Television ratings for Game 6 of the NBA Finals took a big leap on Tuesday night.
ESPN/ABC announced Wednesday that an estimated 16.8 million viewers watched the Miami Heat defeat the San Antonio Spurs in overtime to even the series at three wins each, surpassing the previous series high of 11.4 million viewers for Game 4 last Thursday, June 13.
The 14.7 overnight ratings points were the fourth-highest in history for an NBA Finals game aired on ABC, behind the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers Game 7 in 2010 (18.2), Lakers-Detroit Pistons Game 5 in 2004 (15.5) and Heat-Dallas Mavericks Game 6 in 2011 (15.0).
Tuesday night's game peaked with a 19.8 rating nationally at the end of regulation when the Heat rallied in the final minute to send the game to overtime. Ratings for the teams' markets were 47.6 in San Antonio and 35.4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale.
---The Toronto Raptors announced they have named Bobby Webster as vice president of basketball management and strategy.
Webster worked for the NBA in New York for the past seven years. His most recent position was associate director of salary cap management. He worked with the NBA Labor Relations Committee to negotiate the most recent collective bargaining agreement with the National Basketball Players Association.
With the Raptors, Webster will assume an expanded role that includes scouting, player personnel and roster management.
---Toronto Raptors head coach Dwane Casey will return next season, according to new general manager Masai Ujiri announced Wednesday.
Ujiri was hired to replace Bryan Colangelo, who was reassigned, and said at his introductory press conference on June 5 that he'd consider all necessary changes.
Assistant general manager Ed Stefanski, some scouts and other front office employees are out.
Casey met early in the month with Ujiri and separately with Raptors CEO Tim Leiweke. According to reports, Casey was told at that time he wouldn't lose his job.
Casey's contract expires after the 2013-14 season. A decision regarding the assistant coaching staff "will be made in the future" according to a team statement.
The Raptors won 23 games in Casey's first season as head coach in 2011-2012, and won 34 games this past season.