"The King" journeyed back to his old castle last night and the third
largest-audience in cable history for a regular-season National
Basketball Association game witnessed his return to court.
averaged a 4.2 national rating and 7.05 million viewers on Dec. 2 with
its coverage of the Miami Heat-Cleveland Cavaliers game.
much-anticipated contest -- featuring former Cavalier LeBron James
returning to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for the first time since
he made the free-agent decision to take his talents to South Beach and
the Heat last July -- now stands as the third most-watched regular
season NBA game in cable history.
Heat-Cavs trails only TNT's
coverage of the 2010-11 season opener between Miami and the Boston
Celtics, which posted up a 4.6 national rating and 7.43 million viewers
on Oct. 26, and the Feb. 2, 1996 matchup between Michael Jordan's
Chicago Bulls against a fresh-out-of-retirement Magic Johnson and the
Los Angeles Lakers that netted 7.27 million watchers on average. The
2010-11 campaign marks TNT's covering the pro basketball league.
last night's game, won by the Heat 118-90 behind James' 38 points and
eight assists, dunked huge audiences in the participating clubs'
markets: a 25.4 in the Miami DMA and a 14.9 in Cleveland, whose fans
booed their erstwhile hero every time he touched the ball.
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