NBA G League to use 4 refs, expands playoffs to 12 teams

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA G League will use four referees for preseason and regular-season games through November and expand its playoffs from eight to 12 teams.

The NBA’s minor league experimented with four- and five-person referee crews rather than the traditional three-person crews for nine regular-season games last season.

Nearly half the 26-team league will qualify for the four-round postseason under the changes announced Wednesday.

The new format will give berths to each of the six division winners, with the remaining six spots filled by three wild-card teams in each conference with the best regular-season records.

The top two seeds in each conference will earn byes into the second round. The playoffs will begin with three single-elimination rounds before culminating with a best-of-three NBA G League Finals.

The 50-game regular season tips off on Nov. 3.

Also:

— Overtime periods will be reduced from three to two minutes.

— Clear path reviews were scrapped, leaving five instant replay triggers.

— The coach’s challenge has been revised to one per game. It can be used any time to challenge fouls, goaltending/basket interference and out-of-bounds calls.

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