NBA 101 Wednesday: Game Timeouts

During a game, each team is allotted six full timeouts and two 20 second timeouts (1 per half). 

Of the full timeouts, there must be two 100-second timeouts in the first and third periods, and three 100 second timeouts in second and fourth periods.   All other full timeouts are 60 seconds.

In the 4th quarter, each team can use up to 3 timeouts.

In the last two minutes of regulation, each team can use up to 2 timeouts. 

In overtime, each team is allowed three 60-second timeouts, regardless of the timeouts called during regulation or previous overtimes.



  1. All,

    Many of my friends, and even my boyfriend (who’s a self-proclaimed “football kinda guy”), have limited knowledge when it comes to the game of basketball, especially when it comes to the rules and regulations surrounding the NBA. They just enjoy getting together to watch the games. 🙂

    While watching the Finals this year with my boyfriend he asked, “How many timeouts can a team call?” With my face glued to the TV, I answered, “6 fulls and 2 20’s.” During the next timeout, while waiting for the game to resume, I began to think…

    There are probably a lot of people, even faithful basketball watchers, who are unsure of the fundamentals of the game…The number of timeouts a team can call, fouls allowed by each player and the rules surrounding each, front-court and back-court terminology, not to mention the details we often have no clue of as fans, but are quick to blame the refs for nonetheless.

    So…I decided to start a weekly NBA Training Session…Right here! And what better topic to start off with than the one I was asked just last week.

    Now I plan to do a quick overview of a different topic each week, and I hope many of you will benefit from this by learning something new about the game.

    I’ll discuss the rules surrounding fouls, timeouts, positions, conferences and divisions, the history of the NBA, and more. Some of it you may know. Some of it you may not know. But I’m sure at some point you will learn something that you didn’t know.

    I’ll always fully research each topic to make sure I provide you with valid information, as I do with everything I post on this site, unless of course, it’s my opinion.

    To all my readers who are NBA buffs…if something seems incorrect or outdated, as NBA rules, regulations, and terminology do change, feel free to post your correction along with a link to a valid source where the information can be verified.

    The point of this is for fans and readers to learn more about the game of basketball, as it relates to the NBA. As with anything else posted here, feel free to comment at your leisure. Each topic will be posted under the “NBA 101 Wednesday” category.

    ~Enjoy 🙂

  2. Nice idea. I knew this one but I’ll be checking back. I’m no NBA buff, so these should be fun to read.

  3. Great idea. You have to cover trades, contracts, and the like, at some point. I’m completely in the dark with that stuff:)

  4. Why did I think all full time outs were 60 seconds. I hope I’m not the only one since I do follow the game. Guess I’ve learned something.

  5. 🙂

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  • 2007-2008 Schedule

    (* - Denotes Home Games)

    31: vs Dallas*, 74-92 (L)

    02: vs Knicks*, 110-106 (W)
    04: vs Phoenix, 92-103 (L)
    06: vs Warriors, 108-104 (W)
    07: vs Utah, 101-103 (L)
    09: vs Sacramento, 93-91 (W)
    11: vs LA Clippers, 103-95 (W)
    12: vs Denver, 100-122 (L)
    14: vs Orlando*, 116-117 (L)
    16: vs Utah*, 99-94 (W)
    20: vs Bucks*, 107-111 (L)
    21: vs Minnesota, 97-86 (W)
    24: vs Toronto*, 111-108 (W)
    25: vs Indiana, 111-106 (W)
    27: vs Boston*, 109-104 (W)
    28: vs Detroit, 74-109 (L)
    30: vs Toronto, 82-91 (L)

    02: vs Boston, 70-80 (L)
    04: vs Nets*, 79-100 (L)
    05: vs Washington, 86-105 (L)
    08: vs Charlotte, 93-96 (L)
    11: vs Indiana*, 118-105 (W)
    14: vs Nets, 97-105 (L)
    15: vs Philadelphia*, 86-92 (L)
    17: vs Milwaukee*, 104-99 (L)
    19: vs New York, 90-108 (L)
    20: vs LA Lakers*, 94-90 (W)
    23: vs Warriors*, 96-105 (L)
    25: vs Miami*, 96-82 (W)
    27: vs Dallas, 88-81 (W)
    29: vs New Orleans, 76-86 (L)

    02: vs Atlanta*, 98-94 (W)
    04: vs Kings*, 97-93 (W)
    06: vs Toronto, 93-90 (W)
    08: vs Seattle*, 95-79 (W)
    09: vs Atlanta, 81-90 (L)
    11: vs Charlotte*, 113-106 (W)
    15: vs Memphis, 132-124 (W)
    17: vs San Antonio, 90-88 (W)
    21: vs Miami, 97-90 (W)
    23: vs Wizards*, 121-85 (W)
    25: vs Phoenix*, 108-110 (L)
    27: vs La Lakers, 98-95 (W)
    30: vs Portland, 84-83 (W)
    31: vs Seattle, 95-101 (L)

    02: vs LA Clippers*, 98-84 (W)
    05: vs Boston*, 114-113 (W)
    07: vs Houston, 77-92 (L)
    08: vs Atlanta, 100-95 (W)
    10: vs Denver*, 83-113 (L)
    11: vs Orlando, 118-111 (W)
    13: vs Spurs*, 105-112 (L)
    19: vs Houston*, 85-93 (L)
    20: vs Indiana, 106-97 (W)
    22: vs Wizards*, 90-89 (W)
    24: vs Memphis*, 109-89 (W)
    26: vs Milwaukee, 102-105 (L)
    27: vs Boston, 87-92 (L)
    29: vs Minnesota*, 92-84 (W)

    02: vs Chicago*, 95-86 (W)
    05: vs New York, 119-105 (W)
    06: vs Chicago, 96-107 (L)
    08: vs Indiana*, 103-95 (W)
    10: vs Portland*, 88-80 (W)
    12: vs New Jersey, 99-104 (L)
    13: vs Washington, 99-101 (L)
    16: vs Charlotte*, 98-91 (W)
    17: vs Orlando, 90-104 (L)
    19: vs Detroit*, 89-73 (W)
    21: vs Toronto*, 90-83 (W)
    22: vs Milwaukee, 8:30p
    26: vs New Orleans*, 7p
    29: vs Detroit, 7:30p
    30: vs Philadelphia*, 6p

    02: vs Charlotte, 7p
    03: vs Chicago*, 8p
    05: vs Orlando*, 3p
    09: vs New Jersey*, 7p
    11: vs Chicago, 7p
    13: vs Miami*, 1p
    14: vs Philadelphia, 7p
    16: vs Detroit*, 7p
  • Credits

    All photos are property of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA, and their respective owners.

    NBA rules, regulations, and historical data courtesy of the NBA, and Wikipedia.

    Animations courtesy of Cre8ive Juice: