By Josh Price in Memphis
A poor first half shooting display has left the Breakers ruing what might have been in Memphis.
The New Zealand club lost 108-94 to the Memphis Grizzlies, who showed that despite being one of the least likely playoff side's in the NBA – the class between America's top league and the ANBL is vast.
The Breakers started nervously, falling behind 12-2. Go-to scorers Scotty Hopson and Corey Webster missed their opening eight shots between them, while forward Brandon Ashley, who made two great defensive plays in the opening couple of minutes, had two fouls against him early and was forced to sit.
Offensive fouls and more poor shooting were the pains in the Breakers' side in the second quarter, as Ashley collected his fourth while Rob Loe got his third.
Foul trouble forced Shamir to turn to recently called up Ethan Rusbatch who returned the favour with a three-pointer straight away, which inspired Webster to follow suit, cutting the deficit to 14 before some magic from Memphis guard Ja Morant helped push the lead to 19 points at the break.
Shots started to drop for the Breakers after half time, with Webster, Ashley, Hopson and Tom Abercrombie all drilling threes as they looked to close the gap. Webster scored 12 points in the third quarter alone.
The Breakers got stops at the defensive end as well forcing the Grizzlies more inexperienced players into errors and the few New Zealand fans who had made the trip started to make their voices heard when the lead was cut to six.
But three straight Grizzlies baskets to begin the fourth quarter put to rest any chance of a Breakers upset. The hosts showed their class in the fourth quarter when they needed to, keeping their opponents at an arm's length.
Shots continued to fall for Webster and Hopson, but each basket was met with a swift reply at the other end of the court.
As he was against the Phoenix Suns last year, Webster the Breakers best scoring 19 points and dishing eight assists. He was ably assisted by Loe, 12, and Hopson 16, but the performance showed the side's chemistry is far from perfect.
They now turn their attention to a clash against Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.
See how the action unfolded below.