Time stood still for most NBA fans during last night's Western Conference Finals opener. Everyone seemed to be locked in on their TV screens to see the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors do battle.
According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Game 1 between the Rockets and Warriors was the most-watched opener to a Western Conference Finals on TNT.
Rockets-Warriors Game 1 the most-watched opener to a Western Conference Finals ever on TNT.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) May 15, 2018
Specifically, as per NBA.com, from 10:45 to 11 p.m. ET, its highest point was an average of 10 million viewers — up by 38 percent over last year's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, which amassed a peak average of 6.4 million viewers.
On the other hand, viewership was up by 9 percent compared to last year's WCF Game 1 between the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs which amassed 8.1 million.
In addition, the report noted:
TNT’s Warriors/Rockets telecast has generated double-digit increases across all core demos, including a 25% increase in People 18-34 and 21% in Men 18-34 vs. the 2017 NBA ECF Game 1 on TNT. Last night’s WCF Game 1 is also up approximately 20% or higher over last year’s WCF Game 1.
It was also the most-watched NBA game across any network on cable television since Game 7 of the 2016 WCF on TNT — which was between the Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The matchup between the Rockets and the Warriors, safe to say, has been the most anticipated duel in this year's playoffs. The Rockets, despite locking in the best record in the regular season, are considered the underdogs to the mighty Warriors.
Game 2 will be in Houston, Wednesday, May 16, 9 p.m.