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Panathinaikos beats Olympiakos 67-65 to take Greek basketball finals to deciding game 5

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ATHENS, Greece - Panathinaikos withstood a furious rally by host Olympiakos to win the fourth game in the best-of-five Greek league playoff finals 67-65 Sunday.

Stephane Lasme led Panathinaikos with 17 points and nine rebounds, but also gave Olympiakos the chance to win the game when he missed one of two free throws with 2.5 seconds to go.

Olympiakos could not find an opening for a winning 3-pointer, and Vassilis Spanoulis' try for a tying basket bounced off the rim.

"With our backs to the wall, we had to play tougher," said Panathinaikos power forward James Gist.

Panathinaikos was coming off its first finals home loss to its great rival in 21 years, but forced Olympiakos into tough shots throughout the game. Olympiakos was 0-11 from 3-point range at halftime and made four of 22 overall. Spanoulis, Olympiakos' captain, missed all his 10 shots and made just one free throw.

"Compared to the last game, we had no patience," Olympiakos coach Giorgos Bartzokas said. "We wanted to finish off (the series) and we were very nervous."

Some of the 14,000 Olympiakos fans in attendance were furious at the loss and tried to storm the court and attack Panathinaikos' players. They were stopped by riot police, with whom they later clashed outside the arena. The fans threw stones and damaged two cars, one of which belongs to an Olympiakos player. There were two arrests, police said.

No away team fans attend Greek league games for fear of violence.

Olympiakos' owners, brothers Panayiotis and Giorgos Angelopoulos, were furious with the referees and said they will not allow any Olympiakos player to play for Greece in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, which will be played in Spain from Aug. 30-Sept. 14.

"You all saw the rotten system of the (Greek Basketball) Federation," Giorgos Angelopoulos said.

"If there weren't cameras in here, I would say much more," Panayiotis added. "No one will go to the Greek national team. That's it. Period."

Panathinaikos owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos has been slapped with a three-month ban from attending his team's games because he threw three 50-euro bills at a referee after Panathinaikos' defeat in Game 3 of the finals, and cursed at the other.

On Sunday, Panathinaikos used a 17-2 run to move ahead 28-16 in the second quarter, and led 43-30 at halftime.

A 3-pointer by Matt Lojeski cut the deficit to 49-43, prompting Olympiakos fans to light several flares and create a thick cloud of smoke in the arena. Referees had to delay the start of the fourth quarter to clear up the air, after Panathinaikos had replied with two straight 3s and two free throws to take a 57-45 lead into the final 10 minutes.

In the final quarter, Olympiakos cut its deficit to 59-51 before Panathinaikos pulled away to 66-53 with 3:34 to go. Then, a series of missed shots gave Olympiakos a chance at a comeback.

Bryant Dunston led Olympiakos with 15 points.

The deciding game will be played at Panathinaikos' Athens Olympic Arena on Wednesday.

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