How Long is an NBA game?


NBA games are the longest basketball games when you look at minutes played during regulation. They also typically take longer than any other basketball games as well. 

How long does an NBA game last?

In the NBA there are 4 quarters that all last 12 minutes, for a total of 48 minutes played. If a game happens to go into overtime, overtime periods are 5 minutes long each. There is no limit of overtimes a game can have before it’s considered a tie. 


These are also game minutes. A typical televised NBA game will last between 2 and 2.5 hours. This will account for all the stops in it such as; time outs, free throws, dead balls, quarterly breaks, half times, and the natural game length. 

How Do NBA Games Take Place?

Twenty minutes prior to the game, the coaches of both teams will register the players´ lists. This list includes the pullover numbers as well as the names of players, managers, driving instructors, and associates.

The coach then adds five players to the official roster and confirms the score sheet.The home team will have the option of notifying the primary referee and selecting the bench and basket.

The game begins when the referee blows the whistle.In preparation, two teams gather on the field.The referee then "throws" the ball high in the circle in the middle of the area.The timed game is "started" when any player touches the ball.

NBA in Comparison

Shot Clock

The NBA has a 24 second shot clock. FIBA (International Basketball Federation/ Professional basketball everywhere outside America) also uses a 24 second shot clock. The WNBA and College basketball games both use 30 second shot clocks. A high school basketball game (in some states) use a 35 second shot clock. 

How long is Basketball game?

Let´s start with the NBA...

The NBA has 4 quarters that last 12 minutes each for a total of 48 minutes. 

How long is a College Basketball Game? And FIBA?

FIBA and Women’s College basketball both have 4 10-minute quarters for a total of 40 minute games. The WNBA games and College Basketball have 2 halves of 20 minutes for a 40 minute game. 

A college basketball game is 40 minutes long, divided into two 20-minute halves. In addition to the 40 minutes of regulation play, there may also be an overtime period if the game is tied at the end of regulation. Overtime periods are five minutes long.

In college basketball, the clock stops frequently due to timeouts, free throws, and other game situations. This means that a college basketball game can last longer than the 40 minutes of regulation play. It is not uncommon for a college basketball game to last around two hours.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the governing body for college sports in the United States, and they set the rules for college basketball games. The NCAA has a set of rules for when the clock stops and when it starts, and the officials are responsible for enforcing these rules.

The rules are designed to make the game fair and to keep the pace of the game moving.

How long is a High School Basketball game?

The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) states that all high school games will be at least 32 minutes, divided into four, eight-minute quarters. 

What is the longest NBA game?

The longest game in NBA history was in 1951 between the Rochester Royals and the Indianopolic Olympians that went to 6 overtimes for a total of 78 minutes long. 

Coincidentally the longest game in College basketball history also went 6 over times. This happened in the Big East tournament in 2009 when Syracuse played UCONN. This game lasted 70 minutes. But in “real life” the game lasted 3 hours and 46 minutes and didn’t end until almost 1:30 am when Syracuse won by 10 in the 6th overtime to end everyone’s misery. 

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