The United States lost to France, 89-79, in the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Wednesday, snapping a streak of 58 straight wins in global competition. The loss snapped a USA Basketball 58-game win streak with NBA players in their roster. Gobert's Utah teammate carried Team USA for the opening 30 minutes, pouring in 29 points, including 12 in the third quarter.
Les Bleus will now square off against Argentina on Friday, while the USA, which can't finish higher than fifth place, faces Serbia in a classification game on Thursday.
Before the game, US big man Myles Turner thought it was a good idea to question Gobert's status as the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. The U.S. had won two straight World Cups before the defeat. They already had qualified for next year's Summer Games in Tokyo.
The team will need to add more floor-spacers and versatile big men, as both were areas of weakness for the '19 iteration of the team that were exposed against France. With Gobert guarding the paint, this was a game where the USA needed their scorers to step up and carry them into the semis, yet ultimately only Mitchell was able to assume that responsibility.
Having ground out a barely deserved 93-92 overtime win over Turkey in the preliminary group stage, there was to be no escape for the US this time against an athletic French side who dominated them in every department. Donovan Mitchell looked really good against France as he was able to score in a plethora of ways, and he appears poised to take a major step forward this season.More news: Robbie Keane's Euro qualifiers goals record broken by Cristiano Ronaldo
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Mitchell wasn't the only Jazz player that turned heads at the World Cup as Rudy Gobert was a major reason that the U.S.is headed home.
U.S.: Faces Serbia in consolation round at Dongguan on Thursday.
The composition of Team USA's roster at those Olympics remains to be seen. Walker is one of the NBA's leading pick-and-roll players, but neither he nor the rest of Team USA could put Gobert on skates a la Steph Curry.
France's Nicolas Batum celebrates a World Cup victory over the United States. Jayson Tatum (sprained left ankle) missed his fourth consecutive game.
Australia (6-0) will play Spain (6-0) in the other Friday semifinal.