Kiwi big man Steven Adams could only sit and watch from the bench as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 116-113 to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday (NZ time).
With the Mavs leading 101-100 with 3:27 remaining Adams was subbed out by coach Billy Donovan for forward Jerami Grant as the Thunder looked to seal a much needed win.
Adams returned to the court with 15 seconds remaining but by then the match was over at Chesapeake Arena.
The 24-year-old Adams finished the match with 10 points (5-8 FG) and pulled down eight rebounds in 31 minutes of action, but it was teammate Russell Westbrook who led the way for Oklahoma, finishing the match with a game-high 38 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
Dallas forward Harrison Barnes top scored for the Mavericks with 24 points, while Dennis Smith Jr scored 19 points - 13 of them scored in the fourth quarter.
The Mavs led after the first quarter, but the Thunder fought back to lead 63-57 at halftime.
Dallas closed the gap to only trail by a single point at the end of the third quarter and then they outscored the Thunder by four points in the final quarter to set up the win.
OKC will hope to bounce back when they face the fellow Western Conference side, the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday (NZ time).