SAITAMA, Japan – The United States men’s basketball team was stunned 83-76 by France at Tokyo 2020 on Sunday to see their 25-game Olympic streak snapped.
Sunday’s defeat was the first for the U.S. men’s basketball team since Athens 2004, with many now predicting that the Americans who traveled to Tokyo without several of the country’s superstars, will have a hard time winning a fourth consecutive gold medal at the Olympics.
Team U.S. had won 25 successive Olympic games entering Sunday’s matchup with France, with the nation’s last defeat coming at the Athens Games 17 years ago when the basketball powerhouses were pushed down the medal podium with a bronze medal there.
Evan Fourniers, who scored 28 points for the European nation, hit a 3-pointer with just under a minute left in action to France ahead for good and they hold out for the seven-point victory. Rudy Gobert added 14 and Nando de Colo scored 13 in the win for the French side, which completed its comeback after the U.S. had a six-point lead with four minutes to play.
“I mean, its great,” Gobert said. ”But until we have what we want to have around our neck it doesn’t really matter.”
”Evan was amazing,” France coach Vincent Collet said. ”I don’t want to use big, big, big words, but he made some very big shots.”
Bam Adebayo scored 12 points to lead USA, while Damian Lillard ended with 11 and Kevin Durant had 10 for the Americans.
“I think thats a little bit of hubris if you think the Americans are supposed to just roll out the balls and win,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. ”We’ve got to work for it just like everybody else. And for those 40 minutes, they played better than we did.”