How to Stream NBA Games

From left: Grant Hill, Kristen Ledlow, Stephen Curry, Steve Smith and Isiah Thomas during NBA TV’s post game coverage after Curry’s Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA Finals. Photo Courtesy: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2022–23 NBA season tips off on October 18, but the preseason starts at the end of September, so whether you’re a basketball junkie or just a casual fan who wants to dip your toes in, you might find yourself wondering how to stream NBA games. 

It’s sure to be an exciting season. The NBA is back on its regular schedule after years of pandemic-related adjustments. Last year’s finalists — the Boston Celtics and the Golden State  Warriors, the latter of which won it all — will be challenged by what feels like more elite teams than ever. In the West, the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers bring back injured stars and look to be loaded. In the East, the Milwaukee Bucks will look to regain the title they fell short of defending last season.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors finishes a layup over Robert Williams of the Boston Celtics in game six of the 2022 NBA Finals in Boston. Photo Courtesy: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Here, you’ll find everything you need to know if you want to stream all the action this season.

How to Stream Local NBA Games

Each of the 30 NBA teams televises games on a local affiliate in its market. Generally, these channels are available for streaming, but only if you are already subscribing to a cable package or a live TV streaming service like Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV or DirecTV Stream.

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If you live in the local area, and you want to be able to watch all of your local team’s games, you’ll need to choose one of these options in order to have access to them.

How to Stream NBA League Pass & NBA TV

NBA League Pass is a stand-alone service that provides access to “all” NBA games, but with quite a few caveats. Local games (see above) are blacked out on NBA League Pass, as are all national television broadcasts on TNT and ESPN/ABC. 

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NBA League Pass signage in San Antonio. Photo Courtesy: Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

There are nationally televised games on NBA TV, as well, but now when you subscribe to NBA League Pass, NBA TV is added automatically. NBA League Pass also offers a premium version that includes no commercials — and often a live feed from the arena, which is fun!

NBA TV is also offered as a part of some upgraded live TV streaming services and cable packages, so when you are looking into those options, be sure to check for the availability of NBA TV if you want to make sure you can see all of the nationally televised NBA games. 

How to Stream TNT

Many of the best nationally televised NBA games are on TNT, but fortunately, TNT is part of the baseline offering of most cable packages and live TV streaming services, so if you’re just looking for access to NBA games on TNT, you probably won’t have to pay for an upgraded subscription. 

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Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith in 2017. Photo Courtesy: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

When you watch NBA games on TNT, you get the added bonus of watching their incredibly popular studio show, Inside the NBA, featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal. The show has been running for more than two decades, and the guys are always a blast to watch at halftime and after games. 

TNT has its own streaming app, but in order to have access to live programming, including NBA games, you’ll need to have purchased a cable package or a live TV streaming service subscription. 

How to Stream ESPN/ABC

Nationally televised games that aren’t on TNT or NBA TV are on ESPN or ABC (both owned by Disney). Both channels, like TNT, are generally available through the most basic cable packages and live TV streaming subscriptions. 

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The ESPN app will allow you to stream games live from both ESPN and ABC, but, as with the TNT app, you will need to purchase a subscription to a cable package or a live TV streaming subscription in order to have access to NBA games. 

How to Stream NBA Games on Live TV Streaming Services 

By now it’s probably clear to you that your best bet, if you want to be able to stream as many NBA games as possible, is to purchase a live TV streaming subscription. 

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FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream all have basic packages that include all of the nationally televised NBA games that are on TNT, ESPN and ABC. Most of these services also include upgraded options that will get you NBA TV as well. 

How to Stream Every NBA Game

If you want to be able to stream every single NBA game — and, as one of these troubled souls myself, I can relate — you will need to subscribe to NBA League Pass and either a cable package or live TV streaming service. 

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Scottie Barnes, the 2022 Rookie of the Year, is one of the most enticing players to watch this coming season. Photo Courtesy: Cole Burston/Getty Images

You will also need to make sure that the live TV streaming service you subscribe to includes the games that are part of your local team’s coverage. Why’s that? Well, for reasons that are far too complex to go into here, Denver Nuggets games have been blacked out locally in Denver, Colorado for the past few seasons; it’s likely to continue that way this season, too. That’s a huge bummer for folks in Denver, but it’s best for them to know that before purchasing a TV package.

If you just want to watch some nationally televised NBA games a few nights a week and, later, sink your teeth in during the NBA Playoffs, you don’t need NBA League Pass — just a basic cable or live TV streaming package will do the trick. Still, an upgrade to NBA TV, at least, is often a worthwhile investment.

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