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Lakers-Celtics rematch draws highest rating on TNT since '96


Posted Feb 6 2009 6:22PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA finals rematch between Boston and the Los Angeles Lakers drew the highest rating on TNT since a 1996 game featuring Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson during the height of the Chicago Bulls' dynasty.

The Lakers' 110-109 overtime victory on Thursday night delivered a 2.7 U.S. rating and was watched by more than 4.3 million viewers. It was the first meeting between the rivals in Boston since the Celtics beat the Lakers in Game 6 of last year's finals for their 17th NBA championship.

It was the most-watched regular-season game on TNT since Feb. 2, 1996, when the eventual champion Bulls beat Johnson's Lakers, 99-84.

The game also drew the most viewers for a game on cable since Christmas 2004, when ESPN televised the first game between Indiana and Detroit since the brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans earlier that season.

TNT is up 23 percent in total viewers from the same point last season.

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