It took the combined efforts of Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin, but the NBA at least temporarily reclaimed the cable viewership title Sunday night from HBO's “Game of Thrones.”
The San Antonio Spurs-Los Angeles Clippers game on TNT drew 4.4 million viewers, to 3.86 million for “Game of Thrones.”
They tied among 18- to 49-year-old viewers.
The other strong challenge to “Thrones” came from History’s “Ax Men,” which drew 3.48 million viewers for a 9 p.m. show and 3.52 for a 10 p.m. followup.
On the night's lower-brow end, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E! drew 2.85 million, “The Client List” on Lifetime drew 2.55 million, and “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo drew 2.35 million.
AMC’s “Mad Men” slipped to 1.96 million.
In contrast, the top broadcast show of the night was “Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt” on CBS, with 12.93 million viewers.
Almost all cable shows add viewers from repeat and time-shifted showings.