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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 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."
NOTES: Boston missed half of its 12 free throws in the first half and was 2 for 12 from 3-point range at the break. ... Baltimore's Chick Reiser missed all 14 shots in a 1948 finals game against Philadelphia, and Dennis Johnson was 0 for 14 for Seattle against Washington in 1978. ... Rondo, who had a triple-double in Game 3, finished with 11 points, eight assists and three rebounds.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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