The 2004 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 2003–04 National Basketball Association season.
This Finals was contested between the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Convention and the Eastern Conference’s Detroit Pistons; the Lakers held home court advantage. The show was played under a best-of-seven arrangement.
Although the Lakers, headed by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, were believed the favorites that were heavy, the Pistons conveniently won the series in five matches. This win marked the Pistons’ fifth triumph complete as a franchise in addition to its first title as the 1990-1991 NBA period; nearly fifteen years. The show featured the perceived underdog Pistons, controlling a Lakers team composed of four Hall of Famers.
Pistons’ owner William Davidson became the first owner in American sports history to win two championships in 1 calendar year; eight days earlier, the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League had won the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games over the Calgary Flames.
The Lakers had won three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002, but lost to the eventual champions, the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals in 2003 to end their streak at three. The Spurs beat the Lakers in 6 games.
With initially varying consequences, major changes were made by the Lakers, in the 2003 offseason. Needing to find a point guard and a power forwards to shield against Tim Duncan and the Spurs, the Lakers signed veteran stars Gary Payton and Karl Malone for well below market value; they also expected to give both veterans their first championship ring. The Lakers were considered the favorites to win the NBA title.
Throughout the regular season, after starting the season 18–3, the Lakers were afflicted by numerous injuries and stumbled into some 56–26 record to complete the season with the next seed in the Western Conference.
The Lakers breezed past their first-round competition, the Houston Rockets, headlining a matchup between Shaquille O’Neal and a young Yao Ming, defeating the squad 4-1 but then lost the first two games in their series against the Spurs prior to a dramatic comeback that saw them triumph 4–two.  Subsequently , they faced the Minnesota Timberwolves and league MVP Kevin Garnett. The Lakers won the series 4–two to advance to the Finals. 
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