League cuts time­outs to keep pace

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Jon Krawczynski

LAS VE­GAS» The NBA has for years heard com­plaints that a free-flow­ing, fast-paced and ath­letic game grinds to a halt at the most im­por­tant and com­pelling time, when ev­ery­one tunes in to watch the fi­nal few min­utes of a tight game.

Now the league is fi­nally tak­ing steps to make sure crunch time doesn’t get bogged down by com­mer­cial time.

The league’s Board of Gov­er­nors unan­i­mously ap­proved some changes that will po­ten­tially elim­i­nate four time­outs per game, help speed up the fi­nal min­utes of games and em­pha­size a timely re­sump­tion of play af­ter half­time.

The changes go into ef­fect start­ing this com­ing sea­son, the NBA said Wed­nes­day.

Teams will be lim­ited to two time­outs in the fi­nal three min­utes of a game, in­stead of hav­ing up to three. All four quar­ters will have two manda­tory time­outs, af­ter the seven- and three-minute marks.

“We’re pretty happy with the length of the game,” NBA com­mis­sioner Adam Sil­ver said. “We were more fo­cused here on the pace and flow of the game. What we heard from our fans, what we heard from many of our teams, was that the end of the games in par­tic­u­lar were too choppy. And I think since I was a kid, that was an is­sue peo­ple were talk­ing about, the last two min­utes of a game.”

The league also changed the trade dead­line, mov­ing it up so teams would not have their ros­ters sig­nif­i­cantly al­tered dur­ing the all-star break.

This sea­son’s dead­line will be Feb. 8 — 10 days be­fore the All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

Nuggets 87, Rock­ets 81.

LAS VE­GAS» Tor­rey Craig had 27 points and 11 re­bounds off the bench Wed­nes­day to lead Denver to its first vic­tory and a spot in the sec­ond round.

The Nuggets, who had dropped their first three games and are seeded 23rd, will meet the No. 7 Brook­lyn Nets.

Troy Wil­liams and Chris John­son each scored 20 points for the No. 10 Rock­ets (2-2).

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