Halftime in the NBA gives players a short break from the action whilst coaches discuss strategy. It is also a good chance for arena fans to grab refreshments from concession stands or head to the restroom. But how long is halftime?

How long are NBA halftimes?

NBA halftime breaks are 15 minutes long. Coaches spend the time discussing strategy, reviewing plans and making tactical adjustments. Players use this time to rest and recover for the second half. They usually spend the last few minutes of halftime warming up on the court.

Halftime also gives fans the opportunity to stretch their legs, grab some food and drinks or visit the restroom. Other fans in the arena usually stay in their seats to watch the halftime show. Halftime shows consist of entertainers or performers and occasional fan competitions like a half-court shot challenge.

Fans are often invited during breaks or halftime to participate in a half-court shot challenge

Rules about NBA halftime Length

NBA rules state that “Halftime will last 15 minutes for all games, beginning immediately upon expiration of the second period. A delay-of-game penalty will be issued if a team is not ready to start play at the expiration of the halftime clock.”

Delay-of-game penalties during halftime are very rare and are more likely to occur during play.

How long are NBA quarters?

NBA games are divided into four quarters consisting of 12 minutes each. International leagues like the EuroLeague and Spain’s Liga ACB have 10 minutes quarters. As a result, the actual game play in the NBA lasts for 48 minutes whilst international league games are 40 minutes long.

Every NBA game has a 15 minute halftime break. In addition, there are three-minute breaks after the first and third quarters, which give coaches a the chance to discuss strategy

Timeouts are another opportunity for players to take a break and talk tactics with their coaches. Teams are allowed seven timeouts during a regulation game. Each time out lasts 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Largest halftime lead in NBA history

The Dallas Mavericks hold the record for the largest halftime lead in NBA history after blowing out the Los Angeles Clippers 77-27 in 2020. The record for the second-highest lead at the half belongs to the Golden State Warriors who led one game against the Sacramento Kings by 47 points in 1991.

History of halftime breaks

The original basketball rules from Dr. James Naismith in 1891 state that the game should have “two fifteen minute halves, with five minutes rest between.”

Rule 12 of Dr. James Naismith’s original basketball rules specified a 5 minute break

The game has changed a lot since then with fast game play, increased athleticism and television broadcasts just some of the many driving forces behind the need for four quarters and 15 minute halftime breaks.

How much do NBA halftime acts earn?

Halftime performers typically earn $1,500 to $5,000 per show. When they’re not performing for NBA arena audiences they’re usually entertaining crowds at festivals, circuses or other sporting events.

Andrew brings decades of championship winning experience to The AllStar having forged several successful NBA careers on NBA 2K. A longtime Sixers fan, Andrew is very much still trusting the process and awaits the day that Sam Hinkie is allowed back in the NBA.