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Lakers-Thunder bring strong TV ratings to ESPN

Almost 3 million viewers watched the Thunder beat the Lakers last Friday night.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Friday nights are traditionally tough for TV networks to draw in viewers, but ESPN didn't have that problem last Friday night for their telecast of the Oklahoma City Thunder's 114-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 7.

The marquee matchup between Western Conference powers drew 2.7 million viewers, the third-highest amount of viewers so far this season on ESPN. The prior telecast of the Philadelphia 76ers' overtime win over the Boston Celtics drew 1.4 million viewers.

The Thunder perhaps cemented their status as the top team in the NBA with the win in front of 2.7 million viewers over the perennial power from L.A. The win was the seventh straight for the Thunder, who have since also beaten the Indiana Pacers to improve to 17-4 on the season, half a game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the league. Against the Lakers, the Thunder's one-two punch of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored 36 and 33 points respectively.