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France inflict first Basketball World Cup defeat in 13 years on makeshift USA

The writing has been on the wall for the USA squad, which sent a team of second-tier stars to the competition.

Jay Brown of USA and Mathias Lessort of France in action during today's quarter-final.
Jay Brown of USA and Mathias Lessort of France in action during today's quarter-final.
Image: Zuma Press/PA Images

RUDY GOBERT SCORED 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as France handed the United States their first loss in the FIBA World Cup in 13 years on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals in China with an 89-79 win.

France will play next on Friday against Argentina, who advanced by defeating Serbia on Tuesday night.

Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, a team-mate of Gobert’s at the NBA’s Utah Jazz, scored 29 points as he helped the Americans to cut down a 10-point French advantage in the third quarter and seize back the lead in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.

But the French came back, led by the imposing Gobert and sharp-shooting small forward Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic.

Fournier slashed to the hoop for a driving lay-up to give France the lead again at 78-76 and they held off the Americans through the final minutes.

The writing has been on the wall for the USA squad, which sent a team of second-tier stars to the competition and promptly suffered a shock loss to Australia in a warm-up exhibition two weeks ago.

The loss in Melbourne was the first for the United States in 78 consecutive games in major competitions and exhibition games.

- © AFP 2019

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