LOS ANGELES – Down 30-18 after the first period on Thursday night, a previously sizzling Thunder squad suddenly had gone into a deep freeze against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Something, or someone, had to bring some warmth for the Thunder. In one of those Hollywood-script moments, former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher was that somebody.
Making his first LA appearance since cruelly being dealt to Houston on the March 15 trade deadline, Fisher came off the bench to score seven points in a two-minute, 20-second span during a pivotal second-quarter stretch that seemed to rejuvenate his new teammates.
From there, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant did the heavy lifting as both regained their shooting touch and scorched the nets to propel OKC to a 102-93 comeback victory.
"It was very important," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of the spark Fisher provided. "We were struggling at the time, but he kept it within reach. That's what he brings. He brings toughness. He brings smart play and he makes good plays, and it's not just about him scoring."
Despite starting out 2 for 6 from the field, Westbrook returned to his recent stellar mode, finishing with 36 points, six assists, two steals and just one turnover.
"(Russ) was seeing that we weren't making any shots," Durant said. "Russell is an aggressive player and that's his game. He came out making shots and we all rallied behind him and we got a good win."
Westbrook deflected attention back toward Fisher.
"Derek wanted this win," Westbrook said. "We came out and played hard for him. I know it's an emotional time for him, but we came out with the win."
Said Fisher: "Overall, my emotions were in a good place the entire time."
The Thunder (39-12) has won five straight and next up are the Chicago Bulls (41-11), who have the league's best record. Game time is noon Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant added 21 points, making 10 of his last 14 shots, and also pulled down 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season. For good measure, he added five assist and two blocked shots.
Continue reading this story on the...