Cleveland Wins Eastern Conference Finals 98-82

Cleveland, OH (AP) - The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the Eastern Conference Finals and head to the NBA Finals after beating the Detroit Pistons 98-82.

Crown them one and all, the kid called King and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

For the first time, they're Eastern Conference champions -- and on their way to the NBA finals.

Lugging an entire region's hopes with him on every trip to the basket, LeBron James had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and unflappable rookie Daniel Gibson added 31 points -- 19 in the fourth quarter -- to give the Cavaliers a 98-82 win in Game 6 against the Detroit Pistons.

Cleveland, a city that hasn't celebrated a world championship since 1964, has the next closest thing. And now the Cavs, who won just 17 games the year before James arrived from just down the Interstate in Akron, will meet the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the finals on Thursday night.

James, who scored 48 points in Cleveland's double-overtime win in Game 5, didn't have to carry the Cavs by himself.

Gibson gave him all the help he need.

The slender second-round pick from Texas, who didn't become a major contributor until March, outshined his superstar teammate. Gibson made three 3-pointers in the first 2:16 of the fourth and drilled another long-range jumper with 6:52 left, setting off a celebration in Quicken Loans Arena.

Detroit's season couldn't have ended worse for the top-seeded Pistons, making their fifth appearance in the conference finals.

Rasheed Wallace fouled out and then got thrown out after being slapped with two technicals by referee Eddie Rush with 7:44 to play. Rip Hamilton, too, fouled out after scoring 29 points.

The loss could signal an end of an era for the Pistons, with Chauncey Billups and Chris Webber both bound for free agency.

As the final seconds ticked away, James flung the ball into the crowd and jumped into the arms of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the Q quaked.