Fournier, Gobert lead as France eliminates Team USA from World Cup

Thursday, 12 Sep, 2019

Team USA lost to France at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, 89-78, on Wednesday, marking the first time since 2006 that USA basketball has lost in global competition.

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. Team USA faces Serbia on Thursday in the fifth- to eighth-place bracket.

Back in 2006, when Greece without any active NBA player on its roster beat a United States national team that included then NBA champion Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and more, it was an upset.

"It is a disrespectful notion to even bring something like that up", Popovich told a news conference.

"It doesn't matter who is on the team".

"We came here to win gold", France centre Gobert said. If they want to avoid the chance of hurting themselves in a World Cup, can anyone really blame them?

"An 89-79 loss is still a blight for the only country in the tournament comprised entirely of current National Basketball Association players", he wrote.

With their stifling perimeter defense, they forced five turnovers in the third and got out in transition for easy buckets.

Gobert's Utah teammate carried Team USA for the opening 30 minutes, pouring in 29 points, including 12 in the third quarter.

Khris Middleton of the US congratulates Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia
Camera Icon Khris Middleton of the US congratulates Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia

But the French came back, led by the imposing Gobert and sharp-shooting small forward Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic.

"Team USA Basketball not winning the gold medal is disappointing but not surprising".

The composition of Team USA's roster at those Olympics remains to be seen.

The Czechs fought hard throughout to stay in touch but were undone by another fine display from Australia's Spurs guard Patty Mills, who racked up 24 points.

Ingles' showing for the Aussies has helped boost them, Joe doing Joe things en route, including falling just short of gaining the first triple-double in World Cup play, when he totaled 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a game against Senegal.

Argentina were excellent as they beat the Nikola Jokic-led Serbia 97-87 on Tuesday, and France followed that up with an impressive 89-79 win over the powerful United States.

Now, the 21-year-old guard is showing he might be able to fulfill his potential.

Australia survived the World Cup "Group of Death" also including Canada, Senegal and Lithuania, before beating the Dominican Republic and then fellow semi-finalists France.