The most watched NBA games of all time
• There have been many great games in NBA history, but which ones have been watched the most? Of course, the NBA finals are where the best of the best gather. Therefore, it is natural that during the broadcasts, millions of viewers around the world fall to blue screens.
• Here are the 10 most played games in NBA history. The first number is the Nielsen rating data, which is the percentage of total US households that have watched the program. Approximate number of viewers was calculated based on the average rating of a particular game and the number of views.
10. Lakers vs Celtics Final
• Two legendary NBA franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, last played each other in the Finals.
• Each of the seven matches was a real battle. The players of both teams played so hard that two – Ron Artest and Paul Pierce – received a technical warning already at 30 seconds into the first match. The classic confrontation between the Lakers and the Celtics, which has lasted since the middle of the XNUMXth century, has returned, giving the fans of both teams a lot of emotions and memories.
• In the decisive Game 83, the Lakers were able to snatch a victory from Boston with a score of 79:16, receiving the 4th title in club history. The series ended 3-XNUMX to the Lakers. And the Lakers' Kobe Bryant was named the NBA Finals MVP.
9. Games 4 and 5 in the 1987 Lakers and Celtics Finals
• Game 87 of the 'XNUMX final series was the best of the two as it featured many memorable events:
- The Lakers held on 107-106 for a 3-1 series lead.
- Larry Bird of the Celtics managed to snatch two points from Boston with 12 seconds left in the game.
- The same Bird missed two seconds before the siren.
- There was a scuffle between Worthy and Kite.
- Boston's Magic Johnson was named Finals MVP for the third time. He almost single-handedly pulled out the fourth match of the series, throwing a decisive "hook" over the heads of Parish and McHale.
8. 1998 NBA Finals between the Bulls and the Utah Jazz, Game 4
• Michael Jordan's "Last Dance" generated unprecedented interest, as expected, even among those with little interest in basketball. No one wanted to miss the performance of the greatest player of their generation.
• In the previous game, the Bulls had only scored 54 points for a 2-1 lead, so everyone wanted to see if Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Utah Jazz could bounce back. However, Jordan and Scottie Pippen were too good to be beaten. In the end, the Bulls won 90-88, winning the series in six games. And in January 1999, Jordan ended his career as an NBA player for the second time.
7. 1988 NBA Finals between Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons, Game 7
• One of the most popular NBA games of all time was the 1988 Finals, the Lakers' fifth and final Showtime, and a high point in James Worthy's career. With the 40-year-old Abdul-Jabbar no longer carrying the bulk of the team's scoring load, Worthy took over.
• Worthy was nicknamed "James the Big Game" for his 36 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists and led the team to the Larry O'Brien Cup. He was recognized as the best player in the final.
6. 1993 NBA Finals Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns Game 4
• The 1993 Finals brought Phoenix Suns power forward Charles Barkley the MVP title against defending champion Jordan. The Suns, with 62 wins, were the best team that season, but they lost both games on home court early in the Finals.
• However, the team was able to get back in shape to win in the third game, so the fans were looking forward to see if they could handle the visitors in the fourth game.
• But alas, Chicago did not give the Suns a chance to win, and even Barkley's two-point shot was not enough.
• Jordan scored a career-high 55 points in the playoffs, arguably the best result of his illustrious career. Against the backdrop of such success, even Barkley, with his 32 points, seemed to be average.
5. 1998 NBA Finals between the Bulls and the Utah Jazz, Game 5
• One of the most spectacular NBA games in history was watched by more than 30 million viewers. Fans who had hoped Jordan would give them a stellar swan song before leaving the Bulls saw something more: Utah power forward Karl Malone had his best playoff game to date.
• However, according to the results of a series of six matches, the victory went to the Bulls, and in the last minutes of the sixth match, the outcome of the game was determined by Michael Jordan. He scored the ball, which brought the Bulls the title with a score of 87-86.
4. 1997 NBA Finals between Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz Game 5
• Utah tied the game 2-2 after losing the first two games, so Game 1997 of the XNUMX Finals was the deciding one. Meanwhile, Jordan caught the stomach flu (although there is a version that he was deliberately poisoned), and this could have ended for the Bulls in a defeat in the final.
• But in the end, Jordan's "flu game" was one of the best moments of his career. Having missed training the day before the match and barely reaching the field, he played over 44 minutes and scored 38 points. The famous athlete nearly collapsed into Pippen's arms during a timeout at the end of the game and was visibly exhausted but could not afford to lose.
3. NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 7
• Game 31 of the Finals is the most watched NBA game of the modern era. It was seen by over 3 million viewers, nearly double the number of games 4 and XNUMX.
• LeBron James played two great games, slowly building mass belief that Cleveland could become the first team in NBA Finals history to win after falling 3-1. And so it happened, Cleveland finished the final with a score of 4-3 in their favor.
• And Finals MVP LeBron James was named the third player in League history to record a triple-double of 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
2. 1993 NBA Finals Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns Game 6
• After the Suns unexpectedly won Game 4, many thought the Bulls were in trouble. Therefore, the sixth match was very tense. And at first, Phoenix did well, but, leading 2 points, with 20 minutes and XNUMX seconds left in the game, they could not then score a single point.
• But the "Bulls" played out by the end of the match and demonstrated real teamwork. Jordan passed forward to Pippen, who found Grant in the "paint" and then hit a wide-open Paxon on the wing for him to hit a 4-pointer with less than XNUMX seconds left in the game.
1. 1998 NBA Finals, Bulls vs. Utah Jazz, Game 6
• The most popular game in terms of the number of viewers in the history of the NBA took place on June 14, 1998 between the guests of the Chicago Bulls and the home team of the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah.
• This match was the last game with the Bulls for Michael Jordan and coach Phil Jackson (both retired from the National Basketball Association and then returned).
• After losing Game 31 in Chicago, Jordan needed to secure a Jazz win in Game 11 and keep the Utah from playing strongly in Game 7 at home. The Jazz put in a good effort, with Malone posting 45 points, XNUMX rebounds and XNUMX assists, but Jordan played the best with XNUMX points.
• He hit a jump shot with 5,2 seconds left in the game to give the Bulls an 87–86 lead. The game marked Jordan's last shot with the Bulls and his 25th win in a game for Chicago.