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Kobe Bryant lets his guard down after mismatch with Derek Fisher

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol share laughs over how Bryant easily scored twice on former teammate Derek Fisher during the Lakers' win over the Thunder. 'Come on, Fish is like 5-2,' Bryant explains.

May 19, 2012|By Melissa Rohlin

When Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher were teammates, Bryant used to joke about the lopsided results of their one-on-one games at the Lakers practice facility.

On Friday evening, he proved that he wasn't just bragging.

Fisher guarded Bryant on two possessions in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the Lakers Western Conference Semifinal series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The mismatch resulted in consecutive baskets for Bryant.

In the first sequence, Bryant shot a 14-foot turnaround fade away jumper over Fisher to tie the game at 76-76 with 8:17 remaining.

In the second, Bryant made a 13-foot jumper to give the Lakers a two-point lead, 78-76, with 7:36 left.

After the Lakers' 99-96 win, Bryant and Pau Gasol exchanged a few laughs about that stretch while sitting next to each other on the interview podium.

Gasol was asked by a reporter if he was surprised that Bryant scored so easily on Fisher.

Before Gasol could complete a sentence, Bryant interrupted.

"Surprised," Bryant said incredulously. He then dropped his head down, laughing.

"Dude, come on, Fish is like 5-2," Bryant said of the 6-foot-1 guard.

Gasol attempted once again to give a diplomatic response.

"He did a great job scoring on Derek tonight when he had the opportunity to," Gasol said.

Bryant then pointed at Gasol and said, "Politically correct."

I'll give you the real [stuff]," he added, laughing.

When Thunder Coach Scott Brooks was questioned about Fisher's temporary defensive assignment, he said that the matchup was a mistake.

"That was just a random switch," Brooks said. "It wasn't by design."

It was Fisher's first playoff game in Los Angeles against the Lakers since being traded by the team in March.

The crowd taunted Fisher long before Bryant did.

When he made a layup in the first quarter, Fisher, who won five championships with the Lakers, received a chorus of mild boos.

"I'm no longer a Laker player so they have a right to voice their opinion," said Fisher, who finished with four points on two-for-seven shooting coming off the bench.

Fisher was not disappointed with his less-than-welcoming reception from Laker fans.

"I wish I could've made a few more layups, got a few more boos," he said.

As for Bryant, Fisher knows there's not much that any defender can do to stop him.

"You got to battle him and make him work hard for it -- and if he makes them, just keep going," Fisher said.

If it were up to Bryant, Fisher would stop using the qualifier "if."

It was the "same result in all the times we played one-on-one in the gym by ourselves," Bryant said. "No different."

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