Victorious All Blacks captain Tana Umaga paid tribute to the Lions and their fans after his side completed a 3-0 series whitewash in Auckland.
"I'd like to thank the Lions supporters for coming all this way and supporting your great team," said Umaga, who scored two of his team's five tries.
"To the Lions, you brought out the best in us tonight and we had to be on our game and we thank you for that."
He added: "They were tenacious, never gave up and played like true Lions."
The All Blacks scored through centre Conrad Smith and lock Ali Williams in the first half while Umaga was in the sin bin for deliberately slowing down Lions' ball.
The skipper scored on his re-emergence and added a second after the break.
But the Lions kept fighting, flanker Lewis Moody grabbing a consolation try before New Zealand winger Rico Gear touched down at the death.
"It has been a tough week. The way they performed today said a lot about the Lions. They battered us," said Umaga.
"There are a lot of weary bodies out there and we had a lot of changes so it was not the greatest rugby.
"We dropped our standards but we came out with the win.
"We will have to look at ourselves, we gave away too many penalties."