Crew USA males’s basketball was fried by the French in a surprising opening loss on the Tokyo Olympics.
The Individuals led Crew France by seven with beneath 4 minutes remaining, however the French scored the following 14 factors for a stunning 83-76 victory Sunday at Saitama Tremendous Area.
Nets star Kevin Durant was in early foul bother and had 10 factors on 4-for-12 capturing in 21 minutes earlier than fouling out within the closing seconds. Jrue Vacation internet a team-high 18 and Bam Adebayo added 12 in a rocky begin for the three-time defending gold medalists.
The loss marked Crew USA’s first within the Olympics because it fell in need of the medal stand in 2004.
Crew USA’s subsequent Pool A recreation is Wednesday towards Iran, which misplaced its opener, 84-78, earlier Sunday to the Czech Republic.
Evan Fournier scored 28 factors to steer Crew France, which performed with out Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina, who sat out as a consequence of a leg harm.
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“They’d run, however we simply caught with our recreation plan,” Fournier stated. “Second, you need to be trustworthy and have a look at their roster, they’ve guys who’re fairly drained from enjoying within the NBA Finals. “We all know they aren’t at full energy but, but it surely was win regardless for us. It’s a hell of a win, and our nation goes to be extraordinarily proud”
France additionally had gained the earlier assembly between the 2 international locations, within the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup in 2019.
After dropping two of 4 exhibition video games main into the event, U.S. coach Gregg Popovich began returning gold medalists Durant and Draymond Inexperienced up entrance alongside Adebayo, with Damian Lillard (11 factors) and Zach LaVine (eight) within the backcourt.
Milwaukee’s Vacation and Khris Middleton and Phoenix’s Devin Booker, who joined the crew in current days after collaborating within the NBA Finals, have been amongst these coming off the bench. Pistons ahead Jerami Grant, who handled COVID-19 points main as much as The Video games, was the lone participant on the U.S. roster to not see any motion.
The U.S. led 45-37 on the half, with Adebayo netting 10 and Lillard 9 on three 3-pointers. However Vincent Poirier’s 3-point play accomplished a 12-3 French run to tie the sport, 52-52, with 3:54 left within the third.
Nando De Colo’s 3-pointer a couple of possessions later gave France its first lead because the opening minutes, 55-54. Extra 3s by De Colo and Thomas Heurtel made it 62-56 after three, because the French outscored the U.S. 25-11 to shut the quarter.
Vacation netted a dozen factors in an 18-5 begin to the fourth quarter, nonetheless, to present Crew USA a seven-point benefit. However Fournier’s 3-pointer with 59.7 seconds remaining gave France a 76-74 lead
Durant sat down together with his third foul with 4:33 left within the first half, and he picked up his fourth within the opening minutes of the third quarter. Durant front-rimmed an open look from lengthy vary with an opportunity to place the U.S. again on prime, and De Colo drained two free throws for a four-point cushion with 21 ticks left on the clock.