LeBron James turned in a 45-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist performance on his way to leading the Miami Heat to a crucial Game 6 win in Boston over the Celtics on Thursday night, and the broadcast became the highest rated NBA game on cable television since records were first kept in 2003, according to a report from SportsBusinessDaily.com:
ESPN earned an 8.2 overnight Nielsen rating for Thursday night’s Heat-Celtics NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game Six, marking the best overnight ever for an NBA game on cable TV, with records dating back to ’03.
The report says that the 8.2 rating bests the previous record set by Game 4 of the same series from earlier in June. By comparison, Game 6 of the Boston Celtics-Orlando Magic Eastern Conference playoff series in 2010 drew a 5.5 rating.
James and the Heat will host the Celtics on Saturday night for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner will go on to play Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals, which begins on June 12.