”They’re better individually, but can be beaten as a team.” - Evan Fournier from Team France about Team USA.
The USA’s Olympic winning streak of 25 games came to an end when France closed out the game in the final seconds. A team built to score and shoot went four and a half minutes without a basket in the final minutes of the game. The Americans face a huge disappointment among Team USA Basketball players from the NBA as their win streak is ended by the French. France beat America to an incredible game with an 83-76 win. Evan Fournier from the Boston Celtics led Team France with his 3 point shot and made the biggest play of his career with 28 points and Rudy Gobert had 14. Completing their comeback after the U.S. had an eight-point lead with four minutes to play.
"I got to lead the team because I know these guys," Fournier said. "It's a hell of a win. Our country is going to be extremely proud. But it's just one game, to be honest." said Fournier about leading his team and country to victory.
Team USA had possession of the ball but missed five shots. There were final 3 point shot attempts by Jrue Holiday. Zach LaVine, and Kevin Durant however, didn't make it as well.
Despite returning from the NBA championship, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton were still experiencing jet lag.
Jrue Holiday scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, with Bam Adebayo adding 12, Damian Lillard adding 11 and Kevin Durant adding 10. Along with other energy plays to help the United States gain a competitive edge.
“When you lose a game, you’re not surprised, you’re disappointed.” Team USA Coach Gregg Popovich explained. Many expressed their disappointment for the loss. However, Popovich admitted that a rematch has been on his mind for 2 years since the game was drawn in February. But realized that they had to focus on getting Fourier to slow down as he repeatedly got free for open shots. Popovich didn’t see it coming when Team France Coach Vincent Collet displayed a massive line-up in the 2nd half by allowing 7-foot players in the game and putting Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirer together.
Two years ago, the U.S. and France met in the quarterfinals of the Basketball World Cup. The Americans might as well succeed in their final two pool-play games against Iran and the Czech Republic in order to advance to the medal round. If they lose another game, they could apparently progress on scoring margin. As the best players in the NBA, they must do their best to live up to their reputation.