By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES, Jul 31 (Reuters) – The NBA’s return after four months of inactivity averaged an audience of 3.4 million viewers for the Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers clash, more than double the average of a television broadcast of the regular season, the league and the TNT network said Friday.
Lebron James scored the winning shot 12.8 seconds from the end to give the Lakers a 103-101 win.
The Utah Jazz’s victory over the New Orleans Pelicans drew 2.1 million viewers, and the double show averaged 2.9 million viewers.
The NBA clashes drew approximately 1.4 million viewers before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the game of sports leagues worldwide in March.
To avoid outbreaks, the NBA restarted its season on Thursday with all games being played at a Walt Disney World sports complex in Orlando, Florida.
Players are isolated and regularly monitored for coronaviruses, and matches are conducted without spectators.
(Report by Lisa Richwine; Edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)