France stun title holders USA to reach basketball World Cup semis

The United States' winning streak in global competitions ended Wednesday with a loss to France in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell of 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. Gobert swallowed almost every Team USA pick-and-roll, deploying his length to shuffle toward the foul line before extending back for key rejections and impacted shots. 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. The shock defeat sent Team USA to the fifth-eighth place semifinals, where it will face Serbia on Thursday knowing it has failed to match feats of its forbearers.

Australia (6-0) will play Spain (6-0) in the other Friday semifinal.

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Rudy Gobert flew high for an imposing dunk with two minutes to go in the game, and the momentum changed completely in France's favor. But France answered with a 15-2 run that all but ended Team USA's hopes of advancing after five straight victories to open the tournament. Les Bleus are the first team to beat the US in an official game in 13 long years since Greece did in 2006 and with this epic 89-79 result they advance to the semifinals, sending the Americans home. His Celtics teammate, Marcus Smart, also missed four crucial free throws down the stretch.

Tatum's absence is no excuse for the loss, nor is the exodus of superstar talent. As the Americans struggled to create inside, they had to kick the ball out for threes. It is still a disappointment. According to SportsCenter, the loss marks Team's USA's first time losing in global play with National Basketball Association players on their roster since 2006 when they fell to Greece.

Though Team USA lost, players showed growth throughout the tournament.

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