Zalgiris Kaunas center Brandon Davies comes off a spectacular season in which he earned All-EuroLeague First Team honors. One of his many highlights was the night he made 15 free throws to match the fourth-highest total in competition history. Davies only missed 3 free throw attempts in that game! His 15 makes marked the most for any player in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague in the past five seasons.
When did it happen?
Davies's historic night came in Round 9 of the regular season against Khimki Moscow Region on November 23, 2018. Zalgiris trailed most of the way and ended up losing by one point, 83-84. Added to his 15 free throws made, Davies finished the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Alexey Shved led the winners with 25 points, but suffered an injury late in the game.
Did you know?
Davies set four new career highs in that game against Khimki: most free throws made (15) and attempted (18), total rebounds (13) and performance index rating (39). He tied his personal bests in both defensive rebounds (7) and offensive rebounds (6). His performance index rating of 39 tied for the fifth best in Zalgiris's EuroLeague history. Tanoka Beard holds the club record - and the all-time EuroLeague record – with a PIR of 63 against Skipper Bologna on January 22, 2004.
Davies was 3 free throws from the all-time record. That belongs to Nikola Mirotic, who made all of his 18 free throw attempts playing for Real Madrid against Zalgiris Kaunas in that very same building, Zalgirio Arena. Mirotic helped Madrid to a 104-105 overtime win against Zalgiris on March 7, 2013, and finished the game with 31 points, 11 rebounds and a PIR of 37. It was the last time a player made as many as 15 free throws in a EuroLeague game until Davies came along.
Place in history
Davies drew 12 fouls against Khimki, which were 3 from the all-time record, which is shared by Jaka Lakovic, Bobby Brown, Keith Langford and Milos Vujanic. It also tied a club record; DeJuan Collins drew 12 fouls against Olympiacos Piraeus on February 27, 2008. Davies did not hit more than 7 free throws in any game after that. In fact, he made a total of 14 free throws in Zalgiris's playoffs series against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul.
What happened next
After that loss, Zalgiris dropped to 3-6 and remained outside the playoffs zone for the better part of the regular season. A six-game winning streak at the end of the phase lifted Zalgiris into the playoffs from eighth place. Despite stealing the home-court advantage from Fenerbahce, the Turkish powerhouse won twice in Kaunas and reached the Final Four. Davies finished the season with averages of 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds and ranked second in free throws made (131), only trailing Mike James of AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan (147).