When Dwight Howard was trying… 39 free throws in one game! | NBA


In the lineage of Wilt Chamberlains, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and others Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard has been a dominant pivot. No offense to his detractors, « Superman » reigned on rackets in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Able to shoot nearly 21 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks on average, between 2007 and 2012, « D12 » was indeed a real force of nature with the Magic, which he also managed to lead to at the Finals, in 2009. Very few opposing interiors could thus stand up to the triple Defender of the Year (2009, 2010, 2011) and, to slow him down, he had to press his “Kryptonite”: the free throws.

After the « Hack-a-Shaq », it is therefore the no less famous « Hack-a-Dwight » which began to become widespread in the NBA, at the beginning of the years 2010. Sometimes giving rise to sequences as lunar as they are ridiculous , with players who entered the floor only to multiply the faults on Dwight Howard, then forced to play cat and mouse with his opponents, launched in pursuit of each throw-in …

And this was more than ever the case on January 12, 2012.

Just ten years ago, in a season cut short by the “lockout”, Orlando (one of the best teams in the league) moved to Golden State (one of the worst teams in the league). That night, the Warriors showed up without Kwame Brown, with David Lee, Andris Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Tyler and Dominic McGuire to contain the 2004 Draft premiet inside.

The first 40/20 since 2003

Suffice to say that Dwight Howard wandered in the racket of the « Dubs », led by Monta Ellis, orphans of Stephen Curry (ankle) and where we found a rookie named Klay Thompson. And, in nearly 44 minutes of play, « D12 » compiled the trifle of 45 points (career record), 23 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks!

All at 12/21 on shots and… 21/39 on free throws! Yes, yes: 39 free throws attempted in a single game. A mind-boggling total, which some do not even manage to achieve over a full season. And which had, above all, never been reached before, the previous record in the matter belonging to Wilt Chamberlain, another renowned pivot, with 34 attempts on the line (for 19 successes), on February 22, 1962.

If the five-time best rebounder in the league (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013) has, as often, wasted a lot on the throws (57% in career and 49% in 2011/12), he will however have allowed the Magic to start again of the Oracle Arena with the victory (117-109). Martyring the poor interiors of Golden State with dunks, offensive rebound taps, « hook shots » and « alley-oops ». But also with free throws, since he scored nearly half of his points that night.

Note that, barely a year and a change of team later, Dwight Howard would allow himself to equal his own NBA record, in terms of shots attempted in a single game. And, as a symbol, it is against the Magic that the eightfold All-Star would achieve a (more acceptable) 25/39 on the line, on March 12, 2013, with the Lakers.

Since then, only two of them have approached the “D12” mark: DeAndre Jordan, with his 12/34 on November 30, 2015, and especially Andre Drummond, with his 13/36 on January 20, 2016. Finally, to be everything quite complete on the subject, it should be noted that Shaquille O’Neal holds the NBA record for throwing attempts, in a playoff game: also 39 (for 18 successes), on June 9, 2000.

Dwight Howard Percentage Rebounds
Season Team MJ Min Shots 3pts LF Off Def Early Pd Fte Int Bp Ct Pts
2004-05 ENT 82 33 52.0 0.0 67.1 3.5 6.5 10.0 0.9 2.8 0.9 2.0 1.7 12.0
2005-06 ENT 82 37 53.1 0.0 59.5 3.5 9.0 12.5 1.5 3.4 0.8 2.7 1.4 15.8
2006-07 ENT 82 37 60.3 50.0 58.6 3.5 8.8 12.3 1.9 3.0 0.9 3.9 1.9 17.6
2007-08 ENT 82 38 59.9 0.0 59.0 3.4 10.8 14.2 1.3 3.3 0.9 3.2 2.2 20.7
2008-09 ENT 79 36 57.2 0.0 59.4 4.3 9.6 13.8 1.4 3.4 1.0 3.0 2.9 20.6
2009-10 ENT 82 35 61.2 0.0 59.2 3.5 9.7 13.2 1.8 3.5 0.9 3.3 2.8 18.3
2010-11 ENT 78 38 59.3 0.0 59.6 4.0 10.1 14.1 1.4 3.3 1.4 3.6 2.4 22.9
2011-12 ENT 54 38 57.3 0.0 49.1 3.7 10.8 14.5 1.9 2.9 1.5 3.2 2.2 20.6
2012-13 LAL 76 36 57.8 16.7 49.2 3.3 9.1 12.4 1.4 3.8 1.1 3.0 2.5 17.1
2013-14 HOU 71 34 59.1 28.6 54.7 3.3 8.9 12.2 1.9 3.4 0.9 3.2 1.8 18.3
2014-15 HOU 41 30 59.3 50.0 52.8 2.7 7.8 10.5 1.2 3.3 0.7 2.8 1.3 15.8
2015-16 HOU 71 32 62.0 0.0 48.9 3.4 8.4 11.8 1.4 3.1 1.0 2.3 1.6 13.8
2016-17 ATL 74 30 63.3 0.0 53.3 4.0 8.7 12.7 1.4 2.7 0.9 2.3 1.2 13.5
2017-18 CHA 81 30 55.5 14.3 57.4 3.2 9.4 12.5 1.3 3.1 0.6 2.6 1.6 16.6
2018-19 WAS 9 26 62.3 0.0 60.4 2.7 6.6 9.2 0.4 3.8 0.8 1.8 0.4 12.8
2019-20 LAL 69 19 72.9 60.0 51.4 2.5 4.9 7.4 0.7 3.2 0.5 1.2 1.1 7.5
2020-21 PHL 69 17 58.7 25.0 57.6 2.8 5.7 8.4 0.9 2.9 0.4 1.6 0.9 7.0
2021-22 LAL 31 15 60.6 75.0 61.7 1.7 3.7 5.4 0.6 1.9 0.7 0.8 0.6 5.1
Total 1213 32 58.6 20.8 56.6 3.4 8.5 11.9 1.4 3.2 0.9 2.7 1.8 15.9

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