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The 2004 NBA FINALS was the championship round of the 2003–04 National Basketball Association season . The Finals were between the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
of the Western Conference and the Detroit
Detroit
Pistons of the Eastern Conference ; the Lakers held home court advantage . The series was played under a best-of-seven format , so the first team to collect four game victories would win the series.

Although the Lakers were the heavy favorite, the Pistons won the series four games to one to win their first title since 1990 and their fifth overall (three NBA Championships, two NBL Championships). Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
was named as the NBA Finals MVP . The series was noted for the perceived underdog, the Pistons, dominating a Lakers team that had four future Hall of Famers.

Pistons owner William Davidson became the first owner in sports history to win two championships in one year. Eight days earlier, the other team that Davidson owned, the Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning
of the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
had won the Stanley Cup in seven games over the Calgary Flames .

CONTENTS

* 1 Background

* 1.1 Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
* 1.2 Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
* 1.3 Road to the Finals * 1.4 Regular season series

* 2 Team rosters

* 2.1 Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
* 2.2 Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers

* 3 Series summary

* 3.1 Features

* 4 Game Summaries

* 4.1 Game 1 * 4.2 Game 2 * 4.3 Game 3 * 4.4 Game 4 * 4.5 Game 5

* 5 Player statistics * 6 Broadcast notes * 7 Aftermath * 8 References * 9 External links

BACKGROUND

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

The Lakers had won consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002 , but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference playoffs in 2003 to end their streak at three.

In the 2003 offseason , the Lakers made major changes, with initially varying results. Needing to find a point guard and a power forward to defend against Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan
and the Spurs, the Lakers signed veteran stars Gary Payton
Gary Payton
and Karl Malone
Karl Malone
for well below market value; they also hoped to give both veterans their first championship ring. The Lakers were afterwards considered the favorites to win the NBA title.

During the regular season, after starting the season 18–3, the Lakers were afflicted by numerous injuries and stumbled to a 56–26 record to finish the season with the second seed in the Western Conference.

The Lakers breezed past their first-round opponent, the Houston Rockets , headlining a matchup between Shaquille O\'Neal and a young Yao Ming
Yao Ming
, defeating the squad 4-1 but then lost the first two games in their series against the Spurs before a dramatic comeback that saw them win 4–2. Then, they faced the Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
and league MVP Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett
. The Lakers won the series 4–2 to advance to the Finals.

DETROIT PISTONS

The Pistons won two back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990 , but with retirements and departures of several stars, they faded from relevance. The team hired former star Joe Dumars as general manager of the team in 2000, and he began stockpiling draft picks and trading players. He landed defensive stalwart Ben Wallace and guard Richard Hamilton by trading established stars in controversial trades, signed Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
(considered an underachiever), and drafted Tayshaun Prince with the 23rd pick in the 2002 Draft . He was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2003 for returning the Pistons to prominence.

The Pistons made another major -- perhaps, riskier -- coaching change, firing head coach Rick Carlisle
Rick Carlisle
, who had led the Pistons to consecutive Central Division titles, 100 regular season wins, and had received the NBA Coach of the Year Award in 2002 . In his place, Dumars hired legendary coach Larry Brown , who had most recently led the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
to the NBA Finals in 2001 .

In a three-team trade involving the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
and Atlanta Hawks at the trade deadline, Dumars traded Chucky Atkins , Lindsey Hunter
Lindsey Hunter
, Bobby Sura , Željko Rebrača and other considerations for guard Mike James and forward Rasheed Wallace , who proved to be the final pieces of the championship team. Lindsey Hunter
Lindsey Hunter
would rejoin the Pistons a week later after being waived by the Celtics, and would be partnered with Mike James to create a formidable guard tandem off the bench dubbed "The Pit Bulls." . The Pistons, who were already a good defensive team, became a defensive force to be reckoned with. They became the first team in NBA history to hold five consecutive opponents under 70 points, and finished the season with a 54–28 record and the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons easily overcame the Milwaukee Bucks 4-1, but struggled against the defending conference champion New Jersey Nets . After splitting the first four games of the series, the Nets won Game 5 in Detroit
Detroit
in triple overtime to take a 3-2 series lead back to New Jersey. After falling behind by 12 early in Game 6, the Pistons stormed back in the second quarter and held on for an 81-75 to force a seventh game. The Pistons never trailed after the midway point of the first quarter and cruised to a 90-69 win to take the series.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, a match up with the 61-win, Carlisle-led Pacers, the Pistons faltered in the final 90 seconds of Game 1, falling 78-74. Prior to Game 2, Rasheed Wallace famously guaranteed a Detroit
Detroit
victory. With Detroit
Detroit
clinging to a 69-67 lead with under 30 seconds to play, after Billups recovered the basketball after a Jermaine O'Neal blocked shot of Rasheed Wallace, Jamaal Tinsley stripped Billups and found Reggie Miller open down the court for what appeared to be the tying lay-up. As Miller approached the basket, Tayshaun Prince ran in from the left wing and blocked Miller's lay-up as it left his fingertips. Richard Hamilton recovered the loose ball before it went out of bounds and was fouled by Tinsley. Hamilton would make three free throws in the game's final 15 seconds to seal the victory and tie the series. The Pistons rode the momentum of Game 2 (including dominant wins in Games 3 and 5) to a 4-2 series victory, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 14 years.

ROAD TO THE FINALS

Main article: 2004 NBA Playoffs
2004 NBA Playoffs

LOS ANGELES LAKERS (WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION) DETROIT PISTONS (EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPION)

# WESTERN CONFERENCE

* v * t * e

TEAM W L PCT GB

1 C- Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
58 24 .707 –

2 Y- Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
56 26 .683 2

3 X- San Antonio Spurs 57 25 .695 1

4 X- Sacramento Kings 55 27 .671 3

5 X- Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks
52 30 .634 6

6 X- Memphis Grizzlies 50 32 .610 8

7 X- Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
45 37 .549 13

8 X- Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets
43 39 .524 15

9 Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
42 40 .512 16

10 Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers
41 41 .500 17

11 Seattle SuperSonics
Seattle SuperSonics
37 45 .451 21

12 Golden State Warriors 37 45 .451 21

13 Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns
29 53 .354 29

14 Los Angeles Clippers 28 54 .341 30

2nd seed in the West, 4th best league record REGULAR SEASON

# EASTERN CONFERENCE

* v * t * e

TEAM W L PCT GB

1 Z- Indiana Pacers 61 21 .744 –

2 Y- New Jersey Nets 47 35 .573 14

3 X- Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
54 28 .659 7

4 X- Miami Heat
Miami Heat
42 40 .512 19

5 X-New Orleans Hornets 41 41 .500 20

6 X- Milwaukee Bucks 41 41 .500 20

7 X-New York Knicks 39 43 .476 22

8 X- Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
36 46 .439 25

9 Cleveland Cavaliers 35 47 .427 26

10 Toronto Raptors 33 49 .402 28

10 Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
33 49 .402 28

12 Atlanta Hawks 28 54 .341 33

13 Washington Wizards 25 57 .305 36

14 Chicago Bulls 23 59 .280 37

15 Orlando Magic 21 61 .256 39

3rd seed in the East, 6th best league record

Defeated the (7) Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets
, 4–1 FIRST ROUND Defeated the (6) Milwaukee Bucks , 4–1

Defeated the (3) San Antonio Spurs , 4–2 CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS Defeated the (2) New Jersey Nets , 4–3

Defeated the (1) Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
, 4–2 CONFERENCE FINALS Defeated the (1) Indiana Pacers , 4–2

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

The teams split the two meetings, each won by the home team:

November 14, 2003

Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
89, LOS ANGELES LAKERS 94

Staples Center
Staples Center
, Los Angeles, California
California

November 18, 2003

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
96, DETROIT PISTONS 106

The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
, Auburn Hills, Michigan
Auburn Hills, Michigan

TEAM ROSTERS

DETROIT PISTONS

2004 DETROIT PISTONS FINALS ROSTER

PLAYERS COACHES

POS. # NAME HT. WT. DOB FROM

1.5 !G 1 Billups, Chauncey 7000190500000000000♠6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 202 lb (92 kg) 1976–09–25 Colorado

6.0 !C 41 Campbell, Elden 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 279 lb (127 kg) 1968–07–23 Clemson

4.0 !F 24 Fowlkes, Tremaine 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 212 lb (96 kg) 1976–04–11 Fresno State

4.0 !F 8 Ham, Darvin 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 240 lb (109 kg) 1973–07–23 Texas Tech

2.5 !G/F 32 Hamilton, Richard 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 193 lb (88 kg) 1978–02–14 Connecticut

1.5 !G 10 Hunter, Lindsey 7000187960000000000♠6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1970–12–03 Jackson State

1.5 !G 7 James, Mike 7000187960000000000♠6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1975–06–23 Duquesne

6.0 !C 31 Miličić, Darko 7000213360000000000♠7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 275 lb (125 kg) 1985–06–20 Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro

5.5 !F/C 13 Okur, Mehmet 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 290 lb (132 kg) 1979–05–26 Turkey
Turkey

4.0 !F 22 Prince, Tayshaun 7000205740000000000♠6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1980–02–28 Kentucky

5.5 !F/C 3 Wallace, Ben 7000205740000000000♠6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1974–09–10 Virginia Union

5.5 !F/C 30 Wallace, Rasheed 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1974–09–17 North Carolina

4.0 !F 34 Williamson, Corliss 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1973–12–04 Arkansas

Head coach

* Larry Brown

Assistant coach(es)

* Herb Brown * Dave Hanners * Igor Kokoškov * John Kuester * Mike Woodson
Mike Woodson

------------------------- Legend

* (C) Team captain * (DP) Unsigned draft pick * (FA) Free agent * (S) Suspended * Injured

-------------------------

Roster • Transactions Last transaction: 2004–02–26

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

2004 LOS ANGELES LAKERS FINALS ROSTER

PLAYERS COACHES

POS. # NAME HT. WT. DOB FROM

1.5 !G 8 Bryant, Kobe 7000198120000000000♠6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1978–08–23 Lower Merion HS (PA)

4.0 !F 7 Cook, Brian 7000205740000000000♠6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 234 lb (106 kg) 1980–12–04 Illinois

1.5 !G 2 Fisher, Derek 7000185420000000000♠6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1974–08–09 Arkansas-Little Rock

4.0 !F 17 Fox, Rick 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1969–07–24 North Carolina

4.0 !F 3 George, Devean 7000203200000000000♠6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1977–08–29 Augsburg

5.5 !F/C 54 Grant, Horace 7000208279999999999♠6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1965–07–04 Clemson

4.0 !F 11 Malone, Karl 7000205740000000000♠6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 250 lb (113 kg) 1963–07–24 Louisiana Tech

4.0 !F 14 Medvedenko, Slava 7000208279999999999♠6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 253 lb (115 kg) 1979–04–04 Ukraine
Ukraine

6.0 !C 34 O\'Neal, Shaquille 7000215899999999999♠7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) 325 lb (147 kg) 1972–03–06 LSU

1.5 !G 20 Payton, Gary 7000193040000000000♠6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1968–07–23 Oregon State

1.5 !G 21 Rush, Kareem 7000195580000000000♠6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1980–10–30 Missouri

4.0 !F 9 Russell, Bryon 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 225 lb (102 kg) 1970–12–31 Long Beach State

6.0 !C 31 Sampson, Jamal 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1983–05–15 UC Berkeley

4.0 !F 4 Walton, Luke 7000203200000000000♠6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1980–03–28 Arizona

Head coach

* Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson

Assistant coach(es)

* Jim Cleamons * Frank Hamblen * Kurt Rambis * Tex Winter
Tex Winter

------------------------- Legend

* (C) Team captain * (DP) Unsigned draft pick * (FA) Free agent * (S) Suspended * Injured

-------------------------

Roster • Transactions Last transaction: 2004–02–19

SERIES SUMMARY

GAME DATE HOME TEAM RESULT ROAD TEAM

Game 1 Sunday, June 6 Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Lakers 75–87 (1–0) DETROIT PISTONS

Game 2 Tuesday, June 8 LOS ANGELES LAKERS 99–91 (OT) (1–1) Detroit
Detroit
Pistons

Game 3 Thursday, June 10 DETROIT PISTONS 88–68 (2–1) Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Lakers

Game 4 Sunday, June 13 DETROIT PISTONS 88–80 (3–1) Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Lakers

Game 5 Tuesday, June 15 DETROIT PISTONS 100–87 (4–1) Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Lakers

Note: teams in BOLD won that game.

The Finals were played using a 2–3–2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage . This is only used in the Finals; all other playoff games are held in a 2–2–1–1–1 format (the team with home court advantage starts).

The Pistons became the fourth team to sweep the middle three games since the NBA started using the 2-3-2 format in 1985. But they became the first to do so at home; the previous three times this had occurred it was done by road teams (1990 Pistons , 1991 Chicago Bulls , 2001 Lakers ). With this, Detroit
Detroit
became the only team to have both swept the middle three games at home and on the road.

This was the first Finals series to be played on the current Sunday–Tuesday–Thursday rotation since 1990 , the last year CBS had the NBA's national television contract. NBA on NBC
NBA on NBC
switched to a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday rotation in 1991 , which was used through 2003 , save for Monday games in 1999 and 2000 . It is also the last series to have Game 1 be played on a Sunday. From 2005 to 2010, the championship series started on either the first or second Thursday in June.

FEATURES

The NBA heavily publicized the series as it has done with all other NBA Finals series. There was a sentiment among fans that the Pistons were the clear underdogs, and many described the series as a David vs. Goliath match-up. The Lakers had a lineup of Stars such as Karl Malone , Gary Payton
Gary Payton
, Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
, and Shaquille O\'Neal —their offensive capability was expected to overpower Detroit's defensive-based game plan.

Payton and Malone also added to the publicity of the Finals. Perennial All-Stars who had both previously reached the Finals, Payton had led the Seattle SuperSonics
Seattle SuperSonics
there in 1996 , while Malone had led the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz
there in 1997 and 1998 . However, the Chicago Bulls denied them championship rings a total of three times. By the time of Jordan's second retirement in 1998, the two veterans were aged and failed to lead their teams deep into the playoffs. It would be Malone's final chance to win a championship, as he would retire before the subsequent season.

GAME SUMMARIES

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time ( UTC−4
UTC−4
)

GAME 1

ABC

June 6 9:00 pm ET

Recap at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 21, 2010)

DETROIT PISTONS 87, Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
75

SCORING BY QUARTER: 22–19, 18–22, 24–17, 23–17

PTS: Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
22 REBS: B. Wallace , R. Wallace 8 each ASTS: Richard Hamilton 5 PTS: Shaquille O\'Neal 34 REBS: Malone , O\'Neal 11 each ASTS: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
4

DETROIT LEAD SERIES, 1–0

Staples Center
Staples Center
, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, California
California
REFEREES:

* No. 17 Joe Crawford * No. 26 Bob Delaney * No. 7 Bernie Fryer

Considered to be a stunning upset by most of the NBA world, the Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
managed to defeat the Lakers with imposing defense. Defensively clamping down on everyone but Bryant and O'Neal, the Pistons managed to hold everyone else to a total of 16 points.

The Pistons trailed the Lakers 41–40 at halftime, but by the fourth quarter the Pistons had opened up a 13-point lead; they would not trail for the rest of the game.

GAME 2

ABC

June 8 9:00 pm ET

Recap at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 21, 2010)

Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
91, LOS ANGELES LAKERS 99 (OT)

SCORING BY QUARTER: 16–18, 20–26, 30–24, 23–21, OVERTIME: 2–10

PTS: Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
27 REBS: Ben Wallace 14 ASTS: Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
9 PTS: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
33 REBS: Karl Malone
Karl Malone
9 ASTS: Luke Walton 8

SERIES TIED, 1–1

Staples Center
Staples Center
, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
, California
California
ATTENDANCE: 18,997 REFEREES:

* No. 15 Bennett Salvatore * No. 14 Joe DeRosa * No. 29 Steve Javie

The second game wasn't close throughout the first half, but in the third quarter the Pistons scored 30 points, cutting the deficit 68–66. Detroit
Detroit
led by three points with 10.9 seconds remaining in the final period. Coach Brown wanted to foul a Lakers player where they could get only 2 points rather than 3. However, the Pistons' veterans only wanted to intentionally foul O'Neal. Kobe Bryant's 3-point shot with 2.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter would force overtime, where the Pistons would make only one two-point field goal (compared to Los Angeles
Los Angeles
scoring ten points). Afterwards, on the team bus back to the airport, Billups told the Pistons' players and coaches, "We're not coming back to L.A."

GAME 3

ABC

June 10 9:00 pm ET

Recap at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 21, 2010)

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
68, DETROIT PISTONS 88

SCORING BY QUARTER: 16–24, 16–15, 19–24, 17–25

PTS: Shaquille O\'Neal 14 REBS: Medvedenko , O\'Neal 8 each ASTS: Gary Payton
Gary Payton
7 PTS: Richard Hamilton 31 REBS: Ben Wallace 11 ASTS: Billups , Hamilton , B. Wallace 3 each

DETROIT LEAD SERIES, 2–1

The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
, Auburn Hills , Michigan
Michigan
REFEREES:

* No. 10 Ron Garretson * No. 43 Dan Crawford * No. 24 Mike Callahan

The Pistons beat Los Angeles
Los Angeles
by 20 in their first NBA Finals appearance together at The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
since 1989 to take a 2–1 lead in the series. The 68 points scored by the Lakers set a franchise record for the lowest number of points scored in a playoff game.

GAME 4

ABC

June 13 9:00 pm ET

Recap at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 21, 2010)

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
80, DETROIT PISTONS 88

SCORING BY QUARTER: 22–21, 17–20, 17–15, 24–32

PTS: Shaquille O\'Neal 36 REBS: Shaquille O\'Neal 20 ASTS: Rick Fox
Rick Fox
6 PTS: Rasheed Wallace 26 REBS: B. Wallace , R. Wallace 13 each ASTS: Richard Hamilton 6

DETROIT LEAD SERIES, 3–1

The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
, Auburn Hills , Michigan
Michigan
REFEREES:

* No. 35 Jack Nies * No. 27 Dick Bavetta * No. 32 Eddie F. Rush

Again, the Pistons defeated the Lakers, although this time by eight, to take a 3–1 series advantage.

O'Neal scored 36 for the Lakers and Bryant scored 20 but shot 32 percent from the field.

Malone would play his last game, as a knee injury would not allow him to dress in Game Five.

GAME 5

ABC

June 15 9:00 pm ET

Recap at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived March 21, 2010)

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
87, DETROIT PISTONS 100

SCORING BY QUARTER: 24–25, 21–30, 14–27, 28–18

PTS: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
24 REBS: Shaquille O\'Neal 8 ASTS: Luke Walton 5 PTS: Richard Hamilton 21 REBS: Ben Wallace 22 ASTS: Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
6

DETROIT WINS SERIES, 4–1

The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills
, Auburn Hills , Michigan
Michigan
REFEREES:

* No. 17 Joe Crawford * No. 7 Bernie Fryer * No. 15 Bennett Salvatore

In Game 5, the Pistons won their first championship since 1990, and Larry Brown finally won a professional title. The Pistons defense had overcome the high-scoring Laker offense, winning the game by 13, winning the series 4-1, and also ending a long Laker dynasty that lasted for many years. The game saw the end of Phil Jackson's first run as the coach (he returned in the 2005-06 season ), and saw O'Neal, Payton, and Malone's last games in Laker uniforms.

PLAYER STATISTICS

LEGEND

GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game

FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage

RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game

BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game

Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons

PLAYER GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Billups, Chauncey Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups
5 5 38.4 .509 .471 .929 3.2 5.2 1.2 0.0 21.0

Campbell, Elden Elden Campbell 5 0 13.6 .375 .000 .500 2.6 1.6 1.0 0.6 3.4

Ham, Darvin Darvin Ham 4 0 2.5 1.000 .000 .000 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5

Hamilton, RichardRichard Hamilton 5 5 44.4 .402 .400 .853 5.2 4.0 0.8 0.0 21.4

Hunter, Lindsey Lindsey Hunter
Lindsey Hunter
5 0 13.0 .294 .250 1.000 1.4 0.8 0.6 0.4 3.6

James, MikeMike James 5 0 4.4 .500 .000 .000 0.8 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.8

Miličić, Darko Darko Miličić 3 0 1.7 .000 .000 .000 0.7 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0

Okur, Mehmet Mehmet Okur
Mehmet Okur
4 0 9.8 .444 1.000 .500 1.5 0.5 0.0 0.0 2.8

Prince, Tayshaun Tayshaun Prince 5 5 39.2 .389 .188 .455 6.8 2.0 1.8 0.4 10.0

Wallace, Ben Ben Wallace 5 5 40.6 .478 .000 .294 13.6 1.4 1.8 1.0 10.8

Wallace, Rasheed Rasheed Wallace 5 5 30.2 .453 .250 .778 7.8 1.4 0.4 1.6 13.0

Williamson, Corliss Corliss Williamson 5 0 10.4 .400 .000 .900 2.4 0.2 0.0 0.0 4.2

Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers

PLAYER GP GS MPG FG% 3FG% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG

Bryant, Kobe Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
5 5 46.2 .381 .174 .920 2.8 4.4 1.8 0.6 22.6

Cook, Brian Brian Cook 3 0 7.0 .167 .000 1.000 2.7 0.0 0.3 0.0 1.3

Fisher, Derek Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher
5 0 20.2 .306 .375 .571 3.0 1.8 1.0 0.0 6.4

Fox, Rick Rick Fox
Rick Fox
3 0 10.0 .571 .000 .000 1.0 2.3 0.0 0.0 2.7

George, Devean Devean George 5 5 20.8 .393 .333 0.5 2.8 0.6 1.0 0.4 5.8

Malone, Karl Karl Malone
Karl Malone
4 4 30.5 .333 .000 .667 7.3 2.3 0.3 0.3 5.0

Medvedenko, Slava Slava Medvedenko 5 1 14.4 .353 .000 .750 3.6 0.6 0.0 0.2 3.6

O'Neal, ShaquilleShaquille O\'Neal 5 5 42.6 .631 .000 .491 10.8 1.6 0.4 0.6 26.6

Payton, Gary Gary Payton
Gary Payton
5 5 33.6 .321 .200 .500 3.0 4.4 1.2 0.4 4.2

Rush, Kareem Kareem Rush
Kareem Rush
5 0 15.6 .318 .250 .000 1.0 0.4 0.2 0.0 3.6

Russell, Bryon Bryon Russell 3 0 2.7 .000 .000 .000 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Walton, Luke Luke Walton 4 0 19.3 .385 .167 1.000 3.0 4.5 1.5 0.5 3.3

BROADCAST NOTES

The games were broadcast on ABC by Al Michaels
Al Michaels
and Doc Rivers. Brent Musburger and Dr. Jack Ramsay broadcast the Finals nationally on ESPN Radio . The finals were shown on Sky Sports
Sky Sports
in the UK and Ireland. In Canada, Leafs TV and RDS (in French) simulcast ABC, and Azteca 13 broadcast the Finals in Mexico
Mexico
.

To promote the series, the NBA used The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas
' song "Let\'s Get It Started ", which it had also used throughout the 2004 NBA Playoffs .

AFTERMATH

The Pistons made the Finals again in 2005 , losing to the Spurs in a tough seven-game series. That season, the Pistons won 54 games and defeated the Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers
(5 games), Indiana Pacers (6 games) and Miami Heat
Miami Heat
(7 games) on their way back to the finals. However the Spurs, who likewise play a defensive style, would defeat them in a tough Game 7. The Pistons would continue their run of Eastern Conference superiority for 3 more years, losing in the Conference Finals each time. After a loss to the Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics
in the 2007-08 season , management would finally break up the core of the team and enter a period of dormancy.

The Lakers' collapse became apparent in the days following the Finals. Head coach Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson
abruptly resigned as head coach. Shaquille O\'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat
Miami Heat
, then Gary Payton
Gary Payton
was also traded and Karl Malone
Karl Malone
was left unsigned, then retired. The 2004-05 NBA season was a tough one for the Lakers, winning only 34 games and missed the playoffs for only the fifth time in the team's history. Jackson returned to the Lakers in the offseason; despite writing a book called The Last Season: A Team in Search of Its Soul , in which he voiced disdain for Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant
by calling him 'uncoachable', he and Bryant would bury the hatchet once the season began. Jackson and Bryant would later produce three more NBA Finals appearances and two more NBA championships in six seasons before Jackson retired at the conclusion of the 2011 NBA Playoffs , when the Lakers were swept by the eventual NBA champion, the Dallas Mavericks. Meanwhile, O'Neal, along with Payton and Dwyane Wade of the Heat, won the 2006 championship .

The Pistons' win was the 21st championship among the four professional sports teams in Detroit
Detroit
(NFL 's Lions , MLB 's Tigers and NHL 's Red Wings ). The Red Wings made it 22 upon winning the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals .

REFERENCES

* ^ A B " Detroit
Detroit
Pistons". CBS
CBS
Sports . Retrieved September 3, 2007. * ^ "Game 5 Notebook: Billups Wins MVP". NBA. June 16, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2007. * ^ A B " Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Lakers". CBS
CBS
Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ A B "Pistons Send Lakers Packing, Win Third NBA Title". NBA. Retrieved September 3, 2007. * ^ "Lakers Dethrone Defending Champions". NBA. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ "What a Rush!". NBA. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ "NBA Executive of the Year". NNBD. Retrieved September 4, 2007.

* ^ "Pistons Have Horsepower". NBA. February 19, 2004. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ "10 Lindsey Hunter
Lindsey Hunter
Detroit
Detroit
Pistons". HoopsHype. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ Dave Howell. "Bridging the Gap". Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ "Motown Back at No.1!". NBA. Retrieved September 3, 2007. * ^ "Basketball: NBA Playoffs 2007 preview". betinf.com. Retrieved September 3, 2007. * ^ A B "Utah Jazz". CBS
CBS
Sports. Retrieved September 4, 2007. * ^ "Seattle Supersonics". CBS