Heat set record: 40 of 40 on free throws

MIAMI – Jimmy Butler he made the last free throw of the night, then bent his knees a bit and almost looked unsure of what would happen as the ball made its way to the rim.

As it turns out, it was perfect, just like the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

They set an NBA record by making their 40 free throws, the last coming on a Butler three-point play with 12.9 seconds remaining, and rallied in the closing moments to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-111.

Miami surpassed Utah’s 39-of-39 mark against Portland on December 7, 1982.

“It’s a normal Tuesday night for the Miami Heat,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think now is when we feel most alive, when everything just happens and when all our competitive players come out. That’s the team we can all identify with. That’s the team I like.”

Just some of what happened on Tuesday: The Heat played without six injured players, including four starters; The Heat’s backup center, Dewayne Dedmont, was ejected after arguing with his own team and hitting a massage gun on the court during the game off the bench; Miami had a six-point possession in the fourth quarter and Josh Giddy he had a triple-double for the Thunder.

Oh, and check the line.

“First of all, I give them credit for that,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “That is amazing.”

Butler scored 35 points and went 23-for-23 from the line, tying for the second-most shooting without a miss in NBA history. James Harden he made 24 straight for Houston on December 3, 2019, and Dirk Nowitzki had 24 straight for Dallas in a playoff game against the Thunder on May 17, 2011. Dominique Wilkins he also went 23-for-23 in a game in 1992.

“We won,” Butler said. “Full team effort. I’m proud of my guys.”

Max Strus scored 22 points and Victor Oladipo he had 19 for Miami. The Heat were without four regular starters — tyler herro, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry Y Caleb Martin — due to injuries.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander he scored 26 points for the Thunder. Giddey finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, recording the triple-double with an assist that set up Giddey’s dunk. Aaron Wiggins for a 111-106 lead with 1:28 to play.

Miami scored the last six points.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Butler said.

Miami led 89-88 entering the fourth, and with Butler on the bench after playing the entire third quarter, the Thunder took the lead. They scored the first six points of the final period, taking their first lead of more than three points when Tre Mann hit a jumper with 9:20 remaining for a 94-89 lead.

But a six-point possession put the lead back to Miami. Oladipo stole and the center of the Thunder, Eugene Omoruyi, was penalized for a cleared foul. Oladipo made both free throws, and on Miami’s continuing possession, gabe vincent hit a 3-pointer while Mann fouled him. Vincent made the free throw, and just like that, a 96-91 deficit was a 97-96 lead.

“We always talk about finding a way to win… This is a good start,” Butler said.

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Heat set record: 40 of 40 on free throws