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TV Ratings Are Out For The NBA's Early Playoff Games

LeBron James daps up new Los Angeles Lakers teammate Dennis Schroder during early 2020-21 game.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates a play with Dennis Schroder #17 during a 116-109 LA Clippers win in the season opening game at Staples Center on December 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Last week, ESPN revealed the Western Conference play-in tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors drew a solid crowd.

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

Fans were obviously interested in seeing a one-game throwdown between LeBron James and Steph Curry. With the regular playoffs kicking off soon after, would they draw the same audience?

Not quite. Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal revealed the ratings for the playoffs thus far. According to Karp, the playoffs have averaged 2.89 million viewers across ESPN, ABC and TNT through the first week.

Here's his report.

It's a massive step down from the one-game play-in game between LeBron James' Lakers and Steph Curry's Warriors. Of course, there is the same weight when comparing a one-game play-in to a playoff series.

The good news is that the ratings are up from the 2019 season when directly compared. Karp also noted the rating are up 49-percent year-over-year.

There will be plenty of eyeballs on tonight's action with three games games on the docket. The Boston Celtics hope to avoid a 2-0 hole against the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of the night.

LeBron and the Lakers hope to do the same against the Phoenix Suns in the second game. Then it's Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.