France snapped Team USA 24-game winning streak in Olympics
For the first time since 2004, Team USA lost a game at the Olympics. The Americans fell 83-76 to France at the Tokyo games on Sunday in their first game of the preliminary round.
The U.S. came out strong but that’s not exactly how the team finished. The Americans outscored France 22-15 in the first quarter. Kevin Durant grabbed seven points during this period by going 3-of-4 from the field. That was his most productive quarter, as he only scored three more points for the rest of the game.
The Americans led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter but the second period was closer with the U.S. barely outscoring France 23-22. JaVale McGee saw two minutes on the court the entire game and those two minutes came during the second quarter. McGee adds size to the team, but the Americans decided to play small ball.
Meanwhile, French coach Vincent Collet took advantage of France’s size, which was clearly seen in the third quarter. Rudy Gobert and Vincent Poirier, 7’1 and 7’0 respectively, spent a good amount of minutes playing together after the break.
France tied the game at 52 with under four minutes left in the third quarter. The French outscored the Americans 25-11 through this period. Size also helped them outrebound the Americans 42-36 throughout the game.
The Americans still looked like they could win it in the fourth, but Team France and a hot handed Evan Fournier proved to be too much. Fournier, who plays for the Boston Celtics, finished the game leading all scorers with 28 points shooting at 50%.
The game looked winnable with 30 seconds remaining as France only held a two-point lead and the Americans had the ball. Durant missed a three-point shot and Damain Lillard got the offensive rebound. Jrue Holiday, whose 18 points led the US offense, attempted his own shot from beyond the arc but that one was also a miss. Team USA had a handful of great looks at the end but saw some unfortunate misses in wide open shots.
Up next, Team USA needs to win the next two games against Iran and the Czech Republic to advance to the next round. The Americans play Iran on July 21 at 12:40 am ET.