via ESPN press release:
Record Audience for ESPN's Lakers/Rockets Telecast
ESPN's telecast of the NBA Conference Semifinal Game 3 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets Friday, May 8, at 9:30 p.m. ET earned a 4.5 rating representing an average of 4,432,000 household impressions and 5,952,000 viewers (P2+) to become the most-viewed conference semifinal game ever on the network. The telecast was the network's highest-rated and most-viewed program in the calendar year (since December 30, 2008).
The game was the highest-rated conference semifinal telecast since 2006 (San Antonio at Dallas, Game 6 - 4.7 rating). The Lakers/Rockets game delivered a 12.2 rating in Houston, the highest-rated NBA game on ESPN ever locally. In L.A., the game posted an 11.9 rating.
ESPN's conference semifinal telecasts are exclusive, including a pair of Game 6 matchups Thursday, May 14 - Boston at Orlando at 7 p.m., followed by Houston at Los Angeles at 9:30 p.m. Mike Tirico, analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Lisa Salters will call the Celtics/Magic game, with Mike Breen, analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke providing commentary for Lakers/Rockets. Both games will be available in high definition on ESPN HD and will be simulcast via ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Deportes is also televising both games.