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40 for 40 from free-throw line: Miami Heat break NBA record, capped by Jimmy Butler’s game-winner

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Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

Megan Briggs / Getty Images

The Miami Heat would’ve taken a win on Tuesday night any way they may get it. They were playing without 4 starters, and after Dewayne Dedmon was ejected early within the second quarter, the Heat needed to play principally the whole game with just seven players. It required a historic free-throw effort, but Miami got it done with a 112-111 victory over the visiting Thunder

Jimmy Butler was the hero, ending with 35 points, seven rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and three blocks. Get this: He was 23 for 23 from the free-throw line (he shot greater than the Thunder team by himself), capping his night with what proved to be the game-winning 3-point play with 12.9 seconds to play. 

Indeed, that game-winning free throw by Butler made the Heat an NBA record 40 for 40 from the charity stripe for the sport. The previous record of 39, held by the Utah Jazz, had stood since 1982. As records go, this is not exactly probably the most exciting. I’d call it downright boring, the truth is. It is kind of impressive, nonetheless, particularly for a Miami team that got here in averaging 22.4 free throws per game, the sixth-lowest mark within the league. 

With the win, the Heat improved to 20-18 as they continue to be within the East’s No. 8 seed. They’re just two games back of the No. 6 Pacers, which might get them out of the play-in, but they’re also just three losses clear of a lottery spot. 

An enormous positive for Miami: Victor Oladipo continued his solid play, logging 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and two steals. He’s averaging 17 points on 41 percent 3-point shooting over his last six games, and his defense has been highly disruptive. Miami lost an enormous piece this past offseason in P.J. Tucker, stretching the bench and hurting the defense. Oladipo might be the guy to fill those voids come postseason time. 

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