OAKLAND, Calif. - Dwight Howard broke Wilt Chamberlain's nearly 50-year-old NBA record for most free throw attempts in a game, making 21 of 39 in the Orlando Magic's 117-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
The Warriors hacked Howard intentionally throughout, sending the notoriously poor shooter to the line in record-setting fashion. Chamberlain shot 34 for the Philadelphia Warriors against St. Louis on Feb. 22, 1962.
Howard finished with 45 points and 23 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points to propel the Magic to their third straight victory. Monta Ellis had 30 points and 11 assists, and David Lee added 26 points and 12 rebounds for the short-handed Warriors, playing without starters Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright.
The Hack-a-Howard routine reached a whole new level.
Howard had never shot more than 24 free throws in a game — which he had four times previously — and fouled so early. Certainly, nothing compared to the Warriors' ways.
CAVALIERS 101, SUNS 90
PHOENIX (AP) — Rookie star Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 26 points and Antawn Jamison matched his season high with 23, helping Cleveland beat Phoenix.
Irving, who played only 11 games at Duke before being drafted first overall, topped his previous high of 21. Anderson Varejeo contributed 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Victoria's Steve Nash led six Suns players in double figures with 16 points, becoming the 15th active player to reach 16,000 points. He also had 15 assists. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix.
Michael Redd, playing his first game for Phoenix, had 12 points in 19 minutes.
Irving put on a remarkable performance in the first half. With the Cavaliers trailing 40-34, he scored 12 consecutive points in 2:51, including two 3s, capping a 14-0 run and lifting Cleveland to a 46-40 advantage. Irving did his damage against Nash, the league's two-time Most Valuable Player.
GRIZZLIES 94, KNICKS 83
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rudy Gay scored a season-high 26 points and Memphis beat New York to end the Knicks' winning streak at four games.
The Knicks played most of the second half without scoring leader Carmelo Anthony after he sprained his right ankle early in the third period. He didn't return and X-rays were negative.
Gay made 11 of 16 shots to help the Grizzlies snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 4-6. O.J. Mayo scored 18 points, also a season high, on 7-of-12 shooting and had eight rebounds. Tony Allen added 12 points, and Marc Gasol had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Anthony and Bill Walker each scored 14 points to lead the Knicks (6-5). Rookie guard Iman Shumpert had 12 points, but was 5 of 20 from the field. Amare Stoudemire, saddled with foul problems early, scored a season-low six points, converting only one of his seven shots. New York set a season low with its 83 points.
BUCKS 102, PISTONS 93
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Jennings scored 27 points and Stephen Jackson added 25 for Milwaukee in the only the second game in the shot-clock era without a missed free throw.
The Bucks were 17 of 17 from line and the Pistons 24 of 24. The other game was Dec. 22, 2000, when Atlanta and Toronto hit all 16 free throws shot in the game.
The Bucks improved to 4-0 at home and 4-6 overall, while the Pistons dropped to 2-9 with their sixth straight loss and fifth in a row on the road. Detroit last lost six straight from March 13-April 3, 2010.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles became the 39th coach in NBA history to reach 400 victories. He is 400-388.
A game after scoring a season-high 34 points, Jackson was 9 of 17 from the field, and had six rebounds and six assists. Rookie Jon Leuer, making his first start for the Bucks, added 15 points and six rebounds.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with a career-high 32 points and had 16 rebounds.
HAWKS 111, BOBCATS 81
ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Smith scored 30 points, Joe Johnson added 23 and the Atlanta Hawks won their first game without all-star centre Al Horford, routing Charlotte to improve to 8-4.
The Hawks learned earlier in the day that Horford, a leader on and off the court, will miss at least three months after tearing the pectoral muscle in his left shoulder Wednesday night at Indiana.
With Horford sidelined, Smith and Johnson came through big time against the hapless Bobcats, who lost their fifth in a row and dropped to 2-9. The Hawks dominated on the boards, outrebounding Charlotte 55-30.
Byron Mullens led the Bobcats with 21 points in his first career start.