An awful lot of people watched Stephen Curry take that nasty fall Monday night. In fact, it may have been the most-watched moment of the 2015 NBA Playoffs.
Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals was the most-watched game of the playoffs, according to Nielsen. More than 8.2 million people tuned in to a game marked by an offensive eruption in the first quarter from the Houston Rockets and a nasty fall that may or may not have concussed the Golden State Warriors' Curry, the league’s reigning most valuable player. Viewership for Game 4 peaked between 10:30 and 11 p.m., when 9.4 million people tuned in.
Though things got off to a rocky start, the playoffs' ratings have mostly trended in a positive direction this year, particularly as they’ve progressed past the early rounds. Both the Eastern and Western conference matchups are drawing audiences that are much larger than they were last season – Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals was the highest-rated ECF Game 3 in four years.
The irony is that neither series may last much longer. The number 2-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers upset the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks twice in Atlanta to start the Eastern series, while the favored Warriors held serve in their first two games before leveling the Rockets in Houston in Game 3. Over the weekend, after the Cavaliers and the Warriors both leaped out to 3-0 advantages in their respective series, the league reportedly began considering the possibility of moving up the finals. Those plans never went anywhere -- “Too many logistical hurdles to overcome,” an unnamed league source told CBS Sports’ Ken Berger -- and the NBA Finals are still scheduled to start Thursday, June 4.