How long does an NBA game last, how long is a quarter, how long is overtime?
The length of an NBA game differs to those played under FIBA rules, with the American league playing for eight minutes longer.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the most important basketball league in the world. The NBA has a few rules that differ to those used by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). One of those governs the length of games.
NBA games longer than under FIBA rules
Basketball games are split into four quarters. In the NBA, each quarter lasts for 12 minutes, making for a clash whose total duration is 48 minutes. Meanwhile, games in FIBA competitions are 40 minutes long, with 10-minute quarters.
When does the clock stop?
During an NBA game, the clock is paused every time the game stops, be it because the ball has gone out of bounds, a foul has been given, free throws are being shot, or a time out has been called.
In the NBA, the clock also stops after a successful field goal attempt in the last minute of the first three quarters and the last two minutes of the fourth quarter/overtime.
How long does overtime last?
If the teams are tied at the end of the regulation 48 minutes, overtime (OT) is played. This lasts for five minutes, and if the scores are still level at the end of this period, further OTs, each running for another five minutes, are played until the teams can be separated.
The longest game in NBA history, played in January 1951, went on for 78 minutes. The Indianapolis Olympians faced the Rochester Royals, and after the scores were tied at 65-65 at the end of regulation time, it took six overtime periods before the Olympians finally won out 75-73.