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October 18, 2018

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Lakers-Warriors most-watched NBA preseason game ever on ESPN

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John Locher / AP

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry shoots around Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Las Vegas.

NEW YORK — LeBron James' first game against the Warriors as a Laker drew nearly 2 million viewers, making it ESPN's most-watched preseason game ever.

The Lakers' 123-113 victory Wednesday night in Las Vegas was watched by 1.98 million viewers, the network said Thursday. A spokesman says that is the most viewers for an NBA preseason game on any network since at least 1994, which is as far back as the records go.

James developed a rivalry with the Warriors while meeting them in a record four straight NBA Finals while he played in Cleveland. His move to Los Angeles in July put him in the same division as the two-time defending champions.