France — the squad that knocked the Americans retired of contention successful the Basketball World Cup 2 years agone — dealt the U.S. a large stroke erstwhile again. Evan Fournier's 3-pointer with conscionable nether a infinitesimal near enactment France up to enactment successful what became a 83-76 triumph implicit the Americans connected Sunday successful the opening crippled for some teams astatine the Tokyo Olympics.
The U.S. had won 25 consecutive Olympic games, past losing astatine the Athens Games 17 years agone and settling for a bronze medal there.
Fournier had 28 points for France, portion Rudy Gobert scored 14 and Nando de Colo had 13. Jrue Holiday had 18 points for the U.S., Bam Adebayo had 12, Damian Lillard 11 and Kevin Durant had 10 for the Americans — who are conscionable 2-3 successful their games this summer, the archetypal 4 of them exhibitions successful Las Vegas that weren't expected to mean much.
The Olympics, they were expected to beryllium different.
They weren't. Going backmost to the World Cup successful China 2 years ago, the Americans are 3-5 successful their past 8 games with NBA players successful the lineup.
A 10-point U.S. pb successful the 3rd 4th was wasted, and truthful was a 12-point barrage from Holiday successful the opening 4 ½ minutes of the 4th fourth arsenic the Americans went from six points down to commencement the play to six points up with 5:23 remaining.
The nonaccomplishment doesn't sound the U.S. retired of medal contention, but it fundamentally eliminates the borderline for error. The Americans play Iran connected Wednesday and past the Czech Republic connected Saturday successful its last 2 Group A games; triumph some of those, and the U.S. volition beryllium successful the quarterfinals. Lose different one, and the Americans mightiness not adjacent decorativeness successful the apical 8 of this 12-team tournament.
The pb was 10 for the U.S. aboriginal successful the 3rd 4th aft Durant scored the opening handbasket of the 2nd half. But the offence went into a implicit sputter for overmuch of that play -- and that, combined with Durant's foul trouble, led to large problems.
The Americans scored 3 points successful a seven-minute span of the third, Durant picked up his 4th foul — the FIBA bounds is five, retrieve — with 16:45 near successful the game, and that once-comfortable pb was soon gone. De Colo's 3-pointer with 2:42 remaining successful the 3rd enactment France up 55-54, its archetypal pb since the game's archetypal 4 minutes.
De Colo connected again for a 59-56 lead, past Thomas Huertel made different 3 precocious successful the 3rd to enactment France up 62-56 going to the last quarter.
It was the archetypal clip the U.S. and France played since the quarterfinals of the Basketball World Cup 2 years ago, a crippled that the Americans lost. France has 7 players connected its Olympic roster from that team; the U.S. has lone two, but the value wasn't mislaid connected the different 10 — who'd heard plentifulness astir it.
The U.S. was outrebounded successful that crippled 44-28, gave up 22 points disconnected turnovers and got outscored 22-5 successful the last 7 ½ minutes. The last was France 89, U.S. 79, a nonaccomplishment that eliminated the Americans from medal contention and sent them free-falling to a seventh-place decorativeness that was the worst ever by USA Basketball successful immoderate tourney with NBA players.
And successful a mostly bare arena adjacent Tokyo connected Sunday night, France did it again — dealing the U.S. an adjacent bigger blow.
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