Sports

France Eliminate USA From FIBA World Cup

France Eliminate USA From FIBA World Cup

France has caused the biggest upset of the men's basketball World Cup after defeating defending champion United States 89-79 to reach the semi-finals of the 32-nation tournament in China. Virtually all of the NBA's top American stars elected to skip the World Cup, which FIBA moved to an odd year for the first time since the 1960s. Walker entered the tournament as the Americans' de-facto late-game scorer, and he continued to hold the mantle on Wednesday, albeit unsuccessfully. Unlike the US, they had scoring from more than one individual, too; to go with Gobert's 21 points, Fournier got 22, Nando de Colo recorded 18, and Ntilikina got 11, though many of his points came at vital times in the game, most notably hitting a three-pointer to give France some breathing room in the fourth quarter. It will face Argentina in the semifinals on Friday.

"We came here to win gold", Gobert said. The U.S. will clearly have to make some major tweaks to the roster before the Olympics get underway.

Gobert said beating the Americans wasn't the goal - winning gold is. "It doesn't mean anything if you don't win in the end", he said.

The U.S. were clear favourites coming into Wednesday's match, and history supported that: they had won five straight gold medals at the World Cup and the Olympics.

More news: One killed, five wounded in new Johannesburg violence

Even though head coach Gregg Popovich has largely treated Team USA as an equal opportunity roster, its frankly perplexing the degree to which Mitchell was frozen out down the stretch. "This is very important and we would have loved to have won. but we're all grown, we all have families and lives and life goes on".

Only two other Americans scored in double figures as Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

France's Nicolas Batum celebrates a World Cup victory over the United States. France capitalised on that and were led by the exceptional Rudy Gobert, as well as Evan Fournier and Frank Ntilikina.

France: Gobert played the first 12:26. Jayson Tatum (sprained left ankle) missed his fourth consecutive game.


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