December 26, 2016, 10:22 am
Anyone huddled around the TV yesterday afternoon was treated to an instant classic between the two best teams in the game. Cleveland mounted a furious comeback to extend their winning streak over Golden State to four games, led by Kyrie Irving’s late heroics and the perpetual brilliance of LeBron James. It was a matchup that many were clamoring for after an excellent Finals last season and the two teams delivered in a big way.
Between Cleveland’s A+ trolling with LeBron’s iconic block (plus a photoshopped ring for good measure) being placed outside the visitor’s locker room, Richard Jefferson’s unlikely poster moments and Kevin Durant’s excellence there are a multitude of things that will keep people talking for a long time. That’s without getting into the season-long story arc of Golden State’s revenge tour and the notion that the Cavs have their number.
Add it all up and the Cavs-Warriors tilt produced a 5.9 overnight rating, matching the highest rating in 12 years of Christmas games.
With the NBA as the only game in town during Christmas day, it’s no surprise that they captured a ton of eyeballs for a game like that. With an opportunity to catch lots of casual watchers and turn them into legitimate fans, the game of the year (so far) surely captured the hearts and minds of some first-time viewers. It was a pure thriller, and while the rest of the day’s games paled in comparison the NBA is providing unmatched drama in sports right now. The NBA’s popularity continues to soar on the back of incredible star power and classic moments like the ones provided yesterday. Here’s hoping there’s more coming soon.