The NBA has also provided us with more buzzer-beaters and stunning comebacks than we can handle, and we also tend to bet on our favourite NBA games. Some betting sites go as far as giving a 500% first deposit bonus on your betting account.
It’s fairly uncommon for an NBA game to be tied at the conclusion of regulation. Overtime isn’t something that happens every night, but it’s also not something that happens seldom. For example, there were 152 total overtime games in the 2014-15 NBA regular season, which is roughly 5 overtime games distributed among all 30 NBA clubs. When the score is tied after regulation, the game is extended for a five-minute overtime session to decide the winner.
If the game is still tied after the first overtime, the second overtime is played. Overtime will be added until a winner is determined. In NBA games, there is no such thing as “sudden death” or a time restriction on overtime. This prompted us to look into the NBA’s longest games, particularly the record for the most overtimes and minutes played in a single game.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the NBA’s six longest games. Although the participants in these games were exhausted afterward, their excellent fitness allowed them to complete the game without fainting on the court. In this article, we will discuss the following matches:
- Indianapolis Olympians 75, Rochester Royals 73
- Syracuse Nationals 125, Anderson Packers 123
- The Milwaukee Bucks vs. Seattle Supersonics
- Pistons – Bulls
- Bulls – Hawks
- Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Indianapolis Olympians 75, Rochester Royals 73
January 6, 1951 ( 6 Overtimes )
The NBA basketball game is the shortest of all the major sports with a game clock that theoretically never stops, clocking in at only 48 minutes. Of course, everything does come to a halt for fouls, timeouts, commercials, and quarter breaks, and if the score is still tied at the conclusion of the game, overtime may be played. By going into six overtime periods, the longest basketball game ever established the record for the longest basketball game ever.
The Indianapolis Indians and Rochester Royals have the record for the longest game in NBA history. The Olympians defeated the Royals 75-73 after six thrilling overtimes on January 6, 1951. The final outcome was a bit of a shock since the Royals entered the game with a 19-10 lead over the Olympians, who were just 15-16. Despite the fact that it was a different era of basketball, it’s worth noting both teams’ outstanding defensive efforts in this one.
After a quarter, the Olympians led 20-10 and 38-33 at halftime. Rochester came back from a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime with a 12-8 outburst. The overtime sessions were extraordinary. Both sides scored two points in the first overtime period and then went scoreless in the second. Then they each scored two points in the third overtime period before going scoreless in the fourth.
Eight total points were scored in the fifth overtime, with the Olympians winning by that amount thanks to two points in the sixth overtime. Arnie Risen led the Royals with 26 points, while Ralph Beard and Alex Gorza both scored 17 points for the winners. We believe the final score of a six-overtime game in today’s NBA would be a bit higher than 75-73.
Syracuse Nationals 125, Anderson Packers 123
November 24, 1949 ( 5 Overtimes )
Dolph Schayes, the late Hall-of-Famer, helped his Syracuse Nationals to a 125-123 victory against the Anderson Packers. This was the first five-overtime game ever recorded in the league, and it’s the first item on our list. The Nationals came into the game with a six-game winning run under their belt and a record of 10-1 overall.
The Anderson Packers, on the other hand, were no slouches, coming into the game with a 6-2 record. The Packers led by 11 points after two quarters, but a second-half rally was spearheaded by Johnny Macknowski (21 points), Ray Corley (19 points), and Schayes (18 points). Syracuse ultimately held off their opponents after fighting through the remainder of the regular season and four extra sessions. Frankie Brian’s 18 points led the Packers, and he made all eight of his free-throw attempts.
The Milwaukee Bucks vs Seattle Supersonics
November 9, 1989 ( 5 Overtimes )
On November 9, 1989, the Milwaukee Bucks played the Seattle Supersonics in the second game in NBA history to go to overtime five times. The game was tied at 105-105 at the end of regulation and was decided in overtime, with the Milwaukee Bucks defeating the Seattle Supersonics.
155-154 was the final score. This is the most recent game in NBA history to include at least five extra periods. After a close first half, the Bucks built a six-point advantage heading into the final twelve minutes. Dale Ellis led the game with 53 points and seven rebounds, while the Seattle Supersonics were successful in forcing OT. Ricky Pierce’s 36 points helped the Milwaukee Bucks win the game in the fifth and final quarter.
Pistons – Bulls
Dec 18, 2015 ( 4 Overtimes )
This game was won by the Detroit Pistons with a final score of 147-144. To win the game, the Detroit Pistons outscored the Chicago Bulls 20-17 in the fourth overtime period.
Reggie Jackson had 31 points and 13 assists, while Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 33 points and 21 rebounds. For the Bulls, Jimmy Butler scored 43 points and Derrick Rose, the previous NBA MVP, contributed 34.
The match lasted three hours and twenty-four minutes.
Bulls – Hawks
Mar 1, 2019 ( 4 Overtimes )
The Chicago Bulls outscored the Atlanta Hawks 168-161 in the final. Three hours and 35 minutes passed throughout the game.
Zach LaVine, a shooting guard with the Chicago Bulls, finished with 47 points in 55 minutes of action. Given that the two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion had previously injured his ACL, the feat was particularly remarkable.
Trae Young finished with 49 points and 16 assists for the Hawks. However, his efforts were insufficient to give Atlanta the victory.
Phoenix Suns vs Portland Trail Blazers
November 14, 1997 ( 4 Overtimes )
This is the third time the Portland Blazers have played in quadruple overtime in franchise history. The game took place on November 14, 1997, versus the Phoenix Suns. After four overtime periods, the Phoenix Suns won 140-139.
Not only was this game one of the longest in NBA history, but it also included another unusual occurrence: three teammates scoring more than 30 points in the same game – the Blazers. Arvydas Sabonis added 31 points to Isaiah Rider’s 35.
Because they must run up and down the floor for four quarters, NBA players are among the best-conditioned athletes in the world.
When the game is on the line in the fourth quarter, NBA players benefit from their exceptional fitness because they can still play defence and hit jump shots even when their legs are dead.
This is why the majority of NBA head coaches make their players run at the start and conclusion of sessions.
If the tension and worry of a four-overtime game starring your favourite NBA team are too much for your heart, you may always settle for an old-fashioned casino game while sipping tea.
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