Jimmy Butler speaks out on spoiling Lakers’ championship party after gutsy Game 5 win
Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler spoiled the Los Angeles Lakers’ grand plans of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy on Friday. With most fans and pundits celebrating pre-maturely for what could have been the Lakers’ 17th title in franchise history, Butler put up a performance for the ages and willed Miami to a 111-108 victory.
The Heat are still down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, but the important win sent out the clear message that Butler and his team won’t just go out quietly.
Speaking to reporters post-match, Butler admitted that the Game 5 victory felt good but claimed that Sunday’s match will even be harder for the Heat.
“I’m sure they (Lakers) wanted to win. Thought they were going to win going into it….I think it’s going to be even harder the next game (for us). And I like our chances,” Butler said, per Clay Ferraro of WPLG.
The whole narrative heading to Game 5 was that the Lakers were going to finish the series while donning their Black Mamba alternate jerseys. The Purple and Gold, after all, won all their four previous playoff games when donning their tribute uniforms to the late Kobe Bryant. Plus, the Lakers vanquished all their three playoff opponents so far in just five games.
With recent history on their side, all signs pointed to the Lakers hoisting the trophy by the end of the night. But Jimmy Butler had other plans, punishing the Lakeshow with 35 points on 11-of-19 shooting, along with 12 rebounds, 11 assists, five steals, and one block in 47 minutes.
To say that Butler refused to lose is simply an understatement, as he had supreme confidence in himself and his teammates that their season will not end on Friday. The Heat will have their backs against the wall once more on Sunday, but no doubt Jimmy Butler will once again look to spoil the party.