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.
France have sensationally bundled the United States of America out of the FIBA World Cup in a pulsating quarter-final, putting the foot down in the fourth quarter (outscoring the U.S. 26-13) to take the victory, 89-79.
Defending champions U.S. lost their first game in the tournament since 2006 as their star-studded line-up failed to deliver and France advanced to the last four.
It's the first tournament loss for Team USA since the 2006 World Championships, snapping a streak of 58 straight wins with National Basketball Association players representing the country in worldwide play. They were led Wednesday by Donovan Mitchell, who enjoyed his breakout game of the tournament with 29 points. Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier led the way for the French. France led by 10 early in the third quarter but the Americans countered with a 31-14 run over the next 10 minutes to take a five-point lead.
Gobert was outstanding in particular, pulling down 16 rebounds, and coming up with three blocks, including one late in the fourth quarter on Jazz teammate Mitchell. Boston forward Jayson Tatum didn't play due to an ankle injury. France never trailed again. This version of Team USA will bear no resemblance to the squad that will play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Team USA is the other team in the classification round. Those two teams will go head-to-head on Friday, while Team USA will face off against Nikola Jokic and Serbia in a consolation game on Thursday.
The win sends France to the semifinals where it will face Argentina, which scored an impressive upset victory over Nikola Jokic and Serbia.