How Long is Halftime During NBA Games? Regular Season, Playoffs, and Finals

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Halftime of any sporting event serves a crucial purpose for most of the viewership. It's a guaranteed block of extended time to do whatever you felt you couldn't do during commercial or quarter breaks. The lengthy bathroom break after too much fried food, a quick trip to the corner store for a reload of Tostitos, watching Shawshank Redemption on that channel it's always playing on for 15 minutes, whatever. It's the one block of time during the game where you know you won't miss anything important for a while.

As the NBA playoffs near, now feels like a good time to remind everybody just how much time they have. Nobody wants to miss the first few minutes of the third quarter because their errand extended a few minutes too long.

So how long does NBA halftime last? We have these answers for you.

How Long is NBA Halftime?

According to the official NBA rule book, Section II Pt. C, "15 minutes will be permitted between halves of all games." This rule applies to the regular season, playoffs, and Finals.

However, the rule is worded as such that those 15 minutes apply to how long the teams can stay in the locker room, not how long the broadcast will break for. Anecdotally, the networks broadcasting the game are eager to slip some extra commercial time into whatever slots reveal themselves. So for us, the viewers, halftime usually lasts somewhere in the 15 to 20 minute range.

During the regular season, halftime tends to be closer to that 15-minute mark depending on the matchup. During the playoffs it ends up around 20 minutes. And during the Finals it could extend even past that. As the postseason grows long, plan accordingly for the increasing length of halftime.

Enjoy your time well-earned!