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James' NBA debut draws top ratings
BRISTOL, Conn. -- The NBA debut of Cleveland's LeBron James was a ratings hit for ESPN.
The Cavaliers' game against Sacramento on Wednesday night earned a 2.8 rating for the cable network, which is the equivalent of 2.49 million households. That rating is higher than all but one of the network's 69 regular-season games last season. James scored 25 points but the Cavaliers lost 106-92.
The game was the second half of a doubleheader. The first game -- Orlando at New York -- had a 1.9 rating. The doubleheader averaged a 2.3 rating, or two million households, 44 percent higher than the 1.6 for the doubleheader that launched ESPN's coverage last season.
The only game last season that topped the Cleveland-Sacramento rating was the first meeting between Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers and Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets on Jan. 17, which earned a 3.8.