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France stuns USA Men 83-76 in opening Group Phase Game
The vaunted USA Men's basketball team fell to the Les Blues 76-83 as the 5x5 events tipped off at the Tokyo Olympics.
Evan Fournier in action against Devin Booker. Image credits: FIBA Instagram
After leading 22-17 in the opening frame and 45-37 at halftime, USA Men suffered an 11-25 reversal in the third quarter. In the final ten minutes, newly crowned NBA Champion Jrue Holiday did his best to carry the team, but could not prevent an experienced French side from securing the historic win.
As per commentators, this is USA Men's first loss after 25 consecutive wins at the Olympics.
The France Senior Men's team's win comes on the back of its Junior team narrowly losing to USA in the finals of the recently concluded FIBA U19 World Championship.
Featuring multiple current NBA players like reigning defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier & Nicolas Batum, the France team played without feeling intimidated by their superstar rivals. Fornier led all scorers with 28 points, while Gobert chipped in with 14 pts & 9 rebounds.
Seeking his third consecutive Olympic gold, Kevin Durant was restricted to a measly 10 points in 20 mins, before getting fouled out late in the game. The other prolific offensive scorer in the side, Damian Lillard, too had an off-night, with 11 points, which included a forgettable 3/9 from beyond the arc.
USA Men will face the Islamic Republic of Iran next, on 28th July, and will be hoping to get back quickly to their winning ways.
Today's game was streamed live on the Sony LIV app, and it is hoped that the remaining games too will be available for viewing for the Indian audience.
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