U.S. Upset by France at Basketball World Cup

A makeshift United States men’s basketball team, lacking the N.B.A.’s biggest stars, was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Basketball...

A makeshift United States men’s basketball team, lacking the N.B.A.’s biggest stars, was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Basketball World Cup on Wednesday, 89-79, by France, in Dongguan, China.

The U.S. had won five straight gold medals at the World Cup and the Olympics. The last time it did not was at the 2006 World Cup, when it won a bronze medal. This is the first time the U.S. has left a major competition without a medal since 2002.

Evan Fournier of the Magic topped France with 22 points, and Rudy Gobert of the Jazz had 16 rebounds. Frank Ntilikina of the Knicks scored several key points down the stretch.

Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz led the U.S. with 29 points, but he failed to score in the fourth quarter, when the game was decided.

Most of the biggest American stars passed on this championship for one reason or another, leaving a team of talented players, but only two N.B.A. All-Stars: Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton. Among the players who dropped out were Anthony Davis, James Harden and Damian Lillard.

The Americans had been undefeated in the preliminary rounds of the World Cup — barely. They needed overtime and some timely missed free throws to defeat Turkey.

Mitchell’s 15-point half kept the Americans within 45-39 at intermission, but the game was played on France’s terms. Gobert kept rolling to the rim and causing problems. Fournier seemed like a different player with his national team’s jersey on.

The U.S. rallied in the third quarter, taking the lead by three as Coach Gregg Popovich went to a smaller lineup and the Americans played their best team ball of the tournament. But the fourth quarter belonged to France.

The U.S. was without Jayson Tatum, who sustained an ankle sprain.

On the plus side, the United States did qualify for the 2020 Olympics, by finishing in the top two of Western Hemisphere teams, alongside Argentina, who will play France in the semifinals. Spain will meet either Australia or Czech Republic in the other semi.

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Newsrust - US Top News: U.S. Upset by France at Basketball World Cup
U.S. Upset by France at Basketball World Cup
Newsrust - US Top News
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