Sterling saga draws TV viewers to Clippers series

NEW YORK — The Donald Sterling saga is drawing many more viewers to the Los Angeles Clippers’ NBA playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

Sunday’s Game 4 was the first time the teams took the court after a recording of the Clippers owner’s racist comments surfaced a day earlier. It drew 6.5 million viewers on ABC, up a whopping 48 percent from the 4.4 million who watched Game 1 on the network just over a week prior.

Then Tuesday’s Game 5 was played hours after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban for Sterling and plans to try to force him to sell the team. It was also the Clippers’ first home game since the comments became public. More than 4.7 million viewers watched on TNT, up 34 percent from an average of 3.5 million for the previous two games on the network during the series. It was the highest-rated playoff game on cable this season, Turner Sports said Wednesday.

It’s common for TV ratings to increase as a series goes on, but not to this extent.

The interest in the Sterling story was evident even before the Clippers and Warriors took the floor Tuesday night. The nine minutes of pregame coverage on TNT, leading into the Wizards-Bulls game that opened the doubleheader, averaged 2.3 million viewers — a 45 percent increase from the previous 10 telecasts this postseason.

The Clippers lead their first-round series 3-2 and can advance with a win in Thursday’s Game 6.

More in Sports

Nevada rewards ex-Glacier Peak footballer with scholarship

Pettit spent his first two years as a walk-on before the coaches surprised him with a scholarship.

View from the outside: Rival scouts assess the Mariners

In exchange for anonymity, the scouts offered candid takes on the state of the Seattle franchise.

Poll: Help us plan this week’s high school football coverage

Help us decide which high school football game to highlight in Saturday's… Continue reading

Pettis brings punt return fever to Montlake

The senior has brought a punt back to the house in each of UW’s three wins to start the season.

Carroll: Graham’s status unknown for Seahawks’ Week 3 game

‘The competition is on’ for starting spots throughout the offense, which is struggling mightily.

Monday’s prep sports results and links

Monday’s prep sports results and links: BOYS TENNIS Wesco 4A Jackson 6,… Continue reading

Q&A with Snohomish senior volleyball standout Roz Gillie

The senior middle blocker impacts the game on offense and defense.

Community roundup: Moriarity claims Super Late Models title

It’s been a wild season for Moriarity, with a few wins, a fiery crash and now a championship.

Lakewood cross country looking to start new streak

Last season, the Lakewood cross country team wasn’t represented at the Class… Continue reading

Most Read