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Tall Blacks beaten by Iran in Latvia

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/06/2016

A final quarter scoring drought cost New Zealand as they lost a men's basketball international 75-72 to Iran in Latvia.

In control early on in Riga, the Tall Blacks managed just 10 points in the final quarter to suffer a defeat which annoyed coach Paul Henare as they build towards an Olympic qualifying tournament in July.

"We can't afford to lower our intensity, we are simply not a good enough team to have those lapses and expect not to be punished at this level," Henare said.

"These are very good teams and they will hurt you if you are not locked in at all times."

World No.21 New Zealand led 17th-ranked Iran 19-11 following the first quarter but the advantage was reduced to five points and one point at the next two breaks.

Iran were more composed in the final quarter, with New Zealand missing all five of their three-point attempts. They were out-scored 8-2 over the final three minutes.

Guard Corey Webster scored 29 points while Isaac Fotu was the only other player in double figures with 14.

New Zealand face 35th-ranked Latvia on Monday.

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