The 2021 NBA playoffs are down to the conference championships as the four remaining teams battle for an NBA Finals spot. The games are broadcast live on national and cable networks — namely TNT, ESPN and ABC — but thanks to, NBA fans don’t need a cable subscription to watch.
Monday night has the first deciding game of the week when the Phoenix Suns host the Los Angeles Clippers in Arizona. With a win, Phoenix would advance to the NBA Finals and await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. A Los Angeles victory would force a Game 6 in California on Wednesday.
Tipoff for Monday’s tilt is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET) on ESPN. Here’s everything you need to know to stream the action, no cable required.
What’s the schedule for the NBA playoffs?
The 2021 NBA playoffs started Saturday, May 22, and the second round concluded on Sunday, June 20. The conference finals continue this weekend and into next week with alternating games scheduled every day. The 2021 NBA Finals are scheduled to start July 8. As in past years, each playoff series requires four games to win and runs up to seven games.
Here’s the schedule for the next few days.
Monday, June 28
- No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 2 Phoenix Suns, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on ESPN (Suns lead 3-1).
Tuesday, June 29
- No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks at No. 5 Atlanta Hawks, Game 3, 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on TNT (Bucks lead 2-1).
Wednesday, June 30
- No. 2 Phoenix Suns vs No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers, Game 6 (if necessary). 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on ESPN (Suns lead 3-1).
Check out the full 2021 NBA playoffs schedule at NBA.com.
How can I watch the NBA playoffs on TV live without cable?
Four of the five majoroffer ESPN, TNT and ABC (all but Sling TV), but not every service carries your local ABC station, so check the links below to make sure it’s available in your area. Sling, to its credit, will be simulcasting the games that air on ABC.
If you have FuboTV, you’ll need something else to catch the games on TNT. Our top picks? For the most complete option — and a better app — check out YouTube TV. If you want to get all the games for the cheapest rate, Sling TV is the pick.
Google’s live TV streaming service offers all the channels you’ll need for the NBA playoffs for $65 per month.
Sling TV’s Orange package offers ESPN and TNT for $35 per month. While it does not carry ABC, Sling says it will simulcast the games that air on ABC through ESPN3.
AT&T TV’s basic Entertainment package costs $70 and carries all the channels you’ll need for the NBA playoffs.
FuboTV offers ABC and ESPN as part of its $65-per-month Basic plan but does not have TNT.
Are fans allowed at the games?
Whereas the 2020 playoffs took place in a Walt Disney World bubble in Orlando, Florida, the NBA has played its 2020-21 season in regular arenas with fans increasingly coming back to stadiums as local COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Fans are allowed at playoff games this year, though the exact number in each venue will vary.