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NBA playoffs live streams 2022: Schedule, channels and everything you need to know

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives
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The 2022 NBA playoffs live streams are at the Conference Finals stage and things are about to get very interesting. Right now, we're two games into each series, and while one looks even the other is looking like a potential sweep.

The first Western Conference finals game saw Golden State steam ahead with a 112-87 win, propelled by a huge third quarter. In the second Mavericks vs Warriors live stream, Luka Doncic had hot hands, but the Warriors shot with as much accuracy as a team overall — and stifled Dallas in the third quarter. 

NBA playoffs channels

Where to watch in the U.S.: NBA playoffs air on ESPN, TNT, TBS, ABC and NBA TV. All are available on Sling TV, currently on sale at 50% off for the first month.
Watch from anywhere: with ExpressVPN.

Right now, in the West, all eyes look to the Warriors vs Mavericks live stream to see if Dallas can win one at home, and if Doncic's teammates can help salvage things.

In the game 3 Heat vs Celtics live stream, we'll see if Miami can get anyone who isn't named Jimmy Butler to stand up.

The Celtics bounced the reigning NBA Champion Bucks out of the playoffs prior to this matchup with the Heat, with Jayson Tatum the star turn. Miami, meanwhile, earned the number one seed in the East with a regular season record of 53-29 and swept the Hawks and Sixers out of the Playoffs. 

It all gets underway later today with the first Celtics vs Heat live stream, so here's everything you need to know to watch the NBA playoffs online:

How to watch NBA playoffs live streams from anywhere on Earth with a VPN

Having trouble actually getting ESPN or TNT? Even if you can't watch the NBA playoffs live streams on cable, you're not out of luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear to be surfing the web from your home town (or somewhere that blackouts won't hit), and access the same streaming services you already paid for. 

Not sure which VPN is right for you? We've tested many different services and our pick for the best VPN overall is ExpressVPN. It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.

We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN second to none. During our tests, we saw fast connection times, and we're impressed by the service's ability to access more than 3,000 services spread out across 160 locations in 94 countries. 

NBA playoffs live streams in the U.S.

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The NBA playoffs live streams are going to be on ABC, ESPN, TNT, ESPN3 and NBA TV. The full Conference Finals schedule can be found below.

If you've already cut the cord and don't have a cable package? With the right pick from our best cable TV alternatives, you'll be able to watch all of these games. But for as much as we like FuboTV, it fails here without TNT, a must have for NBA fanatics.

Instead, you should get Sling TV, one of the best streaming services. ESPN and TNT are both included in the Sling Orange package, which costs $35, which is pretty low for live TV services (and the lowest rate for one with ESPN). Sling is a perfect place to watch all of the NBA playoffs, as ABC games will simulcast on ESPN3. Sling Orange gets you TNT, ESPN, ESPN3, and its Sports Extra pack gets you NBA TV.

You could also pull down ABC with one of the best TV antennas.

Sling TV: You can get ESPN and TNT in the Sling Orange package. The 30-plus channels in the lineup include AMC, CNN, Food Network, AMC, Comedy Central, HGTV and many more. And you can save 50% on your first month!

NBA playoffs — Conference Finals schedule

All times below are in ET.

* = If necessary

Eastern Conference:

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat

  • Game 1: Miami 118, Boston 107
  • Game 2: Boston 127, Miami 102
  • Game 3: May 21 at 8.30 p.m. (ABC)  
  • Game 4: May 23 at 8.30 p.m. (ABC)
  • Game 5*: May 25 at 8.30 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Game 6*: May 27 at 8.30 p.m. (ESPN)
  • Game 7*: May 29 at 8.30 p.m. (ESPN)

Western Conference:

Dallas Mavericks vs Golden State Warriors

  • Game 1: Golden State 112, Dallas 87
  • Game 2: Golden State 126, Dallas 117
  • Game 3: May 22 at 9 p.m. (TNT)  
  • Game 4: May 24 at 9 p.m. (TNT)
  • Game 5*: May 26 at 9 p.m. (TNT)
  • Game 6*: May 28 at 9 p.m. (TNT)
  • Game 7*: May 30 at 8 p.m. (TNT)

NBA playoff live streams in the UK

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NBA fans in the U.K. need look no further than Sky Sports for all their Playoff needs. Sky will be showing all games on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Arena, though the timings aren't great for U.K. fans, with games typically starting at 1.30 a.m. BST.

If you already have a Sky subscription that doesn't include Sports, you'll need to pay £22/month to add those channels. You'll also gain access to coverage in 4K and HDR, so long as you also have an HDR-ready Sky Q box and HLG-compatible TV.

You could also consider the Sky NBA League Pass, which offers every NBA game for just £14.99/month, plus loads of extra features including archived games on demand — helpful if you want to watch the next day — condensed replays and more. 

If you don't want to shell out for a full Sky sub, you could also consider its Now Sports streaming service. This gives you 24-hour access for £9.99 or month-long access for £33.99 but Sky is currently offering a great deal here: you can sign up for six months of access for just £25/month right now. Now Sports is available on virtually every streaming device out there and is a great option if you don't already have Sky. 

Not in the U.K. right now? You may need a little help from a service such as ExpressVPN.

NBA playoffs live streams in Canada

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Hoops fans in Canada can catch the 2022 NBA Playoffs live streams on TSN or on the Sportsnet Now streaming service, SN Now

NBA playoffs live streams in Australia

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Aussies can watch the 2022 Playoff live streams on Kayo Sports, which has every one of the NBA Conference playoff games this year. But beware the time difference: you'll need to go by the above lists and add 14 hours to convert ET to AEST.

Kayo offers a 14-day free trial for both its Basic and Premium plans, more than enough time to watch the playoffs. The Basic package costs $25 per month thereafter. 

The $35 per month Premium Kayo plan gives you all the same things as the normal plan, but it offers three simultaneous streams. The Basic plan gives you two streams at the same time. 

Not in Australia but usually a Kayo subscriber? You may need a little help from a service such as ExpressVPN.

Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.