Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks was ESPN’s most-watched late opener in 5 years

Oct 21, 2022, 10:48 AM | Updated: 10:51 am
Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) celebrates a Dallas Mavericks turnover with forward Mikal Bridge...

Phoenix Suns guard Damion Lee (10) celebrates a Dallas Mavericks turnover with forward Mikal Bridges (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. The Suns won 107-105. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Phoenix Suns opened their season with a massive comeback win at home over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

The game was the most-watched ESPN late night opener in five years, according to Nielsen. The average viewership of 1.634 million was an 18% improvement from last season’s matchup between the Suns and Denver Nuggets.

Star talent attracts eyes, and the two teams aren’t devoid of that. Suns guard Devin Booker (No. 10) and Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (No. 3) both ranked in the top 10 in ESPN’s top 100 players entering 2022-23.

With two top-tier players, combined with the result of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals clincher, and the game will attract viewership.

Though it was a far cry from the 6.29 million of their Game 7 matchup a season ago, maintaining north of 1.5 million on average in a game that started at 10 p.m. on the east coast is nothing to scoff at.

By comparison, Game 7 of last year’s series between these two started at 8 p.m. EST.

However, this matchup maintained that viewership despite the largest lead peaking at 22 in favor of Dallas with 10:09 remaining in the third quarter.

While the Suns came roaring back with a 62-38 run to win the game on a last-second shot from guard Damion Lee, there was a large stretch of play where Dallas completely controlled things. After a defensive rebound by Dorian Finney-Smith with 9:55 left in the third, the Mavericks held a 98% win probability, according to ESPN Analytics.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

New Orleans Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado (15) drives past Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) during ...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns attempt to reset against Pelicans, new team at top of West

The Phoenix Suns are coming off their two worst losses of the season and will have to rebound against a team playing excellent basketball.
1 day ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul draws the offensive foul on Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) du...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns embarrassed on home court by Boston Celtics in 27-point rout

The Phoenix Suns were playing great basketball through a few key injuries this season before back-to-back terrible losses in blowout fashion.
2 days ago
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives between Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and cent...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns face largest deficit of season in loss to Boston Celtics

The Phoenix Suns dropped their home battle with the Boston Celtics after trailing by 27 points at halftime.
2 days ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns passes the ball against the Boston Celtics during the second ha...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Suns GM James Jones stresses importance of Celtics matchup

The No. 1 seed in the Western Conference Phoenix Suns takes on the top seed in the east, the Boston Celtics, on Wednesday.
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell (0) defen...
Arizona Sports

Report: Chris Paul expects to return as Suns face NBA-best Celtics

Chris Paul has missed 14 games, while Torrey Craig has missed three for the Phoenix Suns, who host the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
2 days ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives against Phoenix Suns forward Josh Okogie (2) during ...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns blitzed by Mavericks in Dallas again

The Phoenix Suns will eventually play a basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks that does not bring up terrible memories for their fans.
4 days ago
Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks was ESPN’s most-watched late opener in 5 years