LAKERS 24 DETROIT 25
Highlight reel: The Pistons' Ben Wallace jumped out on Gary Payton, stole the ball from the Lakers' point guard, beat Slava Medvedenko with a crossover dribble and finished the play in style with an uncontested fastbreak dunk.
Not in the box score: After picking up jump ball violations to start the first four games of the Finals, Shaquille O'Neal kept the ball in play. The Lakers then took an early lead behind the hot outside shooting of Medvedenko, who started in place of injured Karl Malone.
Winning number: 23. Field goal attempts in the quarter by the Lakers, compared with only 14 for the Pistons. By being more aggressive offensively, the Lakers played at a faster tempo.
Wrong number: 7:58. Time remaining in the quarter when O'Neal picked up his second foul. After Coach Phil Jackson replaced O'Neal with rookie Brian Cook, the Lakers were outscored, 8-0, over the next 1:36.
Leading scorers: Lakers -- Medvedenko 8, Kobe Bryant 6. Pistons -- Chauncey Billups 6, Tayshaun Prince 5, Richard Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace 4, Corliss Williamson 2.
Leading rebounders: Lakers -- O'Neal 4, George 2. Pistons -- Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace 2.
LAKERS 44 DETROIT 55
Highlight reel: The Lakers' lack of togetherness on defense was exposed when Elden Campbell and Billups hooked up for a textbook backdoor play. After throwing the ball in to Campbell, Billups cut along the baseline, where he gathered in a pass to score an uncontested layup.
Not in the box score: How the Lakers seemed to lose their composure when they kept picking up ticky-tack fouls early in the quarter. After they began complaining to officials, the Pistons went on a 9-0 run.
Winning number: 30. Points scored in the quarter by the Pistons, who scored a Finals-best 55 points in the first half. Detroit made a whopping 60.6% of its shots over the first two quarters.
Wrong number: 3:36. Time remaining in the first half when O'Neal picked up his third foul and went to the bench. The Lakers fell apart without O'Neal, and the Pistons opened up a double-digit lead at halftime.
Leading scorers: Lakers -- Bryant 8, Kareem Rush, Derek Fisher and O'Neal 3, Rick Fox 2. Pistons -- Mehmet Okur, Ben Wallace and Hamilton 7, Williamson 4, Prince 3, Billups 2.
Leading rebounders: Lakers -- Medvedenko 4, three with one. Pistons -- Ben Wallace 3, Campbell, Prince and Williamson 2.
LAKERS 59 DETROIT 82
Highlight reel: The Pistons started to taste the champagne after Ben Wallace jammed home a rebound dunk and Billups followed with a coast-to-coast layup that turned into a three-point play. The consecutive baskets gave Detroit a commanding lead that the Lakers could not overcome.
Not in the box score: The Pistons' defense completely controlled the Lakers' offense and at times appeared to have six players on the floor. The Lakers' lack of perimeter shooting made things easy for the Pistons' quick defenders.
Winning number: 14. Points scored in three quarters by Ben Wallace, who not only scored layups and dunks after his own offensive rebounds but also knocked down open mid-range jump shots.
Wrong number: Zero. Combined points scored in the third quarter by the Lakers' Gary Payton, George and Medvedenko, who did not give their team a lift when the Pistons tightened up on O'Neal and Bryant, who scored all the points in the quarter.
Leading scorers: Lakers -- O'Neal 10, Bryant 4. Pistons -- Prince 7, Billups 6, Hamilton and Campbell 4, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace 3.
Leading rebounders: Lakers -- O'Neal 4, Payton 3. Pistons -- Ben Wallace 10, Prince 4, Campbell 2.
LAKERS 87 DETROIT 100
Highlight reel: With his team up by 24 points with a little more than three minutes left, Detroit Coach Larry Brown took a moment away from coaching to retrieve a basketball that had rolled over to the Pistons' sideline. After getting the ball back in play, Brown returned to coaching his team without skipping a beat.
Not in the box score: How relaxed O'Neal looked while he sat on the Lakers' bench with 4:30 remaining in the game and the Pistons' victory assured. With his arms spread over two empty seats next to him, O'Neal wore a smirk as if the game could not end quickly enough.
Winning number: 100. Points by the Pistons, who proved that they had enough offense to beat a Western Conference team, especially the Lakers.
Wrong number: 36. Rebounds in the game by the Lakers, who again were outrebounded by the Pistons, who finished with 50. Detroit dominated the Lakers on the boards throughout the series.
Leading scorers: Lakers -- Fisher 7, Bryant 6, Cook and Fox 4, O'Neal 3, Luke Walton and Rush 2. Pistons -- Hamilton 6, Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace 4, Lindsey Hunter and Prince 2.
Leading rebounders: Lakers -- Cook 5, O'Neal 4, Fox and Walton 2. Pistons -- Ben Wallace 7, Prince 3.