The Heat went 40/40 from the free throw line in the 112-111 victory, with Jimmy Butler leading the way, remarkably not missing any of his 23 attempts.
Butler’s 23rd and final attempt of the night – made with just over 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter – enabled the Heat to surpass the previous record of 39 successfully made free throws by the Utah Jazz against the Portland Trail Blazers in 1982.
“We’ve been a very good free-throw shooting team all year, but that’s crazy,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters afterwards, admitting he didn’t know they hadn’t missed a free throw until afterwards.
Butler finished the game on 35 points, becoming the first player in league history to score 35 or more points with six or fewer made field goals.
The 33-year-old also tied NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins for the second-most free-throws made without a miss in league history – James Harden holds the record with 24.
The record capped off a crazy evening in Miami, during which the Heat trailed 111-106 with less than a minute remaining.
As well as playing without six injured players, Heat center Dewayne Dedmon was ejected from the game for hitting a massage gun onto the court during play after engaging in a heated argument with a member of the team’s coaching staff.
“It’s just a normal Tuesday night for the Miami Heat,” Spoelstra said. “I think this is when we feel most alive, when everything just happens and when all of our competitive juices get out there. That’s the team we all can relate to. That’s the team I like.”
Max Strus contriubretd 22 points, while Victor Oladipo added 19 as the Heat were able to wrestle back an important victory in the absence of key starters, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Caleb Martin.
For the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 26 points while second-year point guard Josh Giddey finished with a triple double with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the defeat.
The win improves Miami’s record to 22-20 as the Thunder slip to 18-23.