NEW YORK (AP) -The NBA broke its attendance record for the third straight year, drawing more than 21.8 million fans during the 2006-07 season.
The league also surpassed its previous best by averaging 17,757 fans. The previous best marks were set last season, when the average of 17,558 fans led to a total of just under 21.6 million.
The top three teams in average attendance are all from the Central Division: Chicago (22,253); Detroit (22,076), and Cleveland (20,436).
Orlando, Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston all had attendance increases between 7 and 10 percent. The league had 600 sellouts, up from 471 last season and the most in over a decade.
``We are grateful for our fans' continued support,'' commissioner David Stern said. ``The third straight year of record attendance reflects the NBA's ever-increasing popularity, as the world's greatest athletes continue to display the passion and dedication they bring to this great game.''
The NBA last had three straight years of attendance increase during a four-year span from 1992-96.
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