|Eastern Finals:||Pistons defeated Pacers, 4–2|
|Western Finals:||Lakers defeated Timberwolves, 4–2|
This season's NBA Finals was contested between the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers and the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons. The Lakers held home-court advantage, and the series was played under a best-of-seven format. It was the third meeting between the two teams in the NBA Finals, having last met in 1989, when the Pistons swept the Lakers in four games.
Although the Lakers, headed by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, were considered the heavy favorites, the Pistons handily won the series in five games. This win marked the Pistons' fifth win overall as a franchise (including two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945 as the Fort Wayne Pistons) as well as its first NBA title since two 1989-90 NBA championship seasons; nearly fifteen years. The series ultimately featured the perceived underdog Pistons, dominating a Lakers team composed of four future Hall of Famers: Bryant, O'Neal, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton.
Pistons' owner William Davidson became the first owner in American sports history to win two championships in one calendar year; eight days earlier, the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Tampa Bay Lightning had defeated the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games.
2004 NBA Playoffs
|Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference Champion)||Detroit Pistons (Eastern Conference Champion)|
1st Pacific, 2nd West, 4th Overall
|Regular season||54–28 (.659)
2nd Central, 3rd East, 6th Overall
|Defeated the (7) 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, 4–2||Conference Finals||Defeated the (1) Indiana Pacers, 4–2|
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Away Team|
|Game 1||June 6||Los Angeles||75–87||Detroit|
|Game 2||June 8||Los Angeles||99–91 (OT)||Detroit|
|Game 3||June 10||Detroit||88–68||Los Angeles|
|Game 4||June 13||Detroit||88–80||Los Angeles|
|Game 5||June 15||Detroit||100–87||Los Angeles|