May 12, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) reacts with Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) after a dunk in the second half of game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ 122-101 Game 6 win over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night ended a dynamic series on a high note.

The game, which aired on ESPN, averaged 8.64 million viewers. Per an ESPN release, that’s the most-watched NBA conference semifinal since 2011.

LA’s victory in the six-game series drew strong viewership throughout. The first four games averaged 7.651 million viewers, with each game hitting multi-year highs for ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Game 5 last Wednesday continued the trend on TNT, averaging 7.546 million viewers.

Overall, the six game set averaged 7.80 million viewers.

Incredibly, none of the six games are the most-watched in this year’s playoffs. Game 7 of the Warriors-Kings first round series averaged 9.8 million viewers, good for the most-watched first round game in 24 years. Game 4 of that series also averaged 7.52 million viewers, better than Games 1, 2, and 4 of the Lakers-Warriors series.

Next up for the league is a Lakers-Nuggets Final in the West, and a Celtics-Heat Final in the East. The NBA surely has their fingers crossed for a Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals matchup, which we haven’t seen since 2010.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.