Aging Lakers victimized by foul play

The Pistons, a team shooting 40 percent in the playoffs, is one game away from turning the NBA world upside down.

Updated: June 14, 2004, 3:15 PM ET
By Terry Brown | NBA Insider
The Eastern Conference rules the NBA once again.

"No doubt about it," said one Eastern Conference scout. "Good defense stops good offense and there is no question that the Eastern Conference is much better than everyone thought. That defensive, beat 'em style is back and there's nothing that all the glamour and glitz teams can do."

The Detroit Pistons now lead the Los Angeles Lakers, 3-1, in the NBA Finals with the fifth game slated for Tuesday evening in Auburn Hills. In what was supposed to be another four-game sweep for a Western Conference team has turned into a flurry of rug burns and Greco-Roman deathgrips.