You like it, you really like it — NBA finals ratings strong

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Once again last night, the Miami Heat collapse/dramatic Dallas comeback (choose your own narrative) was the highest rated thing on television.

What’s more, through four games this remains the highest-rated finals since 2004, which was the year everybody tuned in around the globe to watch Ben Wallace play defense… well that or to watch Shaq and Kobe self destruct.

ABC reports Tuesday’s game drew a 9.6 rating, meaning 16,126,000 viewers. That puts Game 4 this year slightly behind last year (9.7) but for the series 2011 remains about 15,000 viewers ahead of last season. Which is basically a tie but we’ll let ABC have the hype. Since the last two finals games have fallen behind last year’s pace — when the large markets and traditional powers of the Lakers and Celtics were involved — this series may slip behind those numbers come Thursday. Either way it will be close.

Still, these are very good numbers for the NBA. There is some real momentum for the lockout to kill.