NBA Finals grow into a riveting series. World Cup? Uh, can I get back to you on that?

The NBA Finals return to Los Angeles on Tuesday night for Game Six, with the Boston Celtics now up 3-2 over the Lakers, following the Celts best performance of the series so far, in winning 92-86 on Sunday night in Beantown.

Despite the fact that they look like the better team right now, there are a considerable number of those in the NBA  "community" (i.e. fans and media)  who think the Lakers (with perhaps some aid from the refs) will find a way to win tonight's game at the Staples Center, which would mean a climactic Game Seven in Los Angeles (which if it happens, would be only the 2nd time in the past 16 years that the finals have gone to a climactic finale).

By the way, with all of the incessant hype about the world's most popular sport (soccer), ratings for Game 5 of the basketball Finals on Thursday night brought in a 12.8 overnight rating, the highest for that particular game since 2004.  Sunday night's game was fascinating, particularly towards the end when an ABC microphone caught Laker coach Phil Jackson trying to psych his team up by claiming nobody chokes greater in the clutch than the Celtics.

(According to STATS LLC, Jackson was wrong.  The Celtics lost 13 times in the regular season when they led in the fourth quarter, which doesn't even put them in the top ten in that dubious category.  However, the Celtics lost 14 times when leading by double digits at any point in a game, the most in the NBA behind Memphis.)

But what about soccer?  Despite all of the clamor, the ratings are good, but not as impressive as in 1994, when the U.S. hosted the World Cup at a variety of locations across the country, with the championship game played in the 100,000 plus Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

The Seattle-Post Intelligencer's blog says Saturday's match between the U.S. and U.K. was 6.1.

The three-hour telecast rating — including the pre-match coverage — was 6.1, which ranks fifth all-time behind three World Cup finals (including the 1993 Women's final) and a round of 16 game in 1994 between USA and Brazil.

We're sure there were many among you who watched Saturday afternoon's "Special Relationship" World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and England that ended in a 1-1 tie.