Fisher's hot shooting lifts Lakers over NuggetsJan 22, 2008 - 7:43 AM By Jonathan Raber PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Derek Fisher nearly brought down the house with the way he was shooting the ball.
Fisher finished with 28 points and sparked a timely surge to guide the Los Angeles Lakers to a 116-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Kobe Bryant scored 17 points on just seven shots while adding a season-high 11 assists and Lamar Odom contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won eight of their last nine games.
"The assists were very important. (Bryant) was able to find Fisher and Jordan (Farmar) for those threes," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
Fisher connected on 6-of-7 3-point attempts, including three during a momentum-changing run in the third quarter.
"The main thing I was really thinking about tonight was really coming out and being aggressive," Fisher said. "It's been a while since I've played aggressively from start to finish."
Following an 18-3 spurt by the Nuggets that opened a two-point lead, Fisher hit the three shots from the arc in a 2 1/2-minute stretch as the Lakers took a 91-82 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
"Fisher was really hot, and our game plan going in was to try and get the ball out of Kobe's hands and make somebody else do it," Nuggest center Marcus Camby said. "But every time they passed it, guys were knocking downs shots."
The Nuggets were dealt a blow in defeat when Carmelo Anthony had to be helped off the court and taken to the locker room with a sprained left ankle. Anthony suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly after taking a jump shot with 5:51 left in the second quarter and did not return.
"I landed on Kobe's foot," Anthony said. "He didn't stick it out or anything."
Denver coach George Karl said it will be a game-by-game decision on whether Anthony can play but was hopeful he would not be sidelined too long.
"It's pretty severe," Karl said. "It's a substantial sprain, but if (Anthony) comes back quick, ... We are hoping for this weekend."
Despite Anthony's absence, Denver overcame a 13-point deficit before Fisher took over.
Allen Iverson led the way with 24 points, Camby had 18 and 12 rebounds and Kenyon Martin finished with 16 and 11 boards for the Nuggets, who have dropped four straight road games.
Bryant finished the first half with six points, making his only two shots and both of his free throws. Bryant did not attempt a shot until the 7:59 mark of the second quarter, when the Lakers already were ahead by 14 points.
Fisher took advantage of the early looks as he scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, helping the Lakers to a 10-point lead in the first quarter.
"It was a good feeling because we needed it," Fisher said. "We needed to get off to a good start. We needed to have a good first quarter, get the fans into the game and behind us and get ourselves going as a team."
Farmar scored 19 points off the bench for Los Angeles, which has won 18 of 22 contests.
LA LAKERS 116 FINAL
Jan 22 1:16 AM
LA LAKERS 91 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 22 12:33 AM
LA LAKERS 67 HALFTIME
Jan 21 11:48 PM
LA LAKERS 39 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 21 11:13 PM
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