Down to eight fit players and missing their big stars, Rotorua basketballer Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder still made a game of it before losing 93-90 on the road to the Los Angeles Clippers.
With last year's NBA MVP Kevin Durant already sidelined and then losing star guard Russell Westbrook to a hand injury before half-time, the game seemed well out of reach, but the Thunder rallied to force it all the way down to the wire.
Adams had six points, 10 rebounds and an assist in his 29 minutes.
It's the second straight loss of the new season for the Thunder, who went down 106-89 on the road to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.
It was the season opener for the Clippers.