The Golden State Warriors won 120-100 in Game 7 over the Sacramento Kings this past Sunday — and this matchup averaged 9.8 million viewers on ABC, making it the most-watched NBA Playoffs first-round game in 24 years.
Since 2015, Stephen Curry has been featured in 32 out of 33 games with at least 13 million viewers. The nine-time All-Star has played in all 27 NBA games that have drawn over 14 million viewers as well.
Not only has Golden State appeared in six of the last eight NBA Finals, but Curry’s popularity and influence has also increased over the years. Curry finished third on the league’s list of top-selling jerseys for the 2021-22 season.
Referring to a few NBA betting sites, the Warriors have third-shortest odds to win the championship. Some sportsbooks are giving the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets better odds.
Game 7 between the Warriors and Kings averaged 9.8 million viewers on ABC.
That makes it the most-watched NBA Playoffs 1st round game in 24 years.
Curry has also played in all 27 NBA games since 2015 that have drawn over 14 million viewers.
The Steph effect is real. pic.twitter.com/goSPIoTGT2
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) May 2, 2023
Moreover, in the Warriors’ 120-100 series-clinching first-round win over Sacramento on Sunday, Curry scored an NBA record-high 50 points in Game 7. It was the most points scored by a player in a Game 7 in league history. The two-time MVP also tied Karl Malone for the most points tallied in a playoff game at age 35 or older.
Of course, the Kings’ Game 1 win against Golden State averaged 6.25 million viewers, making it the most-watched opening Saturday night playoff game ever on ABC. This matchup peaked with 7.56 million viewers from 11-11:15 p.m. ET, per ESPN Press Room.
Game 7 between the Warriors and Kings averaged 9.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched NBA Playoffs first-round game since 1999
According to the ratings, 13.03 million viewers watched Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals between the Dubs and Celtics. An estimated 13.99 million fans tuned in to watch the Warriors defeat Boston 103-90 at TD Garden in Game 6, and viewers observed Golden State hoisting its fourth trophy in eight years.
Furthermore, Curry had the league’s highest-selling jersey in 2018 en route to sweeping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Curry finished second in jersey sales this past regular season behind the four-time MVP. In 2022, Forbes named the Warriors the most-valuable NBA franchise at $7 billion. Curry is mostly to thank for that accomplishment.
For another interesting fact, James and Curry combined for 60,364 career regular season points, the second most by opposing players entering any playoff series in NBA history. They only trail the matchup of James and Carmelo Anthony (60,687 points) in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.
Stephen Curry dribbled 574 times during Game 7, which is his most since the dynasty began in 2014-15.
Per @SecondSpectrum, Steph’s previous high during this run is 535 dribbles: Game 7 for the 3-1 comeback vs. OKC on 5/30/2016.
Curry’s overall career-high is 668 on 11/29/2013.… pic.twitter.com/iFQU3y5ueX
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 1, 2023
Additionally, an average of 20.38 million viewers watched the 2017 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Cavaliers. Based on the available data, Game 5 was the most-viewed NBA Finals game this century, with 24.47 million viewers tuning in to watch. For a first-round series against the Kings, this past series was incredible ratings-wise.
The 1998 NBA Finals between the Utah Jazz and Chicago Bulls still tops the all-time list. An average of 29.04 million fans watched this finals series, making it the most-watched playoff series in NBA history. Chicago’s 87-86 Game 6 win over the Jazz generated a league-record 35.89 million viewers.