Brisbane's three-game winning streak may have come to an end but the narrow loss to Adelaide on Saturday night has convinced coach Chris Fagan just how far the Lions have come.

Not only did Fagan highlight his team's improvement against the Crows over the past three seasons, but the disappointment in losing was obvious.

Not that long ago, losing by five points to a powerhouse like Adelaide would have been celebrated at the Gabba.

But not anymore.

There are expectations around the Lions now, and even with below-par nights from a number of its players Brisbane hung around and could have pinched a thrilling win.

When Daniel Rich had a shot at goal from 50 metres with three minutes remaining and his team trailing by 10 points, victory still seemed possible.

Unfortunately for the Lions, he missed, and despite a Lewis Taylor goal after the siren, the home team fell short by five points.

"We're disappointed to lose," Fagan said.

"We turned up tonight giving ourselves a great chance to win and we weren't able to get it done.

"We'll also learn a bit from it.

"That was a high-powered game tonight, it was finals-like. 

"We competed strongly in it, we just had a poor patch for about 10 minutes in the second quarter where they got on top around contested ball and clearances and kicked four goals and took the game away from us."

For years the Crows have beaten up on Brisbane, more often than not using it as a match to boost their percentage.

In 2016 the Lions lost by 138 points, in 2017 it was 80 points and on Saturday night it was less than a kick. 

"We're starting to be able to compete with some of the big dogs," Fagan said.

"They had a lot to play for tonight and so did we. I'm proud of our blokes."

The Lions lacked some composure in a frenetic contest, eager to take the game on at all costs, which cost them turnovers and crucial goals.

Fagan was not critical of his team, saying it just had to learn the tempo of games a little more.

"It was a fast game," he pointed out.

"We probably weren't as composed tonight as we have been the last three or four weeks.

"They try and play an up-tempo style of game, we got caught up in it a little bit.

"Even in the last quarter I thought if we had have showed a bit more composure at times, we might have just got there.

"That'll come with experience and playing in those sorts of games."