NBA: Heat set NBA record by making all 40 free throws, Top Thunder

Jimmy Butler Miami Heat NBA

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat handles the ball during the first half of an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on January 06, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Heat defeated the Suns 104-96. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

Jimmy Butler posted a game-high 35 points, and the Miami Heat set an NBA record by hitting all 40 of their free throws in a 112-111 win over visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

Miami, which ended the second half with only eight players available, also received 22 points from Max Strus and 19 from Victor Oladipo.

Butler, the only usual starter in the Miami lineup, made all 23 of his free throws and connected Dominique Wilkins for the second most non-missed fouls in NBA history.

Oklahoma City led 111-109 by 21 seconds when Kenrich Williams missed two free throws. Aaron Wiggins grabbed an offensive rebound, but Oladipo stole the ball and Butler made a three-point play on a layup with 12.2 seconds left.

That gave Miami a 112-111 lead and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed a 3-pointer on Oklahoma City’s final possession of the game.

Gilgeous-Alexander posted a team-high 26 points and led the Thunder, and Josh Giddey hit a triple-double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Thunder have lost six straight games since beating Atlanta on Dec. 5.

The Heat were missing Bam Adebayo (wrist), Tyler Herro (foot), Kyle Lowry (knee), Caleb Martin (square), Duncan Robinson (finger), Omer Yurtseven (ankle) and Nikola Jovic (back).

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Also, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon was ejected 9:15 in the second quarter. He had a heated argument with his coaches and threw something on the pitch, causing the ejection.

Given the short roster, Heat’s undrafted rookie Orlando Robinson made his first NBA start and scored four points.

Miami led 31-26 after a first quarter by just two points from Gilgeous-Alexander. Miami extended their lead to 63-56 at halftime, but Gilgeous-Alexander scored 15 points in the second quarter to lead the Thunder by 17 at halftime.

Oklahoma City took their first lead of the game, 78-77, on Isaiah Joe’s 3-pointer at 5:24 in the third quarter. But the Heat finished third leading 89-88.

The fourth quarter was marked by six-point Heat possession – Oladipo’s two free throws from a steal and a clear path foul, then a Gabe Vincent 3-pointer and a free throw after being fouled by Tre Mann.

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