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NBA Stands Tall for TNT

10/31/2003 9:28 AM Eastern

The Nielsen ball kept bouncing high for early season National Basketball Association action.

Turner Network Television’s Oct. 30 coverage posted a 1.9 household-ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, with the Houston Rockets-Denver Nuggets clash scoring a 1.8 and the nightcap, featuring rookie sensation LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Phoenix Suns, scoring a 1.9.

The combined average marked a 36% jump from the corresponding doubleheader one year ago, when TNT averaged a 1.4 for Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards (a 1.5) and Portland Trail Blazers-Sacramento Kings (1.3).

Thursday night’s strong numbers followed a 2.7 average for TNT’s opening-night coverage Oct. 28 and the 2.3 rung up by ESPN the following night for a pair of games, including James’ NBA debut against the Kings.

That game earned a 2.8, ESPN’s second-best regular-season game, trailing only the 3.8 dunked by the Jan. 17 game between the Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, the first head-to-head battle between Yao Ming and Shaquille O’Neal.

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