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ESPN slam-dunks with NBA

The showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets Jan.
17 produced ESPN's best-ever National Basketball Association rating.

The game, which featured Lakers' star center Shaquille O'Neal battling Houston
rookie Yao Ming, grabbed a 3.8 rating and 3.3 million households.

It's the second-highest-rated NBA game on cable, trailing a 1996 game on Turner Network Television
that registered 4.7 million homes and a 7.1 rating.