Mon Dieu! France rallies late and stuns Team USA in basketball World Cup

It's the first loss by the American men in a major tournament since 2006, breaking a 58-game winning streak.
Image:  FIBA World Cup United States v France
Donovan Mitchell of the U.S. looks dejected after the match against France in the FIBA World Cup quarter finals on Sept. 11, 2019.Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

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By David K. Li

America's men's basketball team lost its first major-competition game in 13 years on Wednesday, as France — led by Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert — rallied for an 89-79 victory at the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals played in China.

France's stunning victory, in the southern city of Dongguan, ended a 58-game Team USA winning streak in Olympics, World Cup and FIBA Americas play, dating back to Greece's victory over the Americans in the 2006 World Cup semifinals.

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Team USA will leave China without a medal.

Gobert scored 21 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds the victorious French, who out-muscled America to a 44-28 advantage on the boards.

France trailed, 74-67, with 7 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter before going on a 22-5 to end the game.

Evan Fournier, who plays for the Orlando Magic, made a driving layup with 3:23 left, giving France a 78-76 lead that his team would not relinquish.

America's top scorer was Gobert's Jazz teammate, Donovan Mitchell, who poured in a game-high 29 points.

The loss wasn't a total surprise as Team USA showed its vulnerability in a pre-tournament exhibition loss to Australia. And with the long NBA season, many of America's top stars chose not to play in this tournament.