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Volume 24 No. 158
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Game 6 Nail-Biter Draws 14.7 Overnight, ABC's Fourth-Highest NBA Rating Ever

The Heat's last-second comeback last night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals resulted in the fourth-highest rating ever for an NBA game on ABC and sets the stage for a massive mark tomorrow night in Game 7. The game, which saw the Heat beat the Spurs 103-100 in OT, earned a 14.7 overnight rating, peaking with a 19.8 rating during the end of regulation from 11:45pm-12:00am ET. The game has the highest overnight for any Finals contest since a 15.0 for the Mavericks' title-clinching win over the Heat in Game 6 in '11. That game aired on a Sunday, typically television's most-watched night. Last night's game is expected to be the 36th straight time a Finals game has been the top-rated show in primetime. The figure will beat ou the season finale of NBC's "The Voice," which is expected to draw its bets audience on record. Game 6 earned a 47.6 local rating in San Antonio and a 35.4 rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (THE DAILY).

'10 Lakers-Celtics*
Game 7*
'04 Pistons-Lakers
Game 5*
'11 Mavericks-Heat
Game 6*
'13 Heat-Spurs
Game 6
'04 Pistons-Lakers
Game 4

CHART NOTE: * = Series-clinching game.

PEOPLE ARE TALKING: ESPN's Michael Wilbon discussed whether the Heat losing the series would be good for the NBA and said, "The NBA more than any other league needs lightning rod teams, and they've had this when the league is really, really good. That could be a beloved team, it could be a hated team. ... The conversation about the NBA is different. It's a social league and now in a time of social media you need a team that everybody will react to. That team has never been the Spurs, even though they are more than worthy champions. But the Miami Heat, they are that team" ("PTI," ESPN, 6/18).

With just 28 seconds remaining in Game 6 and the Spurs holding a five-point lead, a fair amount of fans at AmericanAirlines Arena began to head for the exit. ESPN's Dan Le Batard, a Miami native, said he "couldn't believe it" when he saw the crowd begin to leave. Le Batard: "To me, this city should be profoundly grateful for this team, win or lose, for making three straight regular seasons unbelievably interesting, and I don't think that happens in a lot of markets. We're a bandwagon town. ... For me, because it reinforces stereotypes, because it gives off Miamians don’t care about anything , they just need to go out there and get to the clubs -- I was embarrassed that the team wasn't being shown what I thought was proper appreciation" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN Radio, 6/19). ESPN's Sara Walsh said the fans that had left the game were "trying to get back in" once the Heat tied the game and sent it to OT. Walsh: "That's not the way it works. I don't know what you paid for each individual ticket, but they were all expensive. You've got to stay until the end." ESPN's Kevin Negandhi: "You bailed, you don’t get another shot" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/19).