Anthony Davis' monster night includes breaking Dwight Howard's Lakers FT record

Anthony Davis’ tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers was off to an expectedly outstanding start prior to Tuesday.

But he had a truly breakout night against the Memphis Grizzlies — and set a new Lakers record in the process.

The newly acquired All-Star big man posted 40 points and 20 rebounds, all in three quarters as he rested the fourth of the 120-91 win.

Anthony Davis breaks Lakers FT record

He did most of his scoring damage from the free throw line where he connected on 26-of-27 attempts, setting a new Lakers record for most made free throws in a single game.

As remarkable as his night was, the record wasn’t the most noteworthy stat from the evening at Staples Center. It was the player whose record he broke.

The previous record holder wasn’t Jerry West or Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It wasn’t Kobe Bryant.

Wait — Dwight Howard had the record?

It was Dwight Howard — the guy who’s banging in the post off the bench now so Davis can play power forward.

Howard didn’t set the record with the Lakers this year, of course. He did so in his previous tenure with the Lakers in 2013 when he hit 25 free throws in a game against the Orlando Magic.

How did Dwight Howard — a career 56.6 percent free-throw shooter — manage to hold a free throw record on a franchise drowning in Hall of Fame scorers? Hack-a-Howard.

The Magic sent Howard to the line 39 times that night because of his well-documented free-throw deficiencies. He came through at a 64.1 percent clip.

Davis’ heroics highlight 22-0 Lakers run

Davis is most certainly not a notoriously bad free throw shooter.

He set the record Tuesday because when he’s at his best, he’s an unstoppable offensive force. He was at his best against the Grizzlies, logging his fourth career 40-20 night in 31 minutes, 12 minutes fewer than required for any of his previous 40-20 outings, according to Basketball Reference data mined by The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

First time since Shaq

In fact, according to the Lakers, he hit the 40-20 mark in the fewest minutes in the shot-clock era that started in 1954. It also marked the first 40-20 game by a Laker since Shaquille O’Neal did so in 2003.

He received a standing ovation from the Staples Center crowd as he earned two more free throws to end the third quarter on a 22-0 Lakers run that put the game out of reach and an end to his night.

When the Lakers traded for Davis, this is the kind of performance fans were salivating for.

It didn’t take long for the home crowd to savor a chance to celebrate their new superstar.

Related: LeBron James and Anthony Davis through the years

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LeBron James and Anthony Davis through the years
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LeBron James and Anthony Davis through the years
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) after an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 31, 2019. The Lakers won 130-102. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: LeBron James #23 and Anthony Davis #23 of Team LeBron celebrate after winning the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 21: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in front of Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans after a 112-104 Laker win at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 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. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 21: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers guards Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during a 112-104 Laker win at Staples Center on December 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 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. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 16: Anthony Davis and LeBron James attend the Klutch 2019 All Star Weekend Dinner Presented by Remy Martin and hosted by Klutch Sports Group at 5Church on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Dominique Oliveto/Getty Images for Klutch Sports Group 2019 All Star Weekend)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 15: NBA Players Anthony Davis (L) and LeBron James attend GQ & LeBron James NBA All Star Party Sponsored By Samsung Galaxy And Beats at Ogden Museum's Patrick F. Taylor Library on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for GQ)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: (L-R) LeBron James #6, Kevin Durant #5, Anthony Davis #14 and Carmelo Anthony #15 of the United States celebrate after they won against Spain during the Men's Basketball gold medal game on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, smiles as he walks past New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (23) keeps the ball from Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland, Friday, March 30, 2018. James scored in double figures for his 867th consecutive game, eclipsing the old mark of 866 held by Michael Jordan.(AP Photo/Phil Long)
FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, steals the ball from New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) drives past New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 22, 2014, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
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