After an up-and-down showing during the lead-up to the Olympic Games, disaster finally struck for the Team USA men’s basketball team on Sunday. For the first time in 17 years, one of the most dominant teams in history lost a game in Olympic competition.
Team USA fell 83-76 to France in it’s Olympic opener on Sunday in Tokyo. Despite finally having an entire roster available, Gregg Popovich’s squad shoot poorly and couldn’t hold onto a late lead in the disappointing loss.
Jrue Holiday led the way for Team USA with 18 points just a few days after arriving in Tokyo following the NBA Finals. France was led by a pair of NBA stars as Evan Fournier poured in 28 points, while Rudy Gobert added 14 points and nine rebounds while anchoring his country’s defense.
After Team USA led 45-37 at halftime, France roared back in the third quarter to take a six point lead. The American team responded by going on an 18-5 run to start the final quarter, going up 74-67 with 3:41 to play.
But Team USA would score just two more points down the stretch on a pair of free throws from Damian Lillard, while France scored 16 to give the United States men’s team their first loss since the 2004 gold medal game against Argentina.
Concern began for Team USA during their stretch of exhibition games before the Tokyo Olympics, which included losses to Nigeria and Australia. However, Sunday’s loss will bring about another level of frustration and disappointment for the gold medal favorites.
After the loss, which came early on Sunday morning back in the United States, Team USA fans took to Twitter to give their thoughts on the country’s showing in the Olympic opener.
Team USA loss to France today is USAB’s first Olympic loss since 2004 vs. Argentina.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 25, 2021
France take down USA 83-76 🇫🇷
Fournier: 28 PTS | 11/22 FG
Gobert: 14 PTS | 5/6 FG | 9 REB
Jrue: 18 PTS | 5/12 FG | 7 REB
Bam: 12 PTS | 5/8 FG | 9 REB
— Overtime (@overtime) July 25, 2021
FRANCE: team of individuals.
USA: individuals who make up a team.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) July 25, 2021
You’re down two with under a minute to play and there is a guy from France on the ground holding his face…why is Team USA jacking 3’s?!?!?pic.twitter.com/88KYrctYzb
— Nick Yeoman (@NYeoman) July 25, 2021
France just outplayed Team USA. They had more points in the paint, more rebounds, more second chance points. They held USA to just 15 of 37 inside the arc – credit to Gobert and company
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) July 25, 2021
The U.S. men’s basketball team loses 83-76 to France in its first game of the Olympics Flaccid stuff, really. Team USA looking like a ninth-place C-USA squad. What a yikes.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) July 25, 2021
When France beats Team USA in hoops … pic.twitter.com/1K5woIy05m
— trey wingo (@wingoz) July 25, 2021
Sunday’s loss isn’t the end of the world for Team USA, nor is it the end of their run at the Tokyo Olympics. However, the defeat leaves the players with far less wiggle room if they want to compete for the gold medal in a few weeks.
Team USA will have a chance to bounce back on Wednesday against Iran.