The United States men’s basketball team’s 25-game winning streak at the Olympics came to an end when they were defeated 83-76 by France in their opening game in Tokyo.
The French were led by Evan Fournier’s 28-point performance as the Americans, who had won gold in the previous three Games, were defeated for the first time since 2004.
France outscored Gregg Popovich’s all-star team 25-11 in the third quarter, which proved decisive.
Rudy Gobert contributed 14 points and nine rebounds as well. The United States had a disastrous start to the tournament, losing warm-up matches to Nigeria and Australia.
With an eight-point halftime lead, they appeared to have taken control of the game. However, with Kevin Durant in foul trouble early on, they were unable to maintain their momentum, scoring only 11 points in the third quarter.
Jrue Holiday, who came off the bench and scored 18 points in just under 28 minutes, was a bright spot in their struggles, helping them to a six-point lead in the fourth quarter.
The Americans, however, missed four open three-point attempts in the final 30 seconds, handing France the advantage, which Boston Celtics guard Fournier led them to an impressive victory.
Popovich will now hope that his team can respond against Iran on Wednesday, July 28th, when France plays the Czech Republic.