The Miami Heat defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in a January regular season game isn’t exactly earth-shattering, but Tuesday’s matchup between the clubs had plenty of fireworks. In the first half, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon was ejected after launching a massage gun onto the court during live action. Then, the two teams engaged in a back-and-forth battle down the stretch, ultimately culminating with a Jimmy Butler three-point play to give Miami a 112-111 victory at home.
Beyond the individual brilliance of Butler, who scored 35 points to lead all scorers, Miami managed to win the game despite just 39 percent shooting. The biggest reason the Heat were able to overcome that poor marksmanship was unprecedented volume and accuracy at the free throw line, as Miami set a new NBA record by making 40 free throws without a miss.
The Heat set a new NBA record in their win over OKC, going 40-40 from the free throw line.
They needed every make in the 112-111 victory.
Jimmy Butler led the way going 23-23 from the stripe, tying Dominique Wilkins for the 2nd-most made FT without a miss in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/k8uN1EuBQl
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 11, 2023
Butler was the biggest contributor, going 23-of-23, and six of the eight players that appeared for Miami made at least two free throws. Due to the one-point final margin, the Heat also needed each and every one of the attempts at the charity stripe to go in, and it was fitting that Butler’s eventual game-winner came at the line. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest or most dominant effort from Miami, but it’s helpful for a team’s efficiency to never miss free throws.