Third T20 international, Edgbaston:
New Zealand 202-5 (20 overs): Allen 83 (53), Phillips 69 (34)
England 128 (18.3 overs): Buttler 40 (21); Jamieson 3-23, Sodhi 3-33
New Zealand won by 74 runs; England lead four-match series 2-1
England were outplayed by a resurgent New Zealand who won the third T20 international by 74 runs at Edgbaston.
After opener Finn Allen struck 83 in New Zealand's 202-5, the tourists tied down England's vaunted top order as the hosts chased an unassailable 3-0 series lead.
Jonny Bairstow was caught for 12 from 16 balls, Dawid Malan struggled for 11 balls for only two, while the in-form Harry Brook holed out for eight.
Jos Buttler gave England fans hope with 40 from 21 balls but his dismissal, caught and bowled off Mitchell Santner, effectively ended his side's hopes.
They were bowled out for 128 in the 19th over with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi taking 3-33 and seamer Kyle Jamieson an excellent 3-23 on his return from a back injury.
Earlier, Allen hit six sixes and four fours in a stunning knock, while New Zealand's innings was given further impetuous by Glenn Phillips' 69 from 34 balls.
The result means the four-match series heads to the finale on Tuesday at Trent Bridge with the outcome to be decided.
An off day for England
England eased to victory in the first two matches of this series - a contest that is part of the white-ball build-up to the 50-over World Cup next month.
Here, New Zealand were far improved and the match was one-sided from the point Allen got into his stride.
In contrast, England's batters, aside from Buttler - who hit three sixes and three fours - could not get going.
Malan's turgid knock, which ended when the left-hander mistimed a Tim Southee slower ball to deep cover, will only give further ammunition to those who question his place in the World Cup squad.
That said, Brook, surprisingly left out of that party, missed another chance to press his case when he picked out mid-on.
Liam Livingstone is another short of runs and he pulled Matt Henry straight to deep mid-wicket for two from six balls.
Will Jacks also failed to press his case at the top of the order - he hit two fours before also being caught deep on the off side - but Malan, Brook and Livingstone have the most to play for in Nottingham on Tuesday.
Allen & Phillips power New Zealand on
New Zealand's struggles were mostly with the bat in the first two games, making 139-9 at Chester-le-Street, before they were dismissed for 103 in Manchester.
The Black Caps made a relatively quiet start in Birmingham - the score was 48-1 after the six-over powerplay - before the superb Allen and Phillips accelerated as England's spinners came on in the middle overs.
Adil Rashid's four wicketless overs cost 43, including three successive sixes by Allen, while Livingstone was hit for 1-55.
Allen played aerial drives elegantly off the front foot and fellow right-hander Phillips muscled the ball around the ground.
Allen was bowled playing a rare, ugly swipe across the line to Luke Wood and it took a superb knuckle-ball yorker from Gus Atkinson, who impressed again on his second appearance with 2-31, to dismiss Phillips in the penultimate over.
England had to pull off their highest T20 chase at home - and did not even threaten.
'New Zealand outplayed us' - what they said
England captain Jos Buttler, speaking on BBC One: "Credit to New Zealand, they outplayed us. It was a good toss to win and they put up a really challenging score, maybe a little bit over par. The partnership of Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips was one we just couldn't break and that was the main part of the game.
"It's good exposure for us to play on those sorts of wickets. It's been a long summer, lots of cricket, I expect those types of pitches and it's been a good challenge with the bat."
New Zealand captain Tim Southee, speaking on BBC One: "We asked for a better performance in all three areas and that was the kind of performance you expect to see when we play.
"Finn showed his class and Glenn has been outstanding for us for a long time, especially on tricky surfaces. He made it look like a completely different surface to everyone else."
England all-rounder Moeen Ali, speaking on BBC One: "A difficult day. They batted and bowled well, we were short, let them score too many and couldn't get going with the bat.
"It was important we get off to a good start. We were always behind, had no time to knock the ball around. It then takes a special innings from one or two guys, we didn't have that tonight.
"We said how dangerous they were, they can beat anyone in the world. It was awesome from them and great for the series."