January 28, 2023

The Miami Heat set an NBA record, hitting a record 40 out of 40 free throw attempts.



JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Compared to, say, a thunderous dunk…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #1: LeBron, look out below. Look out below.

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #2: Oh, my lord.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Or a last-second, three-point shot from way far out…

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #3: Curry, Wade on top, – bang, bang (ph). Oh, what a shot from Curry.

SUMMERS: …The free throw is a pretty unglamorous part of basketball, but every old-school coach will scream about just how important it is to sink those uncontested shots you get after being fouled.

KELLY: And everyone who just loves the fundamentals of basketball had their dreams come true last night in Miami. The Oklahoma City Thunder were in town, and the game was not historic at first, but Oklahoma City kept fouling, and Miami kept making foul shots.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #4: Butler is a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line.

SUMMERS: Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler made by far the most free throws – 23 in all – but every foul shot that everyone on the team took, they went in. And the announcers began to take notice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #5: See tonight, the Heat, with 28 consecutive free throws made. Their franchise record is 30. You got to finish the game perfect.

KELLY: As the game wound down, the Heat inched closer to history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #5: And Miami, back at the line, having made 37 consecutive free throws, with 1:47 left, approaching an NBA record. And Butler calmly tosses another one in.

KELLY: So there’s just seconds left in the game. The Heat had tied the NBA record, 39 free throws without a miss. With the Heat down two, Jimmy Butler made a shot to tie the game and in the process was fouled again.

SUMMERS: That earned him a single free throw with not only the game but the NBA record on the line.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #5: A record set in 1982. And Butler makes it – 40 in a row.

KELLY: A perfect 40 for 40. That’s a new league record.

SUMMERS: And more importantly to them, the Heat also took the lead and, soon thereafter, the win and, we have to assume, earned a day off from practicing their free throws.

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