France Hands Team USA First International Loss Since 2006

Zhizhao Wu  Getty Images

Zhizhao Wu Getty Images

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

It was the USA's first worldwide loss since the 2016 FIBA World Cup semifinals against Greece. The Americans rebounded to win gold at the Beijing Olympics two years later and also won the two Olympic tournaments that followed. They, however, have a chance to accomplish something that the three-time National Basketball Association champion never did during his illustrious career: win a gold at the FIBA World Cup.

"As a result, you are asking players to play in the FIBA world championship, play in the season and then play in the Olympics", he told the Undefeated's Marc J. Spears in an interview published Tuesday. He tallied just two shot attempts in the fourth, and his second attempt came with Team USA down 10 in the final 10 seconds. Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina had 11 points for France.

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Team USA found its offense in the third quarter against France, but the momentum the Americans had didn't carry over to the fourth.

The Americans did not shoot well - again - and by opting to go small at the 5, Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz was able to go off for 21 points and 16 rebounds as France outboarded Team USA (5-1) 44-28 in the game. Team USA faces Serbia (4-2) at 7 a.m. Walker is one of the NBA's leading pick-and-roll players, but neither he nor the rest of Team USA could put Gobert on skates a la Steph Curry.

On the other side of the coin are Celtics fans, who might understandably feel slightly concerned following the United States' elimination from the World Cup, considering the fact that four of Boston's key contributors were on Team USA's roster.

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