The hot start for the 2012 NBA Finals continued on Thursday.
Game 2 of the Heat/Thunder NBA Finals drew an 11.8 overnight rating on ABC Thursday night, up 12% from Mavericks/Heat Game 2 last year (10.5), and up 8% from Celtics/Lakers Game 2 on a Sunday night in 2010 (10.9).
The 11.8 overnight is the highest for a Game 2 in the NBA Finals since Pistons/Lakers in 2004 (12.3), and the second-highest since Sixers/Lakers in 2001 (14.5). Excluding series that involved the Lakers, the overnight is the highest for a Game 2 since Bulls/Jazz in 1998 (17.7).
Thursday’s overnight was the same as Tuesday’s Game 1. This marks just the fourth time in the past fifteen NBA Finals that the overnight for Game 2 did not decline from the opener.
Since the current Thursday-Sunday-Tuesday scheduling format began in 2004, final ratings for Game 2 of the NBA Finals have declined between 11% and 19% from the overnight — putting Thursday’s game on pace to finish in the 9.6-10.5 range.
Game 2 drew a 44.4 rating in Oklahoma City, a tick higher than Game 1 (44.3). For some perspective, Game 2 of the 1996 SuperSonics/Bulls NBA Finals — the last NBA Finals for the SuperSonics franchise before the moving to Oklahoma City — drew a 33.7 on a Friday night.
The drew a 30.3 rating in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, down 1% from Game 1 (30.5), and down 14% from last year’s Game 2 (35.3).
(Thursday’s overnight from ESPN Media Zone)