India kept pace with defending champions Iran before fading out in the second half to lose 66-88 on the second day of the 2015 FIBA Asia Basketball Championship for men in Changsha-Hunan, China.
World number 61 India trailed Iran by just nine points at half-time to set the stage for a possible upset, before the defending champions pulled away with five Iranians scoring double-figures led by Mohammad Hassanzadeh with 18 points.
For the Indians, in-form forward Amjyot Singh sunk in 26 points and collected nine rebounds while Amrit Pal Singh and Yadwinder Singh scored 10 points each.
India matched their opponents in size but Iran, ranked 17 in the world, displayed better skill as they outscored in the shaded lane and outworked their opponents on the boards.
India play Japan next on Friday.