How to Live Stream NBA Games Online from Anywhere in 2023

For die-hard NBA fans, being able to watch live games is essential. While going to games in person is a great experience, most fans rely on TV and online streaming to follow their favorite teams throughout the season.

With the rise of cord-cutting and streaming services, more and more fans are looking for ways to live stream NBA games online. However, blackout restrictions, regional sports networks, and international geo-blocking can make it frustrating to catch every game.

Fortunately, there are now several good options for streaming live NBA action no matter where you are. Whether you want to use the NBA‘s official streaming service, a live TV streaming platform, or a VPN, this guide will break down everything you need to know to never miss a game.

Method 1: Stream NBA Games with NBA League Pass

The most direct way to live stream NBA games is with the league‘s own streaming service, NBA League Pass. This is the only place to watch every NBA game live (subject to blackout restrictions).

NBA League Pass has several subscription options:

  • Team Pass – Stream live games for 1 team (all out-of-market games)
  • League Pass – Stream live games for all teams (all out-of-market games)
  • League Pass Premium – Includes extra features like in-arena streams during commercial breaks

Subscribing to and watching NBA League Pass is simple:

  1. Go to the NBA League Pass website and select your preferred subscription
  2. Create an account or log in with your account
  3. Complete your payment and billing information
  4. Log in to your account and browse available live and upcoming games
  5. Click a game to start watching the live stream

NBA League Pass streams can be watched on any standard web browser. There are also apps available for iOS and Android mobile devices, streaming devices like Roku and Apple TV, Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles, and smart TVs.

One major downside is that NBA League Pass is subject to local blackout restrictions. This means that games involving your local team(s) will not be available to stream live in your area. These games are blacked out to protect the contracts of regional sports networks.

The only way to get around local blackouts on League Pass is to use a VPN service and make it appear as if you are watching from outside your local area (more on this later). Nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, and TNT are not available to watch live on League Pass either.

Method 2: Stream NBA Games on Live TV Streaming Services

If you want to replicate a cable subscription and get live streams of national NBA broadcasts, regional sports networks, and other sports and entertainment channels, a live TV streaming service is the way to go. These are also known as "skinny bundles" since they provide access to live TV channels without a cable contract.

The best live TV streaming services for NBA coverage are:

  1. Sling TV – Offers ESPN and TNT for national NBA broadcasts. NBC Sports and Fox Sports regional networks available in select areas for local team coverage. Plans from $40/month.

  2. YouTube TV – Includes ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV for national games. NBC Sports and Fox Sports available in many areas. $65/month.

  3. DirecTV Stream – Provides ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV nationally. Good selection of regional sports networks. Plans from $75/month.

  4. Hulu + Live TV – Includes ESPN, ABC, and TNT for nationally televised games. Available regional sports networks vary. $70/month.

To start watching NBA games on one of these live TV streaming platforms:

  1. Go to the website of your preferred service and select a plan that includes the NBA channels you want
  2. Create an account and enter your payment information
  3. Download the service‘s app on your preferred device (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, gaming console, mobile, etc.)
  4. Log in to the app with your account
  5. Browse the guide or search for NBA games and select a game to start watching the live stream

The benefits of live TV streaming services are that you get live access to the major networks that show nationally televised NBA games without needing a cable subscription. You can also record games to watch later with cloud DVR storage.

The regional sports networks offered by these services, though, vary in availability and are still subject to blackouts. So there may be some local team games you can‘t watch live. Using a VPN can potentially bypass blackouts.

Method 3: Use a VPN to Avoid NBA Blackouts and Stream from Anywhere

For fans looking to get around local blackouts on NBA League Pass or live TV streaming services, using a VPN (virtual private network) service is a popular solution. A VPN allows you to mask your real location and make it appear as if you are accessing the streaming service from a different area where the game you want to watch is not blacked out.

Here‘s how to use a VPN to live stream NBA games from anywhere:

  1. Sign up for a reliable VPN service. We recommend ExpressVPN or NordVPN for streaming.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your streaming device.
  3. Open the VPN app and connect to a server located outside the blackout area. For example, if a Warriors game is blacked out in the Bay Area, connect to a VPN server in Los Angeles or another market.
  4. Log in to your NBA League Pass or live TV streaming account.
  5. Select the blacked-out game you want to watch and start streaming. It should now be available since your location is masked.

Using a VPN also allows you to live stream NBA games even while traveling internationally. League Pass is available worldwide but the available games vary based on location. With a VPN, you can get the same access you would back home.

A quality VPN for streaming will cost around $5-12/month. Free VPNs are not recommended as they typically have slow speeds, data limits, and poor security. Connection speeds and server locations are important factors to consider when choosing a VPN for streaming NBA games.

It‘s important to note that using a VPN to bypass blackouts is against the terms of service for NBA League Pass and most live TV streaming platforms. There is a small risk of your account being suspended or canceled if you are caught using a VPN. However, the VPN encrypts your connection and hides your activity, making it very difficult for a streaming service to detect VPN usage.

Other Ways to Live Stream NBA Games

In addition to the methods outlined above, there are a few other ways to catch live NBA streams:

  • NBA TV – This is a standalone TV channel dedicated to 24/7 NBA coverage. It is included in some of the live TV streaming services mentioned above. You can also subscribe directly to the NBA TV streaming service for $7/month or $60/year. However, only a few live games per week are shown on NBA TV.

  • Team websites/apps – Some NBA teams offer live streaming of their local broadcasts through their official website or mobile app. These streams are typically only available to viewers within the team‘s local market and may require authentication with a participating cable provider.

  • Unofficial free streaming sites – There are a number of websites that provide free live streams of NBA games and other sports. However, the legality and safety of these sites is highly questionable. Many are hosted overseas and do not have licensing agreements with the NBA. The streams are often low-quality with lots of buffering. You also risk exposing your device to malware by using these sketchy sites. We do not recommend or condone the use of these unofficial streams.

Tips for Streaming NBA Games

No matter which streaming method you choose, there are a few tips to keep in mind for the best possible live NBA viewing experience:

  • Use a wired Ethernet connection instead of WiFi for faster and more stable speeds
  • For the best video quality, aim to have at least 8 Mbps of download bandwidth
  • If you experience buffering or lag during a game, try lowering the video quality
  • Take advantage of DVR features to record games and watch them later on your own time
  • To save money, consider sharing a League Pass or live TV streaming account with family/friends
  • Check the NBA schedule ahead of time to make sure you catch your favorite team‘s games

Final Thoughts

With so many live streaming options now available, it‘s easier than ever for NBA fans to follow their favorite teams and players online. An NBA League Pass subscription will give you access to the most live games. But if you also want national telecasts, regional sports networks, and other live TV channels, pairing League Pass with a live TV streaming service is a great combo.

Just be aware that local blackouts may still block you from watching live broadcasts of your local team(s). In that case, using a VPN is the most reliable way to get around the blackouts and stream every NBA game no matter where you are.

Happy NBA streaming!


Can I watch NBA games for free?
While there are some unofficial sites that stream NBA games for free, these are not legal or safe. For reliable, high-quality streams, you will need to pay for an NBA League Pass subscription and/or a live TV streaming service.

Why are some NBA games blacked out?
Local market games are blacked out on NBA League Pass and national TV broadcasts to protect the exclusive rights of regional sports networks. These blackouts are based on your location and are determined by the NBA.

Can I watch NBA games on my phone?
Yes, NBA League Pass and all the major live TV streaming services offer mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can live stream games directly on your phone or tablet.

What internet speed do I need for streaming NBA games?
An internet connection with at least 8 Mbps download bandwidth is recommended for high-definition NBA live streams. For lower resolution, you may be able to get by with 5 Mbps. But faster is always better for smoother streams with less buffering.

Do I need a cable subscription to watch NBA games?
No, there are several ways to watch live NBA games without a traditional cable TV package. NBA League Pass and standalone live TV streaming services provide access to national and regional NBA broadcasts over the internet.

Is it legal to use a VPN to stream NBA games?
While using a VPN itself is not illegal, it does go against the terms of service for NBA League Pass and most streaming platforms. If you are caught using a VPN to bypass blackouts, you risk having your account suspended or canceled. Use a VPN at your own risk.