The record for consecutive made free throws in an NBA game is 23, set by Dominique Wilkins.
DeMar DeRozan almost broke that Friday night.
He would have, but with the game decided he intentionally missed his last one at the request of Kyle Lowry — neither knew about the record. It happened in Toronto where the Raptors beat the Blazers despite Damian Lillard dropping 50. James Herbert of CBSSports.com was at the game and explains.
DeRozan made his first 24 free throws before missing on his 25th attempt with less than a second left in the game. If DeRozan had made his 25th free throw and remained perfect at the line, he would’ve broken Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins’ record for most made free throws without a miss. The former Atlanta Hawks forward set the record in 1992 by going 23-for-23 from the line, so if DeRozan made his final free throw, he would’ve been breaking a record that stood for over 20 years.
DeRozan missing on his 25th free throw did look purposeful though as he perfectly hit the front of the rim. Afterward, DeRozan told reporters, via CBS Sports’ James Herbert, that he actually did miss the free throw on purpose and he had no idea that he was that close to making NBA history.
So why did he miss it? Well, Kyle Lowry told him to, so the game would end.
Technically DeRozan did hit 24 in a row to set a record, but that intentional miss besmirched the perfect run and blew his shot at most made in a game without a miss.
The miss started the clock and ended the game, if he had made the free throw to put the Raptors up three the Blazers would have had a shot at one last heave to tie it up. Which likely would have failed but stranger things have happened (especially with Lillard). It was the right play.
It just would have ended differently had they known.