Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Play-In Game Most-Watched NBA Telecast on ESPN Since 2019 Western Conference Finals: 5,618,000 Viewers

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors Play-In Game Most-Watched NBA Telecast on ESPN Since 2019 Western Conference Finals: 5,618,000 Viewers

Up 190 Percent From Single Play-In Game on ABC Last Season

  • Peak Audience: 6,149,000 Viewers from 12:30-1 a.m. ET on ESPN
  • Most-Watched Telecast Across All of Television in Every Key Demo

ESPN’s exclusive telecast of the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors game generated 5,618,000 viewers, making it the largest audience for an NBA game on ESPN since the 2019 Western Conference Finals, according to Nielsen. The telecast peaked with 6,149,000 viewers on ESPN from 12:30-1 a.m. ET.

The Lakers vs. Warriors game, part of the State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament and widely-regarded as an instant classic, was up 190 percent from the single Play-In game on ABC last season. It was the second-most watched NBA game of the 2020-21 season across all networks, only behind the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks Christmas Day game simulcast on ABC and ESPN. It won the night across all of television in every key sales demo.

In addition, ESPN’s early game last night, featuring the Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs, delivered an average audience of 2,293,000 viewers, making it the third-most watched NBA game on ESPN of the 2020-21 season.

ESPN’s State Farm NBA Play-In Tournament coverage continues with the final Western Conference game on Friday, May 21, at 9 p.m. ET as the Golden State Warriors square off with the Memphis Grizzlies for the final spot in the Western Conference NBA Playoffs.

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Shakeemah Simmons-Winter

I am a senior publicist for men’s pro sports, working predominantly with the NBA and FIBA properties. I’m a Jersey City, NJ native, so I cheer for all New York sports and athletes, win or lose. I began my sports career as a small forward for JCPS #9’s elementary basketball team, and then years later gave up my hoop dreams (sort of) to work as the Public Relations Coordinator for the New York Knicks. Prior to working in sports, I briefly worked as an intern turned production assistant for the Wendy Williams Show. I earned a B.A. in Communications from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, where I met my husband Matthew, and later attended New York University to earn a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications. I am excited to continue my sports journey with some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the sports industry.
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