The King trumped Kobe with MSG viewers.
Two days after Kobe Bryant lit up the New York Knicks with a Madison Square Garden-record 61 points and scored MSG highest-rated telecast in two years, LeBron James outgunned the Los Angeles Lakers superstar Wednesday night with the Nielsens.
MSG's airing of James, who notched 52 points as part of his triple-double at The Garden, and his Cleveland Cavaliers' 107-102 victory over the Knicks averaged a 2.55 household rating in the New York DMA. The contest, in which James became the first player since Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul Jabbar recorded a 50-point triple-double, including 15 rebounds and 11 assists in 1975, was the highest-rated Knicks game on MSG since the club's Nov. 9, 2004 contest against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Viewers watching the performance by James, whose stat line also included 11 assists and a 10th rebound on the game's final play, also topped the audience for Bryant and the Lakers on Feb. 2, when MSG notched a 2.09 household rating. That contest had been the most-watched Knicks' telecast since the March 16, 2007 game against the New Orleans Hornets.
The Feb. 4 Cavs' contest peaked during the fourth quarter with a 3.49 household rating from 9:45 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. MSG also scored well in key demos, including delivering a 1.87 rating among men 25 to 54 and a 1.70 with guys 18 to 49.
Thus far, this season the Knicks have averaging a 1.26 household rating on MSG, a 17% jump from a 1.08 mark through the same stage of the 2007-08 NBA season.
The final game in what has been dubbed "Dream Week" will see the defending champion Boston Celtics invade the world's most famous arena on Friday Feb. 6.
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