NEW YORK -- The Heat's new Big Three earned big television ratings.
TNT said Wednesday that Miami's 88-80 loss to the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics had a 4.6 rating and was watched by 7.4 million people. The rating is second only to the 4.9 for the Bulls-Lakers game on Feb. 2, 1996, when Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson met for the first time after both came out of retirement. That game had a smaller audience because of population growth.
Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. The early game actually earned a higher rating in Boston (17.1) than in Miami (15.5). It drew a 10.6 in James' jilted former home of Cleveland.