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#pounditSunday, November 27, 2022

Jae Crowder says Heat were motivated by Lakers wearing Mamba jerseys

Jae Crowder

The Miami Heat ruined the Los Angeles Lakers’ plans to celebrate on Friday night, and they had extra bulletin board material heading into the game.

After Miami extended the NBA Finals with a 111-108 win in Game 5, forward Jae Crowder said the team was motivated by the Lakers wearing their “Black Mamba” jerseys. The Lakers had yet to lose a game this postseason in them.

“You’re hearing how they’re putting the black jerseys on and sh– and how they haven’t lost a game in those and people start talking about that,” said Crowder, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. “That is motivation, and it’s always going to get under your skin a little bit. You obviously funnel that in the right direction and use it as motivation and it definitely helped tonight.”

The late Kobe Bryant helped design the jerseys in collaboration with Nike. The Lakers have been wearing them this season in tribute to Bryant and his daughter Gianna. They were 4-0 in the playoffs wearing the jerseys before Friday and had won Game 2 of the Finals in them. The team was originally not scheduled to sport the jerseys again until Game 7 of the series. However, they decided to wear them for the potential closeout Game 5 instead. That ultimately turned out to be a tempting of fate which backfired.

One Laker even said recently that the team “cannot lose in those jerseys.” That seems to have given the Heat added fuel in keeping their season alive.

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