Celtics become 1st NBA team to shoot no free throws. Boston, Bucks combine for record-low 2 attempts

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics combined for a record-low two free throw attempts Tuesday night, when the Celtics became the first team in NBA history to not shoot one.

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo shot the only two free throws of the game, making one, with 19 seconds left in the first quarter of the Bucks’ 104-91 victory.

“Man, (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver’s the happiest,” Bucks coach Doc Rivers said. “1:57 game time. My goodness, you can go to a game and still have dinner. Unbelievable.”

Rivers said he didn’t realize there were so few free throws until after the game.

“I thought it was a physical game, and then they handed me the stat sheet, and I told them, ‘No, I need the full game,’ ” Rivers said. “I thought it was the halftime stats. I didn’t look at the minutes. And then I said, ‘Wow, two free throws for a basketball game. That’s crazy.'”

The Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks shared the previous record of one attempted free throw in a game. The Bucks committed just four fouls Tuesday, the fewest in league history.

The two combined attempts shattered the previous record of 11, set on Nov. 10, 2019, when Indiana shot five and Orlando had six.

“Maybe just gearing up for the playoffs. They’re going to let a lot of things go, I guess just getting us ready for playoff basketball,” Boston’s Jayson Tatum said.

It was particularly surprising that this record occurred in a game featuring the Bucks and Celtics. Antetokounmpo entered Tuesday with an NBA-leading 780 free-throw attempts. Milwaukee’s Damian Lillard ranked seventh (494) and Tatum was eighth (488) in that category.

Lillard noted that foul calls seem to have gone down across the league late in the season.

“It was weird, but it seems to be the trend,” Lillard said. “Fouls are not a part of the game no more. It’s like, I’ve had times where I thought I was getting fouled, and there’s been other times where I was surprised a foul didn’t get called on me, where I might bump somebody or get a piece of somebody’s arm and they don’t call it, and I’m like, ‘Man, they’re really just letting us play.’

“And then, like the other night, I fouled out with like two minutes left in the game. I fouled out twice in our last five games or something like that. I hadn’t fouled out in I-don’t-know-how-long before this. You’ve just got to roll with however the game is going. Tonight, I hardly remember any whistles.”


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