The Detroit Pistons beat the LA Lakers 88-80 in game four to move one victory away from their first NBA title for 14 years.
2004 NBA FINALS
6 June: Lakers 75-87 Detroit
8 June: Lakers 99-91 Detroit
10 June: Detroit 88-68 Lakers
13 June: Detroit 88-80 Lakers
15 June: Detroit v Lakers
17 June: Lakers v Detroit*
20 June: Lakers v Detroit*
* if necessary
The Pistons produced a dominant display to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and could settle the issue on home turf on Tuesday.
Shaquille O'Neal contributed 36 points and 20 rebounds to the Lakers cause but was let down by his team-mates as Kobe Bryant had an off day.
Rasheed Wallace starred with 26 points and 13 rebounds as Detroit turned a close game in their favour with 32 points in the final quarter.
"I was just making shots. Simple basketball," said Wallace, who also stayed out of the foul trouble which has plagued him in the series.
The Pistons had led 41-39 at half-time in by far the most physical game of the series so far.
"We kept them out on the perimetre and put ourselves in a position where we didn't have to foul Shaq late in the game," said Pistons coach Larry Brown.
Karl Malone started for the Lakers but played little after the first quarter due to his right knee injury.
Bryant struggled all game with his shooting, going 8-for-25, but nailed a three-pointer with 1.9 seconds left to pull the Lakers
within two points at the half.
Gary Payton scored six points in the first quarter but added just two in the second half.
Detroit shot just 42.6% but capitalised on the Lakers' 35 fouls.
"In the first half they would have been out of the game if they didn't get to the free-throw line," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson.