Andre Drummond Sets NBA Record with 23 Missed Free Throws vs. Rockets

Mike Norris@@MikeNorrisBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2016

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 20:  Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons shoots the ball against the Houston Rockets on January 20, 2016 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond set an NBA record Wednesday night by missing 23 free throws in his team's 123-114 victory over the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center, per SportsCenter.

Despite connecting on just 13 of 36 attempts at the charity stripe, the 22-year-old scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the road victory that helped the Pistons improve to 23-19.  

At first, he wasn't in a mood to discuss the record following the game, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). 

"We won the game today," he said when asked about it.

However, Drummond did open up on the subject later, according to the AP.

"I'm not going to miss them all," he said. "I've worked on it enough where I'm going to build a rhythm and over time I ended up getting one."

Stats showed just how inept Drummond was at the stripe compared to other historically bad free-throw shooters: 

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He has the Rockets to thank in part for his dubious achievement because they worked hard to get the 35 percent free-throw shooter to the line as much as possible.

Trailing by nine at the half, Houston decided to foul Drummond whenever it could, which meant sending out reserve K.J. McDaniels to foul him five times in what turned out to be nine seconds, per Bleacher Report:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

K.J. McDaniels fouled Andre Drummond 5 times in 9 seconds https://t.co/qZALdbX6Q0

The exchange led to some interesting play-by-play, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Interesting strategy by Houston: K.J. McDaniels enters the game and commits 5 personal fouls, all on Andre Drummond https://t.co/5YMIm9UWQq

Once the five fouls were committed, any time Houston hacked Drummond the rest of the quarter he would go to the free-throw line whether it was a shooting foul or not. The tactic worked for a little while, per Satchel Price of SB Nation:

Houston quickly made up its nine-point deficit by forcing Drummond to take free throw after free throw. It took less than three minutes for the Rockets to tie the game and less than four to take a lead. The Pistons didn't take their first field goal attempt of the period until the 9:02 mark because Drummond got fouled on every possession.

The move worked because Drummond indeed struggled from the charity stripe. The Rockets fouled him 12 times in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second half and the Pistons big man went 5-of-16 on the resulting free throws.

That's when Detroit sent Drummond, who finished 2-of-4 from the field, to the bench and eventually built another lead. He came back, but with the Pistons leading 107-94 with around five minutes to play, Drummond went out of the game for good.

Both head coaches commented on the tactic following the game, per the AP. Houston interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff was blunt in his response. "It didn't work. That's it. That's all I have to say about that."

Stan Van Gundy wasn't amused. "It wasn't a chess match, it was just they wanted to foul and we let them foul," he said.

It was a unique strategy—to say the least—that made for some awful viewing. Let's hope Houston doesn't try it again.

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