Call this a hunch, but it seems Carmelo Anthony wasn't too happy after the Lakers' 103-97 win over the Nuggets in Game 3 last night in Denver. Something about losing the fourth quarter by 14 points and fouling out on (another!) lazy inbounds pass.
Once again, Kobe did work, perhaps because he wanted to remind everyone that LeBron isn't the only superstar left in these playoffs. He finished with 41 points, the second time in this series he has dropped more than 40, and, for that matter, did not visibly cry. It was a good night — except not for Carmelo, who went scoreless in the third and all but disappeared after intermission, changing the tenor of this series and giving the momentum right back to Kobe and Co.
And even though Bryant broke out and left all his oxygen on the floor, it was Derek Fisher — he of four points and two assists in 26 minutes — who rallied the team with a fourth-quarter rendition of Win One for the Gipper.
Thus Fisher's speech, which he didn't want to repeat to the media, but was forced to because so many of his teammates were marveling about it.
"I told them, this was a moment in time when you can define yourself," Fisher said. "I told them, this was a moment when you can step into that destiny."
Fisher said he summed up the speech in a sentence.
"I told them, this is your moment," he said.
In other action last night, the Penguins smacked the Hurricanes 6-2 to take a 3-0 series lead. That type of advantage, we're often told, is commanding.