The Celtics' compelling Eastern Conference Finals showdown with LeBron James and the Heat continues to draw enormous ratings for ESPN.
The Heat's 98-79 victory in Game 6 Thursday night earned a record 8.2 overnight rating, making it the highest-rated NBA game on cable television since records started being kept in 2003.
The previous standard was set all of two games ago, when the Celtics' 93-91 victory drew a 7.9 rating.
ESPN said the 8.2 was up 49 percent from the most recent conference finals Game 6 aired by the network, a Celtics-Magic matchup in 2010.
Game 5 had a 7.6 rating. The last three games of this series, which is tied 3-3 heading into Game 7 Saturday night in Miami, rank as the three top NBA games ever on ESPN.
Game 6 drew a 22 rating in Miami and a 20.5 in the Boston market.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.