Heat’s Tyler Herro could become first NBA player this century to accomplish this feat

Someday, the Heat’s Big Three era might be the subject of an ESPN “30 for 30.”

For now, the Heat will need to settle for “40 for 40.”

That 40 for 40 is what Heat guard Tyler Herro is shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter this season.

If Herro can go the final nine games without missing a free throw in the fourth quarter, he will become the first NBA player this century to attempt that many fourth quarter free throws without a miss in a single season.

The NBA has kept records of individual player free throw attempts and conversions, by quarter, for the past 26 years.

Since the 1997-98 season, the most free throws made without a miss in the fourth quarter in a single season is 31 by Brian Roberts in 2012-13. That’s according to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau. Roberts shot 90.9 percent from the line that season, for New Orleans.

Herro is the only NBA player this season who has made more than 17 fourth quarter free throws without a miss.

Seth Curry is 17 for 17, Malik Beasley 16 for 16, Delon Wright 15 for 15 and Tyus Jones 14 for 14. Those four - and Herro - are the only NBA players who have made 10 or more without a miss in the fourth quarter this season.

Overall, Herro is shooting 92.7 percent on free throws (153 for 165) and is on pace to break Ray Allen’s team record in that category (88.6).

What’s more, Herro is shooting 42.3 percent (55 for 130) on fourth quarter three pointers. That’s third best in the league among players who have made at least 50 fourth quarter threes -- behind only Georges Niang (45.9 percent, 50 made threes) and Klay Thompson (42.5, 57 makes).

As a team, the Heat made NBA history by hitting all 40 free throws attempts in a January win against Oklahoma City. The Heat’s 83.2 free throw percentage is second in the league, behind only Philadelphia (83.5).

For more on Herro’s and Jimmy Butler’s excellent play in the clutch this season, check out colleague Anthony Chiang’s story here.

THIS AND THAT

▪ Even though Kevin Love and Cody Zeller do not have Bird Rights, Miami won’t necessarily need to eat into its exception money if it wants to sign either to deals above the minimum for next season.

Both are eligible to make 120 percent of their current salaries, meaning Love could get $3.7 million next season and Zeller $3.4 million, with annual raises of five percent.

That’s slightly above the projected $3.1 million minimum for players with 10 or more years of experience. Love is in his 16th season, Zeller his 10th.

Miami is expected to have a $7 million taxpayer midlevel exception available to spend this offseason, if it chooses to use it

▪ The Heat appreciates how Kyle Lowry has handled his return as a reserve, and since his return, Miami is averaging by far the most points with Lowry on the floor (120 per 100 possessions) than any other Heat player.

And he’s shooting 9 for 15 on threes since returning, compared with 90 for 270 (33 percent) prior to that.