×

The NBA returned on Thursday night to bumper TV ratings for TNT.

A thrilling showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers drew 3.4 million total viewers, more than doubling the network’s average viewership for a regular season telecast. To put that number into perspective, that represents the eighth most-watched game of the NBA season so far and the least-watched of the Lakers and Clippers’ four match ups in the 2019/20 season to date. However, it is also worth mentioning that the opening night game was exclusive to TNT, whereas the audience for Thursday night’s encounter was diluted slightly by the fact it aired on multiple affiliate networks across the country.

The two L.A. teams’ Christmas game drew a whopping 9 million total viewers for ABC and ESPN. Last night’s game was TNT’s second most watched of the season, behind the first Lakers-Clippers game of the season from Oct. of last year.

Thursday’s doubleheader, which also featured a close encounter between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans, scored an average audience of 2.9 million viewers across TNT and TV Everywhere platforms, which represents an increase of 109% over the average viewership for an NBA game this season, which stood at 1.4 million viewers prior to the COVID-enforced hiatus.

The Clippers-Lakers game, which saw LeBron James and Anthony Davis narrowly top Paul George and Kawhi Leonard by a score of 103-101, peaked at 4.1 million viewers. Meanwhile the Pelicans-Jazz game, which the team from Utah nudged 106-104 in another close encounter, averaged 2.1 million viewers.

Players wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts in the warm up for both games, and they were joined by coaches and referees in taking a knee in support of racial justice before tip off.