Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/28/12

Kobe Bryant waves as the 2009 NBA Champion Lakers celebrate their 15th NBA Championship with a parade in Los Angeles on June 17, 2009. (UPI Photo/ Phil McCarten) Photo via Newscom

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The Oklahoma City Thunder are the team to beat in the Western Conference, but Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers are showing they may have another run in them - provided they stay focused. The Thunder visit the Lakers on Thursday night in Derek Fisher's return to Staples Center. Oklahoma City (38-12) continues to hold onto first place in the West, although San Antonio has closed the gap. The Lakers (31-19) are also trying to make a move, having won three of four and eight of 11 to pull into third place and within seven games of the Thunder. However, Los Angeles put up little fight when it shot 38.5 percent and lost 100-85 at Oklahoma City on Feb. 23. Kevin Durant scored 33 points to lead the Thunder, while Bryant had 24 on 7-of-24 shooting. This meeting will feature Fisher on the other side of the rivalry. The Laker favorite was sent to Houston at the trade deadline, then was bought out before signing with the Thunder. Fisher had played 13 of his 16 NBA seasons with Los An...
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