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

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors
(Image credit: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)

The end may be nigh: the 2022 NBA playoffs live streams are in the finals, where Golden State just went up 3-2. And so we look to Thursday night's game 6 Warriors vs Celtics live stream to see if Boston can force a game 7.

NBA playoffs channels

Where to watch in the U.S.: NBA Finals air on ABC and ESPN3. ESPN3 is available on Sling TV (opens in new tab), currently on sale at 50% off for the first month (opens in new tab).
Watch from anywhere: with ExpressVPN (opens in new tab).

In the regular season, Boston and Golden State split two games, 1-1. Unfortunately for Boston, the team they face this week aren't the same they defeated. Back in the Celtics' March 16 win over the Warriors, they defeated a team that was without Steph Curry, after Marcus Smart rolled on his left foot. 

To get here, Golden State had a much simpler path, taking a five-game series against the Mavericks where Luka Doncic's teammates step up to help him get one win and avoid a sweep, but Steph Curry & co. were too good to not get out.

The Celtics barely survived a seven-game series against the Heat after bounced the reigning NBA Champion Bucks out of the playoffs prior to this matchup with the Heat, with Jayson Tatum the star turn. 

The NBA Finals' sixth game is slated for Thursday (June 16), right after the Stanley Cup Finals live streams begin) 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 (opens in new tab). It offers superb speeds and excellent customer service. But you've got other VPN options as well. Here are our top picks.

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We think speed, security and simplicity make ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) 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 for the Finals are just on ABC and ESPN3. The full 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 was frustrating for the earlier playoffs games without TNT. It does have ABC, though.

Instead, you should get Sling TV, one of the best streaming services. ESPN3 is 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.

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Sling TV (opens in new tab): 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!

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ABC is on Fubo.TV (opens in new tab), which specializes in international sports. It has dozens of sports channels, including TUDN. 

NBA playoffs — Finals schedule

All times below are in ET.

* = If necessary

  • Game 1: Boston 120, Golden State 108
  • Game 2: Golden State 107, Boston 88
  • Game 3: Boston 116, Golden State 100
  • Game 4: Golden State 107, Boston 97
  • Game 5: Golden State 104, Boston 94
  • Game 6: Thursday (June 16): Golden State vs. Boston, 9 p.m. on ABC/ESPN3
  • *Game 7: Sunday (June 19): Boston vs. Golden State, 8 p.m. on ABC/ESPN3

NBA playoff live streams in the UK

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NBA fans in the U.K. need look no further than Sky Sports (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab).

NBA playoffs live streams in Canada

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Hoops fans in Canada can catch the 2022 NBA Playoffs live streams on TSN (opens in new tab) and on the Sportsnet Now streaming service, SN Now (opens in new tab)

  • Game 1: Boston 120, Golden State 108
  • Game 2: Golden State 107, Boston 88
  • Game 3: Boston 116, Golden State 100
  • Game 4: Golden State 107, Boston 97
  • Game 5: Golden State 104, Boston 94
  • Game 6: Thursday (June 16): Golden State vs. Boston, 9 p.m. on SportsNet
  • *Game 7: Sunday (June 19): Boston vs. Golden State, 8 p.m. on TBA channel

NBA playoffs live streams in Australia

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Aussies can watch the 2022 Playoff live streams on Kayo Sports (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab).

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

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.