Team USA loses to France, exits FIBA World Cup without a medal

The last time they failed to do so was back at the 2006 World Cup as they won a bronze medal.

Holders the United States suffered a shock 89-79 loss to France in the quarter-finals of the Basketball World Cup in China on Wednesday.

The loss in Melbourne was the first for the United States in 78 consecutive games in major competitions and exhibition games. Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 29 points for the US.

The U.S. had no answer for Gobert, the All-NBA center for the Utah Jazz who amassed 21 points and 16 rebounds while commanding the paint. Frank Ntilikina also added 11 points and played some solid defense on both Walker and Mitchell for France. He tallied just two shot attempts in the fourth, and his second attempt came with Team USA down 10 in the final 10 seconds.

France faces Argentina in the semifinals Friday.

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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.

Gregg Popovich took over for Mike Krzyzewski as head coach of the United States during this cycle. This version of Team USA will bear no resemblance to the squad that will play in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Boomers had never before finished better than fifth, doing so in 1982 and again in 1994, although they have finished fourth in the Olympics four times, including in 2016. The experience he gained as a leader and top option for Team USA could prove to be invaluable as he continues to develop into an All-Star-caliber player in the National Basketball Association. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum missed the game with an ankle injury.

The U.S. faces Serbia in the consolation round Thursday.

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