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How to stream NBA games: Live stream the 2021 NBA playoffs

Here's how to stream the NBA.


Phil West


Published Jan 19, 2021   Updated Jul 29, 2021, 12:37 pm CDT

The NBA finals are here! Here’s how to stream NBA games this playoff season, culminating with the Bucks vs. Suns matchup that not a lot of people predicted at the start of the season.

The Suns lead the series, 1-0, following its win on Tuesday, with Chris Paul putting up a vintage 32-9-4 line.

NBA Finals livestream schedule

Here’s when and where to live stream the 2021 NBA Finals.

Tuesday, July 6

  • Phoenix Suns 118, Milwaukee Bucks 105

Thursday, July 8

9pm ET

  • Phoenix Suns 118, Milwaukee Bucks 108

Sunday, July 11

8pm ET

  • Milwaukee Bucks 120, Phoenix Suns 100

Wednesday, July 14

9pm ET

  • Milwaukee Bucks 109, Phoenix Suns 103

Saturday, July 17

9pm ET

  • Milwaukee Bucks 123, Phoenix Suns 119

Tuesday, July 20

9pm ET

  • Milwaukee Bucks 105, Phoenix Suns 98

NBA League Pass: How to stream the NBA live

NBA League Pass is basically the all-you-can-watch plan. You’ll get all the out-of-market hoops you can handle starting at $28.99 during the 88-game sprint to the playoffs. While you won’t get your local team live if there’s a local broadcast carrying that, it will be reviewable for three days on your League Pass account once the final whistle blows.

If you want NBA TV and your streaming service doesn’t carry it (which we’ll cover in the next section), you can get NBA TV plus the All Teams, No Commercial version of League Pass for under $60. If you’re doing that, you might want to block out the two-week Return to Play, as there are some afternoon start times on a lot of the days—plus, NBA TV will give you coverage and insights to help satiate you between tip-offs.

NBA League Pass square logo
NBA TV Live$59.99
Team Pass$119.99
League Pass
(All Teams)
(All Teams, No Commercials)
Premium +

* pricing for remainder of 2019-20 season (Return to Play)

Which streaming services carry ABC, ESPN, NBA TV, and TNT?

Here’s where to catch an NBA live stream.

Hulu Live TV

Hulu Live TV is a great way to stream live TV, as it comes with access to Hulu’s massive library of on-demand content. You’ll be able to choose from movies, shows, and Hulu’s original programming, and keep up with what’s new each month. Hulu plans even include a bundle option where you can access Disney+ and ESPN+ along with Hulu.

Hulu Live TV sets you up with local channels and has a broad spectrum of entertainment and sports channels to review, including Cartoon Network, FX, HGTV, and even deep cuts like National Geographic and Syfy. It also hooks you up with NBA live stream options. The service carries ESPN and TNT, plus ABC in some markets. (You’ll need NBA League Pass to get NBA TV.)

Hulu Live TV Logo
Hulu Live TV $64.99
Hulu Live TV
(no ads on
Hulu content)

Sling TV

If you’re looking for a streamlined, cost-effective streaming package, check out Sling TV. It offers two basic cable packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each of which costs $30 per month. There’s also the third option of getting Sling Orange + Blue for just $45 per month. You’ll get more Sling TV channels by choosing Sling Blue, with its 40 channels including sports favorites like FS1 and NBCSN and cable mainstays like Food Network and Discovery Channel. But Sling Orange brings must-haves Disney Channel and ESPN as part of its package. Sling also has a number of add-ons, including robust international packages organized by languages all over the globe.

To get ESPN on Sling, you need to go Sling Orange or Sling Orange + Blue, whereas all three options get you TNT. While ABC isn’t conventionally gettable on Sling, Air TV will allow you to get an NBA live stream that way.

How to use AirTV with Sling

AirTV solves one of the Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV, (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”

The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.

But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—gives Sling users the ability to access all local channels to add to whichever Sling package is the best fit for them.


FuboTV started as a streaming service geared toward sports fans, but it’s evolved into a broadly-appealing option with entertainment and news options alongside its robust sports choices. Depending on the package, you can access as many as 181 FuboTV channels. If you’re looking to be entertained, Bravo, IFC, MTV, and VH1 are options even at Fubo’s most basic tier. The Fubo channel list still includes plenty of sports, including the Fubo Sports Network, which has original programming mixing sports and humor. The FuboTV cost starts at $54.99 a month. Disney Media favorites like the Disney Channel are coming on board in 2020, some who were on the fence about Fubo are giving it another look.

Of course, that also means ESPN and ABC are on the way but maybe not in time for Return to Play. If you’re at the Elite level, you can get NBA TV with the Sports Extra add-on, but TNT isn’t an option at any level. Your best bet as a Fubo subscriber is to splurge for League Pass.

Fubo TV packages
Family with Showtime$74.99 ($69.99 for first 3 mos.)

YouTube TV

The YouTube TV channel list includes local channels, sports options including ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, and NBA TV, and plenty to keep kids (and kids at heart) occupied, including Disney Channel and its companion channels, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network—all in one easy-to-access package. It even comes with a few Spanish-language channels like Telemundo and NBC Universo. YouTube add-ons include HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz. YouTube TV packages have some advantages over their competitors, including a generous DVR and multiple screens package. From one account, each user can create an individual profile to track favorite shows.

Good news if you’re a YouTube TV subscriber: It sets you up with ABC to stream the NBA Finals. You won’t get all the action, but you’ll have games every day.

Youtube TV
1 Month$64.99
Sports Plus$10.99/mo.


If you’re already looking to AT&T for your wireless needs, you might consider AT&T TV Now to cover streaming for you. AT&T TV Now channels start with Plus and Max, which even include HBO. Then, AT&T plans expand from there, approaching cable selection and pricing with AT&T TV Now’s biggest packages. AT&T streaming also comes with Cloud DVR, letting you record up to 20 hours of TV per month. You’ll get ESPN, TNT, and ABC in all plans, but you’ll need to graduate to Xtra or Ultimate to get NBA TV.

at&t TV Now
Optimo Mas$86


Vidgo offers a package for under $40 a month that pulls together more than 60 English-language channels into its National English Package. Its channels include ABC, Fox, the ESPN family of channels (including ESPN Deportes), and it’s one of the few streaming services that carries BeIN Sports. But it’s like Fubo in that, even though it started out for streaming sports, it carries a lot more now. So while NBA TV and TNT aren’t options, you can watch the ABC and ESPN games and chat about those online via Vidgo’s Social TV platform.

Latino Mas$25

Sports balls stream live sports
Jason Reed

Best sports on TV today and this week: Upcoming sports live streaming events

2021 NBA Draft:
First and Second Round
Thursday, July 29, 8pm ET
USA vs.
Thursday, July 29, 7:30pm ET
FS1, TUDN, Univision
Mexico vs.
Thursday, July 29, 10pm ET
FS1, TUDN, Univision
Boston Red Sox vs.
Tampa Bay Rays
Friday, July 30, 4:30pm ET
MLB Network
Cleveland Indians vs.
Chicago White Sox
Sunday, August 1, 2:10pm ET

Daily Dot Sports Streaming Guides

How to stream the NFL
How to stream college football
How to stream the NBA
How to stream Major League Baseball
How to stream the Premier League
How to stream La Liga
How to stream the Bundesliga
How to stream Liga MX
How to stream MLS

Sports Channel and Streaming Service Guides

FS2Fox DeportesACC Network
BeIn SportsBig Ten NetworkCBS Sports Network
DAZNFubo Sports NetworkGolf Channel
Longhorn NetworkMAVTVMLB Network
MotorTrendMountain West NetworkNBA TV
NFL NetworkNFL RedZoneNHL Network
Olympic ChannelOutside TVPac-12 Networks
PeacockRAI ItaliaSEC Network
StadiumTennis ChannelTUDN

Live TV Service Guides

AT&T TV NOW CBS All AccessFubo TV
Hulu with Live TVPhiloPluto TV
Sling TVVidgoYouTube TV

Streaming Device Guides

Amazon FireApple TVAndroid
RokuSmart TVsXBox

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*First Published: Jan 19, 2021, 7:15 am CST