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Live Stream NBA: How to Watch Basketball Online

(Image credit: Getty Images North America)

It's tipoff time! After a wild offseason that's created some true dream teams, including Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Clippers and Russell Westbrook and James Harden reunited on the Rockets, the NBA's 2019-2020 season is finally underway. The coming months of NBA action are not ones you'll want to miss, so we've compiled a handy guide on how to watch NBA games online.

NBA action kicks off tonight with a pair of hotly anticipated matchups: the New Orleans Pelicans vs. Toronto Raptors at 8pm ET/5 pm PT, and the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30pm ET/7:30pm PT.  

Better yet, you don't need cable to catch all of the action live. Here's how to live stream NBA games online.

Watch NBA games online with NBA League Pass, NBA Team Pass and NBA TV

The NBA offers a variety of first-party services for watching NBA games online. 

NBA TV is the official channel of the National Basketball Association, offering a variety of live games per week in addition to additional programming. It's available as part of several cord-cutting services, but can also be purchased on its own for $59.99 per year.

NBA Team Pass is good for cord-cutters who want to follow their favorite team outside of their home market. This $199 annual service provides access to every game for your team of choice.

NBA League Pass provides access to "hundreds of live games from around the league," as well as an archive of classic games and the option to watch select matchups in virtual reality. This tier costs $199 per year.

NBA League Pass Premium contains all of the perks of League Pass, but with no commercials. This version of the service costs $249 per year.

Watch NBA Games online on streaming services

The majority of NBA games air on ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBA TV, all of which are available on most major streaming services. Here's a quick breakdown of your top options.

Sling TV: Sling TV's $25 per month Sling Orange service ($15 for your first month) gets you ESPN and TNT. Paying an additional $10 for the Sports Extra package will tack on NBA TV. View Deal

fuboTV: fuboTV is a streaming service aimed at sports fans, with 30 hours of cloud DVR and support for up to three simultaneous streams. You can watch NBA TV as part of the service's $45 per month package.View Deal

YouTube TV: The $50-a-month YouTube TV has more than 70 channels, including ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT. YouTube TV also features unlimited cloud DVR storage.View Deal

AT&T TV Now: AT&T TV Now (formerly DirecTV Now) is a handy streaming service that includes ABC, ESPN and TNT on its entry-level $50 tier. You can get NBA TV on the $85 "Go Big" tier. View Deal

Hulu + Live TV: Hulu's Live TV package costs $45 per month for 60 channels, including ABC, ESPN, and TNT. View Deal

Playstation Vue: With a $49-a-month PlayStation Vue Access subscription, you can stream ABC, ESPN and TNT. The $54 per month Core package adds on NBA TV. View Deal

Bypass NBA blackouts with a VPN

Some online users suggest that if you use a VPN to make it look like you're located in Europe or some other country where there are no local NBA teams, you'll be able to watch any game you want live. 

We've evaluated many VPN services, and our top pick is ExpressVPN. It meets the VPN needs of the vast majority of users, offering outstanding compatibility with most devices and impressive connection speeds. It's also affordable at $12.95 per month. (Signing up for longer periods of six months or a year reduces the cost even more.)

Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN costs as little as $6.77 per month if you sign up for a one-year contract, and there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.View Deal

Cheap and secure, NordVPN is just $2.99/month for a three-year contract, uses 2048-bit encryption, and makes it easy to use streaming services.View Deal

Costing $6.49 per month for a one-year contract, IPVanish lets you have up to 10 simultaneous connections, and works on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS.View Deal