After suffering two pre-season losses, the US men’s basketball team was not reassured, as it lost its first game of the Olympic Championship 83-76 to France on Sunday in Group A.
This is the United States’ first loss in 26 games at the Olympics since 2004.
It all started well for the Olympic ruling nation. The French lacked accuracy in their shots, as well as regularly confronting the American defense in the first two quarters.
The Americans maintained an uneven lead between five and seven points and returned to the locker room in the half when the score was 45-35 in their favour.
The mid-match break was lucrative for France, who returned to the pitch with fresh energy. Led by Yvan Fournier – who scored 28 points per game – the French team began to group three-strokes together, unlike the Americans, who were less accurate.
The current turns
A tie was established at 52-52 and Nando de Colo gave the French lead 55-54 with a 3-point shot. The tide changed at this point and the French defense forced the American offensive to jam its game during this recession. Thomas Hurtl had fired with three points and the French were leading 62-56 before the quarter-finals.
The Americans did not give up and tied the score to 63 all around with less than 7 minutes left. The French intensity was highlighted at the end of the quarter, falling 74-73. Yabousel Gershon pigeon to pass the ball to Yvan Fournier who had the three points, which pushed France forward 76-74.
Shocked by this streak, the Americans missed three 3-point shots in the last 30 seconds and watched the French inflict their first defeat in Tokyo.
The victory surely gives confidence to the French team that is looking for its first Olympic podium since taking the silver at the 2000 Sydney Games, reaching the final… against the US team.
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