Fisher has the unique perspective of having won five NBA titles with the Lakers before they traded him away this season. He bought out his contract with the Houston Rockets and signed with Oklahoma City in late March, and perhaps it was inevitable that he would face his former team now.
He agreed with Kobe Bryant's sentiment that the series would compare to playing against his brother, although he considered even those to be loaded words.
"Your brother oftentimes was the recipient of some of the hardest blows you ever delivered. I'm sure he's planning to deliver quite a few, and I'll be ready to deliver some as well," Fisher said. "It's going to be fun to just have to compete against the best. That's what we want to be."
Beating the Lakers may be the only way to take all the focus off what happened three weeks ago and put it back on the championship chase.
"Hopefully, he has the same feelings that we all have. It's a bad play. It should have never happened," Brooks said. "But we're focused on playing basketball. It's not going to be between James and Ron. It's going to be about us playing good basketball as a team to beat that team."
76ERS AT CELTICS, GAME 2: At Boston, Philadelphia coach Doug Collins warned his team about the Celtics' third-quarter prowess this season.
Perhaps that advisory should have been extended into the fourth quarter as well.
Leading for most of the game and by as many as 10 early in the fourth, the 76ers could no longer contain Kevin Garnett or Rajon Rondo, who ignited a 23-7 surge to start the final quarter, helping the Celtics steal Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 92-91 victory Saturday night.
Game 2 is tonight in Boston.
"I think they're the top third-quarter team in the league this year and Coach really stressed that," Philadelphia forward Elton Brand said. "So, when we pushed that lead back up to 10, it was just a feeling like we had a chance there."
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