The surprising NBA Eastern Conference finals have delivered good ratings for TNT.

Through four games of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Orlando Magic series, the network was averaging a 5.2 national rating, up 27 percent from last year, when it carried the Western Conference finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.

Orlando's 116-114 overtime victory on Tuesday night, one that gave the Magic a three-games-to-one lead over the favored Cavaliers, drew 10.1 million viewers, making it the most- watched NBA playoff game in cable TV history.

Ref branches out

Referee Violet Palmer was hired as coordinator of women's basketball officials for the West Coast Conference. She will remain with the NBA, where she has worked for 12 seasons.

Palmer became the first woman to officiate a major U.S. professional sport when she made her NBA debut on Oct. 31, 1997.

She has spent the last 12 seasons in the NBA, and officiated four playoff games and more than 700 regular-season games.

- Associated Press