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Oklahoma City Thunder: Derek Fisher lifts OKC past Spurs

Thunder guard takes down his old foe again, as OKC gains on San Antonio in the Western Conference race.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 4, 2013

The Thunder got off to a fast start, using a near flawless first quarter to jump to a 29-18 lead. Seven Thunder players scored in the period, a sign of just how in sync the offense was. The Thunder had nine assists on 12 made field goals in the period, with Russell Westbrook dishing five in the frame.

Nothing illustrated the precision and attention to detail with which OKC played in the early going quite like the Thunder's ball security and rebounding. Through the first period, the Thunder didn't have any turnovers and didn't yield a single offensive rebound.

The early good fortune continued to flow when Fisher, who had scored nine points on 2-for-23 shooting in his previous eight games, provided his unlikely spark. He hit two 3-pointers in each of the first two periods for a team-high 12 points at halftime.

Perhaps sensing how much Fisher's first basket meant given his recent slump, the crowd went crazy as Fisher's first shot splashed through the net.

Even then, he wasn't sure it was his night.

“Hitting the first one doesn't always symbolize how the rest of the night's going to go,” Fisher said. “But I think that for sure helps, especially when you're not a high-volume shooter. To see that first one goes in for sure gives you a little pick-me-up.”

Then he hit his second … and third.

“Just trusting that the ball will find me or the right guy,” Fisher said.

The final two first-half 3-pointers from Fisher came during a 12-3 spurt to start the second quarter and help the Thunder build a 41-21 lead with 7:58 remaining in the half. San Antonio managed to cut the deficit to eight at the break, going into the locker room trailing 52-44.

A 17-6 Thunder run to start the third quarter pushed OKC's lead back to 19, but the Spurs battled back throughout the rest of the night, a night that belonged to Fisher.

“I think it just speaks to when you're one of the best, when you're a champion, when you consider yourself to be part of greatness, there's an appreciation for others who have been there and done that before,” Fisher said. “And I think that's what we enjoy between the two of us.”