Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

  • Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

The Americans lost 89-79 to France in the quarterfinals, ending their World Cup run in China prematurely.

The exodus of star basketball players burned the USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup championships. Team USA faces Serbia on Thursday in the fifth- to eighth-place bracket.

The top-ranked team in the world trailed by six points at the half, but managed a surging third quarter thanks to Mitchell, who scored 14 of his 29 points in the period.

However, only two other Americans scored in double figures as Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The U.S. will clearly have to make some major tweaks to the roster before the Olympics get underway. The Utah Jazz guard came out focused and determined for the United States, and he did all that he could to keep the team afloat over the course of the contest, despite the lack of other consistent offensive contributors. The Utah Jazz center also notched a late block on National Basketball Association teammate Donovan Mitchell with seconds left to emphatically keep the bay.

Having ground out a barely deserved 93-92 overtime win over Turkey in the preliminary group stage, there was to be no escape for the USA this time against an athletic French side who dominated them in every department. They already had qualified for next year's Summer Games in Tokyo. Mitchell's willingness to attack the tin with abandon sets him apart from much of Team USA.

Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

Third-ranked France carved out a 51-41 lead early in the third quarter at the Dongguan Basketball Centre, but the Americans, who were last eliminated from the medal rounds in the 2002 tournament on home soil in Indianapolis, appeared to have turned the tide when they surged ahead 72-65.

After the game, FIBA shared on its website three more statistics, which add an historic perspective to Team USA's loss to France. It was bidding to become the first nation to win three consecutive World Cups, after winning three straight Olympic golds in that span. Donovan Mitchell looked really good against France as he was able to score in a plethora of ways, and he appears poised to take a major step forward this season.

Shenanigans in the press and the revenge factor aside, though, Gobert was clearly the best player on the floor in this contest.

Realistically, the team didn't have the best American players in the world and was limited by the talent out on the court. They were without Jayson Tatum due to an ankle injury, and the scoring burden laid exclusively on Mitchell's shoulders as he put up 29 points in 31:51 minutes.