Basketball Games

Basketball Game

A game in basketball is the overall match between two teams. At the end of the game, whoever has scored the most points wins the game.

Length and Structure

Basketball Game Clock

In the N.B.A. a basketball game is 48 minutes long. There are four 12 minute quarters. Two quarters make up a half. After the first half, there is a long break and there may be a halftime show.

In the N.C.A.A. a basketball game lasts 40 minutes. There are two 20 minute halves. Quarters are not used in college basketball.


NBA teams play in 82 games a season. In the playoffs, teams play series where the first to win 4 games wins the series. For a team to win the NBA championship, they must win 16 games in the playoffs, or 4 playoff series.


N.C.A.A. teams play either 29 games in a regular season, or 27 plus one tournament with up to four games. Thus, teams can play as many as 31 games in a regular season. The amount of games they play in their conference playoffs varies. If a team plays in the March Madness tournament, they must win 6 games to win the tournament (or 7 if they play in the 'First Four' round).

How Long Do Games Last?

In the N.B.A., games typically last between 2 hours and 2.5 hours. Playoff games are likely to take longer.

N.C.A.A. games typically last around 2 hours.


Basketball History

The first ever basketball game was played on December 21, 1891. Basketball has changed a lot over the years. Players used to have to retrieve the ball out of the nets, since the nets were closed off at the bottom and wouldn't let the ball pass through them.

What Are Other Basketball Games?

There are other fun ways to play basketball than the traditional basketball game we know and love. If you want to try something new, consider one of these:

  • Basketball Games for Kids
  • Basketball Pickup Game
  • Basketball Half Court Game

Basketball Games for Kids

Make sure to check out Basketball Games for Kids! You can learn about fun minigames like knockout, horse, around the world, and sharks and minnows.

Basketball Pickup Game

If you're looking for a casual way to play basketball, pickup games are perfect. A pickup game is an unofficial game that is not played in a league. You can gather a few friends, make teams and play anywhere.

Basketball Half Court Game

A half court game refers to playing basketball on one half of a basketball court. You can use the middle of the court as an area to clear the ball and change possession. If there are smaller nets on the sidelines, you may also be able to use those and play with two nets. This is a good way to divide a basketball court if there are a lot of players in the same space.