How to Watch the NBA Finals Live Stream (2021)

The finals are on ABC, but there's more than one way to stream

The NBA finals are on ABC again in 2021, marking the 19th year in a row that the NBA's biggest games have appeared on that network. You can catch every moment of the action live over the air if you have an antenna and live near an ABC station, or stream the games if you don't.

The 2020-2021 season will start no sooner than December 25; the finals have not yet been scheduled. Visit the NBA's website for the full schedule.

People live streaming the NBA Finals on various devices
Lifewire / Joshua Seong

If you're a cord-cutter, we'll provide you with all the information you need to stream the NBA finals on your computer, phone, set-top box, or even game console. All you need is a high-speed internet connection, access to the right streaming service, and you'll be ready for tip-off.

Dates and times are not finalized, and there are provisions for each round of the NBA playoffs to start a couple of days earlier depending on when the previous round finishes.

How to Watch the NBA Finals

The NBA playoffs are broadcast on a combination of TNT, ESPN, NBA TV, and ABC, but the finals can be watched in their entirety on ABC. If you live in an area that has a local ABC affiliate, then the best way to watch the NBA finals is to catch the free over the air broadcast with a digital TV antenna.

If you're unable to watch ABC with an antenna where you are, or you just prefer to stream the NBA finals, then you can do so using ABC Go or a streaming service like Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV.

The ABC Go option is only available if you have a cable subscription, and streaming services only include ABC if they have an agreement with the local ABC affiliate in your area.

How to Stream the NBA Finals on ABC Go If You Have Cable

ABC offers a live stream of your local ABC affiliate on the ABC Go website. When you watch this stream, it's essentially the same as tuning in to the local ABC channel on your television. Since the NBA finals are broadcast on ABC, you can use this site, or the ABC Go app, to stream the games.

If you have a cable or satellite subscription, then this is the best way to stream the NBA finals. However, this option isn't available if you're a cord-cutter, and it isn't available if there's no participating ABC affiliate in your local area.

Here's how to watch the NBA finals on ABC Go:

  1. Navigate to on game day.

  2. Click or tap Live.

    A screenshot of
  3. If prompted, select your cable provider and enter your cable account information.

    A screenshot of
  4. When the game starts, it will be available on

How to Stream the NBA Finals Without a Cable Subscription

If you don't have a cable or satellite subscription, then you can't stream the NBA finals through ABC Go. In that case, your best option is to sign up for a free trial with a television streaming service. These services are basically a replacement for cable, and they include many of the same channels that cable subscriptions commonly provide.

In addition to basic cable channels, most streaming services also include major networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. However, the availability of these networks is based on whether or not a streaming service has obtained the necessary streaming rights.

If you live in a major metropolitan area, there's a good chance at least one streaming service offers ABC where you live. If you live in a rural area, especially if there's no local ABC affiliate, there's a chance that none of the streaming services offer ABC in your area.

To help you find the best place to stream the NBA finals, we've listed out the major streaming sites that include ABC, along with a note about their coverage. To find one that works for you, you'll need to visit their site, enter your ZIP code, and check to see if ABC is available in your geographic area.

These services all offer some type of free trial, so you can get started streaming the NBA playoffs without paying anything up front.

Here are your options, including the relevant channels they offer:

  • Hulu with Live TV: This service offers the widest coverage, with the rights to live-stream ABC in over 100 markets.
  • YouTube TV: The next best coverage is YouTube TV, which has ABC in over 90 markets. If Hulu doesn't have you covered, check YouTube's live television streaming service.
  • DirecTV Now: ABC is available from DirecTV Now in over 80 markets, so this is the next one you should check.
  • Sling TV: The availability of ABC is limited to only a few markets, and it's only available as an add-on. Even though you have to pay for the add-on, it's still a good deal if you live in a market where ABC is available on the service.

Each of these services includes ABC, but not in all areas. The availability of live ABC streams from each of these services is based on ZIP code. In order to choose the right service, you need to visit each one, enter your ZIP code, and see if it offers live video from ABC or just on-demand content.

Live Stream the NBA Finals on Your Phone, Tablet, or Streaming Device

If you want to watch the NBA playoffs on your mobile device, set-top box, or game console, here are the apps you'll need:

We're including links to the Hulu and YouTube TV app because they offer ABC streaming in most markets. The other streaming services all have their own mobile apps, so if you end up going with one of them, you'll still have the option to stream on your phone.

Using Ace Stream to Stream the NBA Finals for Free

Since the NBA finals are only available through ABC, there's a very real chance that there may be no official way to stream the games where you live. If you find that you aren't able to use any of the official sources, Ace Stream is one alternative that's worth looking at.

Ace Stream is a free media player app that streams videos instead of playing videos that you download. It relies on other users to stream sports events like the NBA finals, so the availability and quality of these streams can vary from very good to barely watchable.

If you want to try streaming the NBA finals with Ace Stream, the first thing you need to do is download and install the app. For instructions on how that works, check out our guide to streaming sports online with Ace Stream.

Once you have Ace Stream installed, you'll need a content ID for the NBA finals game that you want to watch. The content ID is like an address that the app uses to find the stream, so you'll need a separate one for each game you want to watch. These IDs usually aren't available until shortly before tip-off.

One good source for content IDs is the NBA Streams subreddit, where you'll typically also find links to other unofficial streams that don't require Ace Stream to watch. Some Discord channels also provide access to the same type of information.

If that doesn't work you can also find content IDs through your search engine of choice. To find NBA finals streams, you would search for:

2021 NBA finals Ace Stream content ID

Don't pay for access to Ace Stream content IDs, and be careful when visiting sites that include content IDs. Avoid clicking on ads, and consider using an ad blocker. Ads on these sites are sometimes disguised to look like videos or warning messages, so think twice before clicking on anything.

Free Online Sports Websites to Stream the NBA Finals

In addition to the official sources, and Ace Stream, you can also find NBA finals streams on a variety of unofficial sites. These sites don't have the rights to stream NBA games, but they do link to streams where you can watch.

If the area where you live doesn't have a local ABC affiliate or the affiliate in your area doesn't have an agreement with any streaming service, these sites represent the only way to stream the NBA finals.

If you want to try this option, these are some sites where you might be able to find links to streams of the NBA finals:

  • Stream2Watch
  • FromHot
  • Bosscast
  • Cricfree

To learn more about these websites, and sites that stream sports for free in general, we have a guide to streaming free sports online.

Sites like these that include links to free NBA finals streams are typically supported by ads that can create intrusive popups, disguise themselves as system warning messages, and even infect your computer with malware. Before you visit any site that claims to provide free NBA finals streams, you may want to install a good ad blocker and safelist only websites that you trust.