A watershed moment in NBA history Tuesday night received an appropriately large television audience.
The Thunder’s 133-130 win over the Lakers—during which Los Angeles star LeBron James became the all-time leading scorer in NBA history—drew 3 million viewers to TNT, the network’s largest non-Opening Night regular-season audience in five years.
The broadcast peaked with 3.7 million viewers from 11:45 p.m. to midnight Eastern Time, during which James hit a 15-foot fadeaway jumper with 10 seconds left in the third quarter to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,388 career points. The game was stopped briefly for a ceremony in which James thanked Abdul-Jabbar, his family and his fans.
Opening Night and Christmas games notwithstanding, it was the most-watched regular-season NBA game on cable since Jan. 31, 2020. That game also involved James, as the Trail Blazers defeated the Lakers, 127-119, in Los Angeles’s first game after the death of legendary guard Kobe Bryant.