Miami Heat set free-throw record in 112-111 win over Oklahoma City Thunder

Miami (Agencies): Jimmy Butler led a record-breaking shooting display from the free-throw line as the Miami Heat claimed a 112-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Miami made all 40 of their free throws, breaking the record of 39-for-39 made by Utah against Portland in 1982. With 23, Butler has tied with Dominique Wilkins for the second-highest number of foul shots in a game without a miss.

“We’ve been a very good free-throw shooting team all year, but that’s crazy,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. “I didn’t realise we hadn’t missed a free throw.” Butler scored a game-high 35 points in total – his final free throw with 12 seconds remaining proving to be the game-winner as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s attempted three-pointer for Oklahoma City bounced off the rim.

Miami trailed 111-106 with less than a minute remaining but fought back with a Victor Oladipo three-pointer and a Butler lay-up to tie the game.

Butler then extended his perfect record from the foul line to edge the Heat in front and set an NBA record. “I had no idea,” said the six-time NBA All-Star, 33. “I’m more excited that we won this game by one point.” James Harden has the record of most free throws in a game without a miss, scoring 24 for the Houston Rockets in 2019.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, there were contrasting fortunes for Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid as they returned from injury. Curry was back from an 11-game absence with a shoulder problem and scored 24 points for the Golden State Warriors, including five three-pointers.

But that was not enough for the defending champions to avoid a 125-113 home defeat by the Phoenix Suns, for whom Mikal Bridges top-scored with 26 points.

Embiid had missed three games with a foot injury but scored 36 points in just 23 minutes on court as the Philadelphia 76ers romped to a 147-116 win over the Detroit Pistons.