France knock holders US out in huge World Cup shock

FIBA World Cup Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

FIBA World Cup Team USA loses 89-79 in quarterfinals against France

Rudy Gobert starred as France ended the United States' title bid with a 89-79 shock victory in the FIBA World Cup quarter-finals.

Team USA's quarterfinal loss snapped a streak of 58 global wins with National Basketball Association players on its roster.

Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points for the U.S., all of them coming in the first three quarters.

Gobert showed why he's regarded as one of the best big men in the league, finishing with a dominant stat line of 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 3 blocks.

"My initial thought was if you were arrogant enough like at times United States of America is to just take your D-league players and think that they're gonna beat like the best global competition there is, I would say that's arrogance", he said. American superstars will likely return for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but it will be interesting to see if this becomes a World Cup trend or whether USA Basketball again responds to its first major tournament loss since the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Gobert said beating the Americans wasn't the goal - winning gold is. He tallied just two shot attempts in the fourth, and his second attempt came with Team USA down 10 in the final 10 seconds. The U.S. went on a 31-14 run over the next 10 minutes to go up by seven.

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Frank Ntilikina has been a polarizing player since the Knicks selected him No. 8 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, so much so that the team was shopping him ahead of this year's draft.

It was the play of center Rudy Gobert that separated France from the U.S. The thrilling game featured 12 lead changes.

Fournier's layup with 7:33 left in the third gave France a 53-43 lead, and that's when Mitchell got going. At the end of the third, the Americans led 66-63. Trailing for much of the game, the USA rode Mitchell to a second-half comeback, even taking a 74-67 lead in the final eight minutes. Jayson Tatum missed Wednesday's matchup with an ankle injury, and Marcus Smart finishing the morning as Team USA's No. 2 scorer is a clear sign something was amiss. "And I think that pushed a lot of players to feel that they should make a choice between back-to-back years of global competition".

Australia (6-0) will play Spain (6-0) in the other Friday semifinal.

The Americans were beaten in a last-eight clash by the former Yugoslavia in that tournament and they next face Serbia, who were billed as their most likely rival in a gold-medal clash in this year's event.

"They've never played together before and they put themselves in the arena and competed", Popovich said of his squad.

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