After the disappointment of being eliminated from the BBL Trophy at the semi final stage, the threadbare Cheshire Phoenix were unable to do enough to overcome Surrey Heat on the road.
Four of the five Nix players – including 42-year-old Shawn Myers – played the entire 40 minutes against Creon Raftopoulos’ Heat, with only Alif Bland given a brief respite as head coach Matt Lloyd came on for a minute-and-a-half.
After a tough game in Sheffield on Friday night, it was not ideal for the Nix, who were missing Jerome Gumbs through illness and Chez Marks because of a family bereavement.
But the players who did take to the floor, with Stuart Thomson, Chris Pearce and Gabe Haskins completing the line-up, did all they could to take advantage of the fact the Heat were on a five-game losing streak.
By the end of the first quarter, the home side trailed 14-13 and the Nix continued their good work in the second quarter when a free-throw by Gabe Haskins put them 24-17 up.
The Heat were always going to hit back eventually however and as they tightened up their defence they restricted the Nix to two scores in five minutes as they took a 38-32 lead.
Half time did not spark a Nix revival as the Heat came racing out of the blocks in the third period to build a 16 point cushion.
The Nix were able to close the gap a little in the fourth quarter but without the benefit of bench players to offer respite it was impossible to maintain the intensity they needed over prolonged periods, despite Bland (19pts, 13rb) and Myers (14pts, 13rb) both scoring double-doubles for the travelling Nix.