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Celtics, Bucks combine for record-low 2 free throw attempts

Celtics, Bucks combine for record-low 2 free throw attempts

Celtics become first team to shoot zero free throws in loss (1:52)

The Celtics find themselves on the wrong side of history, becoming the first team to not shoot a free throw in a game. (1:52)

ESPN News Services

Apr 9, 2024, 10:30 PM ET

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics combined for a record low two free throw attempts Tuesday night. The Celtics also 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, in 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 (2014) and Atlanta Hawks (2018) 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 Nov. 10, 2019, when the Indiana Pacers shot five and the Orlando Magic had six.

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

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.

Tuesday night’s officiating crew featured Marc Davis, Ben Taylor and Danielle Scott.

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.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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