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Game 7 of Eastern Conference Finals matches highest ever NBA game rating on ESPN

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after making a basket during the second half in game seven of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after making a basket during the second half in game seven of the Eastern conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

During the Cleveland Cavaliers 87-79 win over the Boston Celtics Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, ESPN tied its highest-rated NBA game in history with a 9.1 metered market Nielsen rating.

The broadcast, which was also the highest-rated 15 minutes of an NBA game aired on ESPN in history, peaked with a 12.0 rating from 10:45-11 p.m. ET.

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The top five local markets for Sunday’s broadcast on ESPN were Cleveland (27.6), Boston (21.9), Columbus (15.1), Providence (14.4) and New Orleans (12.9).

Sunday night’s game matched the rating from Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals when LeBron James, then with the Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics.

The first game of the 2018 NBA Finals will air on Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC between the Cavaliers and the winner of Monday night’s game 7 between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.