Basketball doubleheader draws 3.7 million viewers

TNT was happy to see the NBA return to the court as the cabler drew record auds for its opening-night coverage Tuesday.

Net offered a doubleheader of the Boston Celtics at the Cleveland Cavaliers and an all-L.A. Clippers-Lakers showdown.

Combined, the two games drew 3.7 million viewers — up 43% in total viewers from last year’s first-night doubleheader and up 35% in the 18-49 demo.

The Celtics-Cavaliers game was the public’s first chance to see Shaquille O’Neal play with LeBron James, and the second game began with the Lakers receiving their championship rings.

On the entertainment side in cable, BET scored Tuesday with “The Hip Hop Awards” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.91m), and much of that aud hung around for the 10 p.m. preem of “Monica: Still Standing” (1.4/4, 2.78m).

FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (1.8/5, 6.06m) was the No. 1 cable show of the night overall.

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