TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals Game 1 – the Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets – averaged 8.8 million total viewers to deliver the network’s most-watched WCF Game 1 of all time. Last night’s telecast is the most-viewed WCF Game 1 across any network since Lakers/Kings in 2002.
The network’s Warriors/Rockets telecast – peaking with an average of 10 million viewers from 10:45-11 p.m. ET – is up 38% over TNT’s presentation of the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 (Cleveland/Boston, 6.4 million viewers) and 9% when compared with last year’s WCF Game 1 (Warriors/Spurs, 8.1 million viewers).
Last night’s WCF Game 1 telecast was the #1 program of the night across all of television (cable and broadcast) and, including the iconic Inside the NBA post-game show (3.0 overnight rating), delivered the top two programs of the night across all of cable television, based on metered markets.
Additional highlights include:
WCF Game 1 Garners Significant Growth Across All Demos
TNT’s Warriors/Rockets telecast has generated double-digit increases across all core demos, including a 25% increase in People 18-34 and 21% in Men 18-34 vs. the 2017 NBA ECF Game 1 on TNT. Last night’s WCF Game 1 is also up approximately 20% or higher over last year’s WCF Game 1.
Most-Watched NBA Game on Cable TV Since 2016
Last night’s WCF Game 1 on TNT registered the most-watched NBA game across any network on cable television since Game 7 of the 2016 WCF on TNT (Warriors/Thunder).
TNT #1 Network in Primetime
The NBA Playoff on TNT have led the network to cable’s #1 ranking in primetime over the past four-week period, based on an average of nearly three million viewers in that particular telecast window (8-11 p.m. ET).
TNT’s Most Watched NBA Playoffs Coverage Since 2014
The NBA Playoffs on TNT continue to generate the network’s most-watched playoffs coverage since 2014.
WCF Game 1 Top Local Markets
Top local markets for last night’s Rockets/Warriors telecast – San Francisco (21.5 rating), Houston (14.7), New Orleans (11.6), Sacramento (10.8) and Birmingham (9.2).
Turner’s TVE Platform Sets Record Consumption
Watch TNT, Turner’s TV Everywhere platform for the network, generated an all-time record for total minutes of consumption during last night’s WCF Game 1.
Significant Growth Across Turner’s NBA Social Channels
Content published across NBA on TNT and NBA TV social channels has generated an 82% gain in video views and a 64% increase in engagements and compared to last year’s corresponding Conference Finals
TNT is home to more than 40 NBA Playoff games – the most of any network – including First Round and Conference Semifinals action and the exclusive presentation of the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals.
Houston Rockets star Chris Paul receiving treatment ‘around the clock’ on injured right hamstring
OAKLAND, Calif. — Rockets star Chris Paul is receiving treatment “around the clock” on his injured right hamstring and coach Mike D’Antoni hopes it will only be a matter of days before he is healthy enough to play again.
The timeline remained unclear whether Paul might be fine to play a possible Game 7 if the Rockets lost Saturday night’s Game 6 and had to return to Houston to face the Golden State Warriors again Monday night. Eric Gordon started in Paul’s place Saturday at Oracle Arena.
“I think he’ll play as soon as he can,” D’Antoni said before the game Saturday. “It’s just not a question of trying to outsmart. He’s going to play. As soon as he’s able to walk and run, he’ll do it. There was no shot at it today.”
Golden State forward Andre Iguodala was out for a third straight game this series after he sustained a bone bruise in his left knee during Game 3. Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala continues to have pain when running, so he’s still listed as day to day.
“It’s a bone bruise, and those are hard to predict,” Kerr said. “Until he’s able to really run without pain, then he can’t play.”
Paul’s presence at Oracle Arena still meant plenty.
“He’s devastated. He has to be. We’re all devastated for him. At the same time, we’ll rally and do what’s right,” D’Antoni said. “He’s so integral in what we do and the spirit of the team. And him being here is a big deal, and him being on the bench is a big deal. He’ll will us through, if he can.”
Kerr felt terribly for Paul — and others who have gone down.
“More than anything, I feel bad for Chris. The guy is a phenomenal player and competitor, and pretty much willed his team the last two games. He’s just been haunted by these types of injuries in his career, and it’s a shame,” Kerr said.
“I hate when anybody gets hurt. I hate when Andre got hurt. I hate to see Kevin Love last night, Kyrie [Irving]. These guys train so hard and they’re here and they’re competing, and you want everybody to be healthy, but just the reality is it usually doesn’t work out that way. So you’ve just got to keep playing with whoever’s there and keep going.”
Second-year Golden State guard Patrick McCaw, who had been out since a scary back injury at Sacramento on March 31 when undercut by Vince Carter, was available to play after earlier being upgraded to questionable. He wasn’t expected to contribute key minutes given the injury and time missed.
“It would be a tough spot to put him in, in the meat of the game, with not having played for a long time. But at this point, it’s all hands on deck, obviously,” Kerr said. “You never know how the game’s going to play out. I had teammates who literally played one play in a playoff game and made a play and helped us win a game. So you just never know.”
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love to miss Game 7 vs. Boston Celtics with concussion
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will miss Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics with a concussion.
The team said Saturday that Love, who bashed heads with Boston rookie Jayson Tatum in the first half of Cleveland’s Game 6 win on Friday night, experienced concussion-like symptoms before the team’s flight and has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
Just minutes before the team announced Love’s status, coach Tyronn Lue said he was still being evaluated.
Love was kept out of the second half of Cleveland’s 109-99 victory as a precaution after he and Tatum accidentally knocked heads. Love has suffered at least two other known concussions in his career.
The Cavaliers were able to overcome the loss of Love, their second-leading scorer and top rebounder, as LeBron James scored 46 and Cleveland got solid contributions from George Hill, Jeff Green and others.
Rockets’ Chris Paul out for Game 6 with hamstring strain
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets will be without star guard Chris Paul for Game 6 because of a strained hamstring, a huge blow for a team trying to close out the Golden State Warriors.
Paul was injured in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s victory that gave the Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.
.@CP3 will miss Saturday’s game at Golden State with a right hamstring strain.
He will be re-evaluated after the team returns to Houston. pic.twitter.com/5gAdYas3Vo
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 25, 2018
“I hate it for him, above all,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s practically won us the last two games. But great opportunity for other guys and we have plenty to choose from and we’ll be ready.”
Eric Gordon, the star of Game 5, will start in Paul’s place Saturday night. He started 30 games this season while Paul and James Harden dealt with injuries.
“It will not change anything that we do or how we do it,” D’Antoni said.
Paul’s right leg will be re-evaluated after the team returns to Houston following Game 6. On Friday, he was with the team, laughing and joking with teammates as they walked on the court for practice.
Harden said the Rockets don’t have time to dwell on the absence of their nine-time All-Star.
“We don’t want to come and be pouting around,” he said. “We want to keep our same swagger, our same positive energy. We try to feed that off to him as well: `Be happy, be ready; get this thing right, get this thing going and be back in no time.”‘
Paul is in the conference finals for the first time after failing to advance past the second round in nine previous postseason trips. In his first season in Houston after a summer trade from the Clippers, Paul has paired with Harden to move the Rockets within one victory of reaching the NBA Finals for the first time since Houston won titles in 1994 and 1995.
He has totaled 47 points in the last two games – both Houston wins – to allow the Rockets to come back from a 2-1 deficit.
Gordon has played a big role. On Thursday night, he came off the bench to score 24 points and made a steal in the final seconds to secure the victory.
“Whoever is out, it’s almost like the next guy up, and everybody finds a way,” Gordon said. “We just collectively find a way to win. It’s definitely going to be tough. But I still think at the end of the day, we’re a tough team and we can still find ways to win.”
D’Antoni wouldn’t speculate on Paul’s availability if the Warriors force Game 7 on Monday night in Houston. But he said Paul will travel with the team to Oakland for Saturday’s game.
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