October 14, 2014 / 7:08 PM / 4 years ago

NBA to experiment with shorter 44-minute game

Oct 8, 2014; Hartford, CT, USA; Boston Celtics center Jared Sullinger (7) shoots against New York Knicks forward Travis Wear (6) and forward Quincy Acy (4) in the second half at XL Center. The Celtics defeated the New York Knicks 106-86. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics will experiment with a 44-minute preseason game on Sunday, four minutes shorter than a standard game, the NBA said on Tuesday.

The teams will play four 11-minutes quarters at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, one minute shorter than the normal, while mandatory timeouts will be reduced, the NBA said in a statement.

“At our recent coaches’ meeting, we had a discussion about the length of our games, and it was suggested that we consider experimenting with a shorter format,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement.

“After consulting with our Competition Committee, we agreed to allow the Nets and Celtics to play a 44-minute preseason game in order to give us some preliminary data that will help us to further analyze game-time lengths.”

During Sunday’s game, there will be two mandatory timeouts per quarter. In a typical 48-minute NBA game, the second and fourth quarters have three mandatory timeouts.

“When this idea came up at the coaches’ meeting, I thought it was a unique experiment that was worth participating in,” said Nets head coach Lionel Hollins.  

“I’m looking forward to gauging its impact on the flow of the game. Since there is a shorter clock, it affects playing time, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays into substitution patterns.”

Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue

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