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While there's no such thing as a perfect NBA gameperhaps as close as any player has ever come was when Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points against the Knicks way back in 1962, and even then the Philadelphia Warriors' center still managed to miss 27 shots and four free throwsthe league as a whole is now on conversational terms with flawlessness.

According to Nielsen, the 2017-18 NBA regular season averaged 1.89 million viewers across ESPN, ABC and TNT, which marked an 8 percent increase versus the previous season. And while other major American sports leagues (and pretty much everything else that depends on TV as its primary distribution) continue to struggle to retain the increasingly elusive younger demos, NBA ratings last season actually improved 14 percent among the 18-to-34 set and jumped 15 percent with adults 18-to-49.

The ratings momentum is a function of the NBA's virtual monopoly on the imagination of young America. With a relatively apple-cheeked median age of 42, the league's fan base has only aged two years since 2000. By comparison, the median age of MLB viewers is now 57, while the NFL audience is an even 50. And the NBA's winning streak isn't limited to the fans watching at home or in the bar. Attendance for regular-season games last season increased for the fourth straight year to 22.1 million, and NBA venues combined for a record 741 sellouts.

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