NBA Games with the Most Overtimes in NBA History

Overtime is regarded by many viewers and athletes as one of the most interesting parts of every sport, particularly basketball. This is particularly true in the game of basketball. 

It’s interesting to watch a competitive game in which the result is determined by a single basket or a buzzer beating three pointer. Nothing beats a game that is right on the cusp of victory until the very last second. 

We’ll look at some of the games of the NBA that have had the most overtimes in NBA history throughout this guide. To do so, details about when and how the matches took place, as well as their overall significance to the season in which they occurred, will be provided.

Most Games with Overtime…

Everyone appreciates a good overtime game. Despite the fact that they occur on a yearly basis, a game seldom lasts more than one to two hours. It’s a lot more unusual to get to three hours. 

Every game on the list lives up to that standard. The games are still regarded as among the most exciting in NBA history, demonstrating what can happen if two skilled teams go down to the final possession.

most overtimes in nba

1. Olympians vs. Royals

This match is one of the games with the most overtimes in the NBA. The Indianapolis Olympians vs. Rochester Royals game went into overtime the most times in NBA history, with a total of seven overtimes in 1951. The Indianapolis Olympians defeated the Rochester Royals 75-73 in regular-season action of the International Basketball Association, which was then known as the National Basketball Association, on January 6, 1951.

These two teams are no longer in existence. This game is unlike any other. In addition to becoming the longest match in basketball history, the Olympians just scored two points in the overtime. They won because they did not allow the Royals to score a single point.

As a result, the game has been seen as the lowest scoring overtime session in the sport’s history. Scores were more difficult to obtain because this game was played before many modern regulations were put in place. As a result, despite the six additional overtimes, the final count did not appropriately reflect the amount of time spent playing the game.

2. Nationals vs. Packers

The Nationals and the Packers competed in another historic game between these two defunct clubs from the early days of basketball. This time it was a five-overtime contest in which the Nationals scored a far better proportion of points on possession than the Packers. 

A heated contest between the two teams took place on November 24, 1959. With the final score being 125 to 123 in favor of the home squad.

In contrast to the last encounter, this one had a significant amount of goals scored in the extra minutes. After five overtimes were completed, the final overtime points added to the score was 18 to 16. Which was an exceptionally high number of points for a match that occurred in the 1940s.

Until that point, no other NBA game had ever gone into five overtime games. Despite the fact that the Royals and Olympians would break the record for the most overtimes in the same season just two years later. It’s feasible that it will be about forty years before it will happen again in this manner.

3. Hawks vs. Knicks

Taking a step forward in time brings us to the game between the Hawks and the Knicks on January 29, 2017, and is considered one of the greatest games in NBA history to go into four overtime sessions. 

It is one of the matches with the most overtimes in NBA history. While numerous contests have hit that milestone over the years, this one stands out due to the length of time it ran.

Although the score ended up being 142 to 139, the game took an incredible three hours and forty minutes to complete. Carmelo Anthony had 45 points and Paul Millsap pulled down 19 rebounds.

With the running time and the four periods, it’s now considered to be one of the most long-running games in modern NBA history. Also is the fact that, despite the current star power, the league still has a number of clubs that are evenly balanced against one another.

most overtimes in nba

4. Bulls vs. Hawks

Another extended match in recent memory took place on March 1, 2019 — when the Bulls took on the Hawks in a play-off. Comparing this game to previous lengthy games, this one lasted about 2 hours and thirty-five minutes and was indeed a high-scoring encounter. There were four brutal overtime periods in this match.

In this game, the Bulls eventually beat the Hawks by a score of 168 to 161 in overtime. That’s what occurs when two strong teams in a 3 centric league come together and compete for an extended amount of time.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls in scoring with 47 points, whereas Trae Young leads the Hawks in scoring at 49 points and 16 assists. Even though everyone on both teams contributed, the Bulls were able to break away in the last few minutes and secure the victory with a long sustained offensive run.

5. Trail Blazers vs. Nuggets

The Trailblazers and Nuggets played in a four overtime game on May 3rd, 2019. This match is included in the list of matches with the most overtimes in the NBA. It is considered one of the longest playoff games in the history of the NBA.

Although there are two matches with four overtimes in the 2019 postseason, so far, this one was the longest. The Blazers defeated the Pacers 140-137 in overtime in the Conference Semifinals to grab a 2-1 series lead.

Regardless of the fact that neither team progressed to the Finals of the NBA as a result of the stunning victory, it was among the most exciting playoff encounters in recent NBA history.

Final Thoughts

Nothing beats a close match, especially if it goes into overtime to determine the winner. While one or two overtimes are fascinating, four, five, or perhaps even six overtimes are on a completely different level.

Every match on the above list exemplifies what makes basketball such a pleasurable sport. 

Absolutely nothing beats a nail-biting contest that gets down to the last seconds of the game. Even if games like those mentioned don’t occur very often; if they do, people pay attention. Listed above are those matches with the most overtimes in NBA history.

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