NEW YORK (AP) – LeBron James’ first game against the Warriors as a Laker drew nearly 2 million viewers, making it ESPN’s most-watched preseason game ever.
The Lakers’ 123-113 victory Wednesday night in Las Vegas was watched by 1.98 million viewers, the network said Thursday.
A spokesman says that is the most viewers for an NBA preseason game on any network since at least 1994, which is as far back as the records go.
James developed a rivalry with the Warriors while meeting them in a record four straight NBA Finals while he played in Cleveland.
His move to Los Angeles in July put him in the same division as the two-time defending champions.
RAPTORS 134, PELICANS 119
The Toronto Raptors rested Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka in their final game of the preseason.
Their teammates made sure they could enjoy the break with a victory.
Malachi Richardson and Pascal Siakim each scored 21 points, and the Raptors beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 134-119, Thursday night to wrap up the preseason with a 4-1 record.
Leonard, Green and Ibaka all played in the Raptors’ game in Montreal on Wednesday night, so they were given a game off with the travel to New Orleans.
Anthony Davis had a game-high 36 points and 15 rebounds for the Pelicans, who concluded a winless preseason. The Pelicans had everyone available, even though they didn’t get home from a road loss in Miami until after early Thursday morning.
The Raptors led 67-64 at halftime and never trailed in the second half, building their lead to as much as 15 in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans pulled within 111-109 with 7:39 left on a layup by Darius Miller. The Raptors finished the game on a 23-10 run.
Raptors forward Chris Boucher left the game with just more than eight minutes left after a collision with Davis as both players leapt into the paint for a rebound. Boucher landed horizontally and his head appeared to strike the court. He remained down a couple minutes while he received treatment and needed help walking to the locker room.
Raptors spokesman Roven Yau said after the game that Boucher “passed the NBA concussion protocol and will continued to be monitored.”