NBA Finals: Heat-Mavs Top Opener Since 2004

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Just like LeBron James and the Miami Heat did in their win versus the Dallas Mavericks, ABC got out on the break with ratings for the first game of the 2011 NBA Finals.

TV's top show on May 31, the network's telecast scored a 9.0 rating, 10.5 million households and nearly 15.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. That made Miami-Dallas the the top first game of The Finals since the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons squared off in 2004, which posted a 9.8, 10.6 million homes and 15.4 million viewers.

Tuesday's telecast - during which the Heat corraled the Mavs 92-84 - recorded a 5% gain in ratings from an 8.6, a 6% increase in homes from 9.91 million and 8% uptick from 14 million viewers,when measured against the first game of last year's Lakers-Boston Celtics series.

Moreover, it was up 32% from 11.5 million viewers, 22% versus 8.56 million households and 15% against a 7.8 rating compared to the opener between the clubs in the 2006 NBA Finals.

In Miami, the top-rated metered market, the game delivered a 31.9 rating, an increase of 28% compared to a 24.9 rating locally for Game 1 in 2006. Dallas, ranked second among the metered markets, netted a 29.9 rating, the highest-rated game locally since the 2006 Finals

The second game of the series -- a Dallas win would likely go a long way toward building Nielsen momentum -- tips tonight  a 9 p.m.