NBA in July? League Scores Bright Spot In Summer Ratings

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Monday night in Las Vegas, thousands are expected to turn out for an NBA Championship game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trailblazers. Hundreds of thousands more, at least, are expected to tune in to ESPN for live coverage. Wait, you say, it's the middle of July — a time for baseball, beach and barbecue. But men's pro basketball? Normally way off sports fans' radar screens this time of year. But there's been nothing normal about NBA Summer League 2017. Monday's Lakers vs. Blazers Summer League championship will be missing L.A. star guard Lonzo Ball. He's out with a mild strain in his calf. Still the game will provide the exclamation point to an event the NBA, local organizers and ESPN programmers say has been a raging success. "Our ESPN...

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