You go old-school, reverting to a stopwatch and the human voice.
That's what the Toronto Raptors did Saturday when the shot clocks above the baskets failed with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter of their NBA playoff game with the Brooklyn Nets.
There was a lengthy break in the action as officials tried to get the clocks going again. When no solution was immediately available, they relied on PA announcer Herbie Kuhn to serve as a human shot clock, counting down the seconds while looking at a stopwatch held by the official next to him.
The Raptors were trailing 57-53 at the time. The Nets went on to win 94-87.
"It was tough," said Toronto forward Amir Johnson.
"I think our shots were a little rushed at the end. It was tough not to see where you're at," he added.
He said the last time that had happened in a game he was playing in was "maybe in a high school game or church league."
"Pretty weird," was Toronto forward Patrick Patterson's assessment.
The Raptors blamed a "signal path failure" — pointing the finger at a damaged cable that fed both the normal and backup signals. The club said they could have had new cable in place had the game gone to overtime.
"New cables will be run (Saturday and Sunday) to ensure no issues arise on Tuesday and the NBA will inspect both the fixed and backup systems before Game 2," the team said in a statement.
"It's an issue but it affects both teams," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said of Saturday's glitch. "We can't complain about it."
It affected the teams' rhythm, he said, because it's easier getting a feel for the situation when you can see the clock ticking down.
"But again, both teams had to deal with it and they dealt with it better than we did. That was an issue. (But) the 19 turnovers (by Toronto) was the name of the game," he said.