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NBA World Reacts To The Lakers vs. Warriors Ratings

Minnesota Timberwolves v Golden State Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 25: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors greets former teammate D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves after the Warriors beat the Timberwolves at Chase Center on January 25, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

ESPN revealed that Wednesday night's Western Conference play-in tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew in impressive ratings.

According to The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch, the matchup had an average of 5.6 million viewers tuned in to ESPN. The broadcast peaked at 6.1 million viewers late in the fourth quarter, around 12:30 a.m. ET.

Unsurprisingly, the game featuring Steph Curry and LeBron James delivered. After the Warriors led for most of the contest, the Lakers stormed back in the second half to grab the reins in the fourth quarter. The two teams traded buckets in the final few minutes before James nailed a shot from well beyond the three-point line to boost the defending champs to a 103-100 victory.

The ratings numbers were validation for the NBA's new play-in tournament format. Many fans and media members were critical of the system when it was first revealed and teams began to complain about the possibility of an extra game during the season, but Wednesday's nightcap proved that people will turn in to see the single elimination matchups.

It's important to note that Curry and James, two of the most iconic players in today's, were featured in the widely-watched game. The contest also tapped into two of the largest media markets in the United States with Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

However, the NBA should take the win from Wednesday night and hope that the game's success is a sign of good times to come.

The league's play-in tournament will feature two more elimination games, so it'll be important to keep an eye out on how well those contests do from a ratings standpoint. On Thursday, the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers will do battle in the nation's capital, with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.

Then, on Friday, Curry and the Warriors will welcome in the Memphis Grizzlies for a primetime Western Conference showdown.