US basketball team LOSE to France in shock upset at FIBA World Cup

US basketball team LOSE to France in shock upset at FIBA World Cup
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After 58 consecutive wins and three Olympic gold medals, the United States men’s basketball team has suffered its first defeat since 2006, falling to France, 89-79, in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup in China   Priot to Wednesday’s upset, the US had won 58 consecutive tournament games in FIBA and Olympic competition, starting with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 world championships and continuing through every FIBA Americas, World Cup and Olympics event since   The American team was bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, after winning three straight Olympic golds in that span  But the best the Americans can do now in China is finish fifth. They’re going home with a berth in the 2020 Olympics secured, but no medal France’s Evan Fournier scored 22 points, Rudy Gobert added 21 points and 16 rebounds as France rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the upset and advance to the semifinals  France now moves on to face Argentina in the tournament semifinals on Friday.   On Wednesday in Dogguan, China, Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina (left) locked down All-Star guard Kemba Walker (right), who finished with 10 points on just 2-of-9 shooting from the field Charlotte Hornets forward Nic Batum celebrates France’s upset of the United States  Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner reacts to America’s first major tournament loss since 2006 Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (right) and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (left) walk off the floor in Dongguan after falling to France, 89-79, in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinalsThe tournament was Gregg Popovich’s first as head coach of the US team after taking over for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski The San Antonio Spurs head coach was assisted by his former player and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr  Although the US team included five former All-Stars, many of the NBA’s top American players opted to sit out of the tournament, including LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George   RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next ‘I wanted to be loved’: Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman opens up NBA star Stephen Curry helps re-launch Howard University. Share this article Share The absence of the top American players created a golden opportunity for France   ‘We came here to win gold,’ Gobert said. ‘We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. A lot of people counted us out, but we got the win ‘Gobert said beating the Americans wasn’t the goal – winning gold is.’It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win in the end,’ Gobert said Team USA and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (left) talks with his former Spurs player and current guard for the French national team, Nando De Colo (right) Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points for the US, all of them coming in the first three quarters The Americans came up scoreless on six consecutive possessions down the stretch, the drought that allowed the French to take control of a back-and-forth game for the final time Nando De Colo scored 18 for France.France was up 10 early in the second half. The US went on a 31-14 run over the next 10 minutes to go up by seven And then the French responded with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, going up 82-76 on a long jumper by Frank Ntilikina with 2:05 left Mitchell had a chance to get the US within two with about a minute left, driving against Gobert – but the Jazz center read what the Jazz guard was going to do perfectly, swatting the try away Although the US team included five former All-Stars, many of the NBA’s top American players opted to sit out of the tournament, including LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and Paul GeorgeFrance had been 0-9 against the US in major international play, most of those outcomes one-sided affairs But the last meeting between the nations was only a 100-97 US win at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics three years ago, and France returned three players – Gobert, De Colo and Nicolas Batum – who got minutes in that game None of the US players who played that afternoon in Rio are on this year’s World Cup team France outrebounded the US 21-12 in the first half, Gobert found his way to the line 10 times in the game’s first 20 minutes and the Americans went into the break trailing 45-39 The US had trailed for 8:25 in their first five games combined – and trailed for 11:24 in the first half alone on Wednesday Fournier’s layup with 7:33 left in the third gave France a 53-43 lead, and that’s when Mitchell got going He had 14 points in the third quarter alone, and his dunk with 2:40 left pulled the US into a 60-60 tie Marcus Smart made three free throws after getting fouled by Gobert to put the US back on top, and the Americans took a 66-63 lead into the fourth    France’s Evan Fournier scored 22 points, Rudy Gobert (left_ added 21 points and 16 rebounds as France rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to pull off the upset

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