In Game 5 of the first-round playoff series between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers, Tony Allen's layup attempt stopped on the back of the rim: youtube

This is ruled a jump ball.

Meanwhile, in Game 4 of the series between the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Serge Ibaka's potential game-tying layup at the buzzer came up just short: youtube

What would have happened if Ibaka's layup had stopped on the rim? There couldn't be a jump ball after the buzzer has sounded, could there? It seems impractical to wait longer and see if the ball would eventually drop through the hoop. Does that mean it would simply be ruled a missed shot and the game would end?

1 Answer 1


The answer is of course that this should be a jump ball, and because time is up, the play is over.

You can check this section from NBA rule book, rule no. 6:

Section V-Jump Balls in Center Circle
a. The ball shall be put into play in the center circle by a jump ball between any two opponents:
(6) The ball comes to rest on the basket flange or becomes lodged between the basket ring and the backboard
b. In all cases above, the jump ball shall be between any two opponents in the game at that time.

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