The 2021 NBA playoffs continue Friday with potentially the final game of the first round. With every other first-round series decided, there’s only one game tonight: Game 6 of the Los Angeles Clippers’ series with the Dallas Mavericks. With a 3-2 series lead, if the Mavs win tonight the Clippers are eliminated. An LA win would force a Game 7 on Sunday.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch live, no cable required.
What’s the schedule for the NBA playoffs?
The 2021 NBA playoffs started Saturday, May 22, and the first round will wrap up this weekend at the latest. The succeeding rounds continue through June; the 2021 NBA Finals are scheduled to start July 8. As in past years, each playoff series requires four games to win and potentially runs seven games.
Here’s the schedule for the next few days.
Friday, June 4
- No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 5 Dallas Mavericks, 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET on ESPN (Mavericks lead 3-2)
Saturday, June 5
- No 3 Milwaukee Bucks at No. 2 Brooklyn Nets, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET on TNT (East semifinals Game 1)
Sunday, June 6
- No. 5 Atlanta Hawks at No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers, 11 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET on ABC (East semifinals Game 1)
- No. 5 Dallas Mavericks at No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers, Game 7 (if necessary). 12:30 p.m. PT/3:30 p.m. ET on ABC (Mavericks lead 3-2)
Check out the full playoff 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. Getting NBA TV, which will have some coverage as well, may require an additional fee.
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.
Read our YouTube TV review.
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. Getting NBA TV, however, requires the additional $11 per month Sports Extra add-on.
Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes three of the channels you’ll need for the NBA Playoffs, with the exception being NBA TV.
Read our Hulu Plus Live TV review.
AT&T TV’s basic Entertainment package costs $70 and carries ABC, ESPN and TNT. To get NBA TV, however, you will need to upgrade to the $85 per month Choice option.
Read our AT&T TV review.
Will fans be 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.