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ESPN Releases TV Ratings For Warriors-Grizzlies

Ja Morant looks on during a game for the Memphis Grizzlies. He was an All-Rookie team member when the NBA announced All-NBA teams for 2020.

MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 26: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during a game against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum on January 26, 2020 in Memphis, Tennessee. The Grizzlies defeated the Suns 114-109.(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The NBA Play-In Tournament has been a ratings success, and not just when the Golden State Warriors played the Los Angeles Lakers.

ESPN just announced the ratings for Friday night's Western Conference play-in game between Golden State and the Memphis Grizzlies. Led by a dominant performance from point guard Ja Morant, Memphis won a thriller in overtime to secure the eighth and final playoff slot in the West.

The game averaged over 3.6 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and was the second-most watched NBA game on ESPN this season. Only the Lakers-Warriors play-in showdown last Wednesday surpassed it.

Clearly, the Play-In Tournament, which NBA commissioner Adam Silver is hoping will become a yearly event, did its job from a television perspective. Even Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, whose team lost both play-in games and was eliminated from the postseason, supports making it a permanent fixture.

“I think it should be something we stay with," Kerr said on Monday.

The Lakers and Grizzlies earned the final two playoff spots in the West by virtue of the play-in, while the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards did the same in the Eastern Conference.