shy of the NBA finals futility record—many of them while Fisher was guarding him.

“It’s a hell of a swing, I’ll tell you that,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s basketball. That’s why you can’t worry about it. He’ll be back in the gym tomorrow and getting ready for the next game. … It happens to the best of us.”

The Celtics had high hopes after splitting the opening two games in Los Angeles, but the “Beat L.A.!” chants at the TD Garden couldn’t help them overcome poor shooting.

And it couldn’t stop Fisher.

“Derek Fisher was the difference in the game,” Rivers said. “He’s just a gutty, gritty player and he gutted the game out for them. I thought Kobe was struggling a little bit, and Fisher—he basically took the game over. … I don’t know what he had in the fourth quarter … but most of them were down the stretch.”

Fisher, 34, came into the league with Bryant in 1996 and has a history of clutch shots, from the heave with 0.4 seconds left to beat San Antonio in the 2004 playoffs to the late jumpers in a series-swinging victory over Orlando in Game 4 of last year’s finals. The Lakers went on to beat the Magic in five games, earning their 15th NBA title—second only to Boston’s 17.

“I think as you grow in this game and you put in the work that’s required to still be around 14 years later, you start to recognize that being in this moment, on this stage, it’s not a given. It’s not something that happens every season,” Fisher said. “Five or 10 years from now, when I’m long gone, I would have hated to feel like I didn’t just do everything I could have to help my team. Things have worked out well, and we have two more wins to get to really put a nice cap on it.”

The Lakers opened a 37-20 first-half lead, but Boston cut the deficit to four late in the third quarter and then made it 68-67 early in the fourth on consecutive drives by Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Rajon Rondo. With a chance to take the lead, Allen was called for an offensive foul away from the ball.

Fisher then scored four of the Lakers’ next five baskets to give them a five-point lead with about 4 1/2 minutes left. He scored another with 49 seconds left before being flattened by Davis, among others, and adding the free throw to make it a three-possession game.

“He saw the opening and went and made a very bold play. … It was imperative that it goes in for us to win,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “When he’s got an opportunity to hit a key shot, it seems like he’s always there and ready.”

Allen and Paul Pierce combined to go 1 for 13 from the field as Boston went nearly 6 minutes without a field goal in the first half. Pierce finished with 15 points, including 3 for 4 from 3-point range, but Allen never snapped out of it.

He missed all eight 3-pointers, all five 2-pointers and got to the line just twice. He was spared of matching the worst shooting performance in NBA finals history when Garnett was called for an offensive foul away from the ball in the final minute while Allen clanged another shot off the rim.

“We obviously didn’t expect him to go 0 for 13, but it’s a tough gig for him to run around offensively the way he has to and then have to guard Kobe on the other end,” Fisher said. “I mean, that takes anybody’s legs out. It takes my legs out chasing him. So there are going to be nights maybe when his legs aren’t there because he’s having to work so hard on both ends, but we won’t see 0 for 13 on Thursday night, that’s for sure.”

Garnett matched his Game 2 total of six points in the first 75 seconds of Game 3, and Rondo had Boston’s next three baskets to give Boston a 12-5 lead. But the Lakers ran off eight straight points to go ahead, scoring 32 of the next 40 points to open a 37-20 lead with 9:10 left in the half.

Rondo, who had a triple-double in Game 3, finished with 11 points, eight assists and three rebounds.



  • http://kobebryant.com/members/bisdakmamba24/ BisdakMamba24

    Mamba unleashed its venom tonight once more! Go Lakers!

  • fnmamba24

    Thank you Derek Fisher! Once again you do something magical in the playoffs! Last year it was a 3 pointer to go to OT and now its to save game 3!

  • weakduck24

    A wonderful night!Wonderful game!Congratulations to the Lakers!Hope you can win the next game!Never give up!

  • mati15522

    Kobe going on Thursday after another victory! and the ratio of 3:1;) GO Lakers, Kobe GO!

  • ericlalfan

    Kobe and the Lakers done fantastic job!!! Keep on rolling babe! Ray Allen is wack. Go Lakers!!! Kobe for MVP!

  • pinoymamba08

    all right nigga lets go get that ring

  • zreyak

    It was really an emotional game, not just for Derek but for the team as well as the fans. It was a good thing that Kobe still managed to score 29 points when he was struggling a bit. Fisher is really a veteran. He made plays the time the team needed him and they were saved. Let’s go Lakers! Win that chamionship trophy! =)

  • tomynba

    GOOOOD job
    LAL will win THE FINALS

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/asa223/ Asa24

    ooooooooommmmmmmmmmgggggggggggg kobe you getting it man i knew that you could do it and are going to do it

  • thenextlegend24

    I just l0ve the lakers they are so complex and good playing as a team ;D

    Kobe 29pts not bad at all

    now we go for the 3-1!!!!

  • dough180

    He did it again he came through & showed us why he’s one of the best in his position. D fish had one of the best fouth quarters I seen in a long time by someone other than KB24.it’s was a great game it went all the way Dow to the last minute,big props to the lakers & derick fisher

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/ladymamba24/ Ladymamba24

    IT FEELS REALLY GOOD AS A FAN TO KNOW THAT THE LAKERS DON’T JUST RELY ON KOBE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN BUT THAT WE HAVE A OTHER GREAT PLAYERS LIKE FISHER TO MAKE KEY PLAYS GET KEY SHOTS THAT WIN THE GAME FOR US THAT IS WHAT MAKES THE LAKERS THE BEST TEAM OUT THERE. GREAT JOB FISHER YOU AND KOBE DESERVE THE 5TH RING!!!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/ladymamba24/ Ladymamba24

    2 MORE TO GO!!!! GO LAKERS!!!!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/kb24fan/ Octavio

    IT’S NO SHOCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • madeguz

    stay humble…it will lead to great things…..maria

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/bunny/ Bunny

    Hahahaha, you did it.

    How bout them Lakers? (:

    I was at the edge of my seat watching that 3rd game!

    Be proud and do your thing on them ninja’s Thursday.

    #24, you inspire me

    -Bunnnnnnny<$

  • kb24greatness

    Take one game at a time! Seize the moment! Dont get too high or get too low over a W/L!!

  • ericlalfan

    Kobe for MVP!!! …CLOSED! :-)

  • frankieanfuso

    Im really happy that Fisher had that excellent game last night congrats to him.

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/kingkobe1/ Abraham

    King Kobe baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/martinamalka/ martinamalka

    I loved it! Fish is the man! I watched the game again at midnight, and loved watching us klose out game 3, it was great to see it again! AMAZING!

  • shaz786

    Games 3 was a pretty sick game and once agn kobe did with 29 points!
    Lakers for the win!

  • skassis

    Game 4 is as crucial as game 3, Ray Allen is going to be practicing his shots, Celtics are going to depend on him to bring his game up and win, Rondo is going to look for more steals, and strategize the game for the team. Lakers are a way mature basketball team than the celtics,the bench should avoid turnovers and communicate when on the court, no hesitation on the passes, they can make the difference. Every starter laker is big in his game, he can turn the game around just like Fisher did in game 3, never think less of yourselves , you are the better team, fight to fulfill your hunger and bring the cup home. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!! Go Pau!!!!!!!!!!!Go Artest!!!!!Go Lamar!!!!!!!!Go Fish !!!!!!!!!!Go Kobe!!!!!!! do the unexpected, stunned the crowd, secure the third win. Love you guys.

  • Jacee

    we won’t be back L.A,because we will kill them in five games!
    kobe, how many girls said,Kobe,I love you?
    kobe,I like you so much.

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/ventiquattro/ Venti Quattro

    Let’s beat BOOston… AGAIN!!

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/dsl10/ crazy fan of KB24

    congrats lakers & kobe now please take game 4
    i love u
    goooo lakers goooo kobe lol

  • jhoop319

    29 points less goo

  • http://kobebryant.com/members/mizbasketball24/ mizbasketball24

    continue to beat the celtics. your the man kobe god and all ya fans are with you. love ya

  • yakii

    daww lakerzz the best thankz 2 kobe love uuuuu

  • tori15

    keep doing your thing kobe ur the best!!…and i hope we beat them celtics in game 5 and 6!!!

  • shakobe24

    hello..kobe bryant…im sharip dahis dalus…#1 fans of los lakers…i always watch your game in the finals…i wish you and your team will win this 2010-2011 finals to defend your title… g0 lakers….ahh..kobe can i add you in my facebook account??if you dont mind..
    thanks you,,
    god bless,,

    nick name—-sha kobe…..^_^…

  • chase

    I was watching. And I am greatful for for the Lakers working as A team. And Thanx alot Bryant for Trusting your teammates. I do not care what anybody says you are not selfish. Keep it up. I know and you know you have the ability to take 7 rings. So Live Strong and just do it.

  • justinnutz

    woohoo lakers!!