France stun USA in Olympic basketball action

France stun USA in Olympic basketball action
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot fends off Keldon Johnson during France’s come-from-behind victory. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The loss marks the United States' first Olympic defeat since 2004 when it fell to both Puerto Rico and Lithuania in group play. It also snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak for the U.S.

The USA's men's basketball team tipped off the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with a shock 83-76 loss to France in the preliminary group stage round on Sunday 25 July 2021

The loss marks the United States' first Olympic defeat since 2004 when it fell to both Puerto Rico and Lithuania in group play. It also snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak for the U.S.

It's the United States' second straight loss to France in international play, as the French also prevailed in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. However, it's the first time USA has ever lost to France in Olympic play, as it was previously 6-0 in the matchup. 

Evan Fournier led the way for France with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the floor, while Rudy Gobert added 14 points and nine rebounds of his own. As a team, France shot an impressive 47 percent from the floor. It outscored the U.S. 46-31 in the second half, and went on an impressive 16-2 run to close out the game and secure the win. 

Jrue Holiday, fresh off helping propel the Milwaukee Bucks to an NBA championship, led USA with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the loss. Bam Adebayo also added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the U.S., which will now have to regroup before facing off against Iran in their second game in group play on Wednesday. 

The 12 teams that are competing in the Olympics are split into three groups and every team within a group faces the other three teams from the group for a total of three games in the group stage. The teams that finish in first and second place in each group will advance into the quarterfinals, along with the two best third-place teams overall. So, while the loss to France isn't ideal for the U.S., it doesn't end its chances of winning a fourth consecutive gold medal.