On Sunday, Anthony Davis scored 39 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Stephen Curry’s highly-anticipated return to the lineup.
This game generated the NBA's largest non-Christmas regular season audience in four years, with the broadcast averaging 3,950,000 viewers and peaking at 5,411,000 viewers from 6 to 6:15 p.m. ET. The previous high was also a Lakers-Warriors game, when the two teams met on Feb. 2, 2019. Viewership of the Lakers-Warriors broadcast was up 65% from last year's ABC NBA Sunday Showcase season average.
Earlier that same day, the Phoenix Suns' win over the Dallas Mavericks became the most-watched NBA Sunday Showcase early game in eight years, dating back to 2015.
The close game featured plenty of stars (Kevin Durant, Luka Doncic, Devin Booker, Kyrie Irving and Chris Paul) and some drama as Doncic and Booker got into it late. Suns-Mavericks averaged 2,814,000 viewers (up 18% from last year’s NBA Sunday Showcase average) and peaked with 4,372,000 viewers at 3:30 p.m. ET.
The Sunday night game between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics was a double-overtime classic that the Knicks pulled out, 131-129.
Knicks-Celtics delivered an average of 2,146,000 viewers, making it the most-watched NBA game on ESPN this season. It was the most-watched program on cable for March 5, and viewership was up 52% from last year’s regular-season ESPN average.