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Kobe, LeBron, Lakers, Heat, Celtics? This means high ratings

October 27, 2010 |  1:27 pm

Tnt_400 This is one of the best sports television-watching weeks ever. The World Series starts tonight. USC plays top-ranked Oregon Saturday. Defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans plays Super Bowl favorite Pittsburgh on Sunday.

And the NBA has begun.

It's not a surprise that TNT set a bunch of records for its season-opening double header Tuesday night, first with the Celtics beating the ballyhooed Miami Heat with LeBron James debuting with his new team and new sidekick Dwyane Wade, then the showing of the emotional ring ceremony before the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers-Rockets game plus the game broadcast itself.

The Heat and Celtics became the most-watched regular season game ever on cable and the doubleheader was the most-watched opening doubleheader in Turner's 27 years of broadcasting the NBA.

The night's games averaged 5.4 million viewers according to the Nielsen ratings with the Heat and the Celtics averaging 7.43 million. The previously most-watched regular season game was the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 2, 1996.

And, OK, maybe some people tuned in to check out the "Inside the NBA" studio show and get a peak of the sleeker but not meeker Charles Barkley.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: A fan holds up a sign before the start of the Miami Heat-Boston Celtics game Tuesday. Credit: David Butler II / U.S. Presswire