TNT received its biggest pro basketball ratings in 13 years Thursday night, with historic rivals the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics playing an overtime thriller.
The rematch between last season’s NBA Finals combatants scored more than 4.3 million viewers for TNT, making it the highest rated hoops game for the cabler since the Feb. 2, 1996 telecast of a game pitting the Lakers against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. That game featured Magic Johnson in the early stages of an attempted comeback.
It was also the highest rated NBA game in all of cable since 2004, when ESPN presented the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers playing each other for the first time since their historic bench-clearing brawl months earlier.
For the season, TNT’s NBA coverage is up 23 percent in total viewers.