Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd


Game 6 of the National Basketball Association finals emerged as a slam-dunk winner in the ratings, averaging 21.07 million viewers on ABC, according to preliminary Nielsen figures.

The decisive contest, in which Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat and schadenfreude poster boy LeBron James, also scored an 8.6 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds. That was a whopping 59 percent higher than with last year's Game 6 between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Book of Mormon tops Tonys

During the same three hours of Sunday's prime time, the Tony Awards on CBS averaged 6.92 million viewers (about the same as a year ago) and a 1.2 rating in the industry-prized demographic — up from 1.1 last year.

But even the final presenter of the night confessed that he might prefer to watch the game. Chris Rock wistfully joked that he was incredulous about missing "the best basketball game ever," even though he was about to give out the award for Best Musical. "Come on. We know what the best musical is," Rock further cracked. "This is such a waste of time. It's like taking a hooker to dinner."

Watch video of the 2011 Tony Awards

The rest of the night mostly consisted of reruns of Fox's animation block and NBC's Minute To Win It and America's Got Talent.

The 7 o'clock time slot was taken by a first-run 60 Minutes (9.20 million viewers) against a special pregame edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live (8.67 million) and a Dateline NBC repeat (3.82 million).