THE CLOCK: The NBA uses a 24-second shot clock to limit the length of possessions by the offensive team. If a team doesn't attempt a field goal within 24 seconds of gaining possession, the ball is given to the other team. Officials reset the clock when there's an illegal-defense violation, a personal foul, a fighting foul, a kicked ball, a punched ball or when the ball hits the rim.
THE PROBLEM: On Nov. 22, 1950, the Fort Wayne Pistons defeated the Minneapolis Lakers 19-18 in the lowest-scoring game in NBA history. The game typified what many called a lack of pace in league games.
THE ARCHITECT: Danny Biasone, owner of the Syracuse Nationals, introduced the shot clock to the NBA in 1954 to try to speed up the game and prevent teams from stalling.
THE RESULT: In the first NBA game using the shot clock on Oct. 30, 1954, the Rochester Royals defeated the Boston Celtics 98-95.
THE NUMBER: How did Biasone come up with the number 24? NBA teams were averaging 60 shots per 48-minute game during that era. Biasone divided the total number of seconds (2,880) by the total number of shots (120) and came up with 24.