NEW YORK -- Game 7 drew the highest preliminary rating for an NBA Finals game since 1998.
The Lakers' 83-79 win Thursday night on ABC earned an 18.2 overnight rating. That's the highest for an NBA game since Michael Jordan won his last championship with the Bulls in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals against the Jazz, which posted a 22.9.
The rating was 32 percent higher than the only other Game 7 of the past 16 years, that one being Pistons-Spurs in 2005, which drew a 13.8.
Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Overnight ratings measure the country's largest markets.
The game drew a 39.7 rating in Los Angeles and a 33.9 in Boston.