SAO PAULO, SP (UOL/FOLHAPRESS) – Basketball debuted with the zebra at the Tokyo Olympics. The mighty American team was defeated by France 83-76 in an incredible comeback in the second half. The balanced play ended with the Americans’ first blow at the Olympic Games since Athens-2004.
The poor performance of the Greg Popovich-led side comes as no surprise, as apart from not counting NBA stars such as LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, the team had already lost warm-up matches to Nigeria and Australia.
France’s defeat was the United States’ third defeat in the last four matches in major competitions. In the 2019 World Cup, with a team without so many stars, the American team lost to their own French team in the quarterfinals and even suffered a setback to Serbia in the sequence. The United States defeated Poland in a seventh-place blank decision, a very minor result for the basketball nation.
The match began with the US team controlling the match and placing bets on all three. However, the achievement was far from reassuring, and stars like Damien Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns were slow to “warm up.” Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant tried to raise the national team’s level by working at the jug with Miami Heat pivot Bam Adebayo, but made three fouls and got into trouble before the break.
In the third quarter, with Durant on the bench, France took advantage of Greg Popovich’s lowest lineup and used Real Madrid-ESP’s Vincent Poirier and Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert to take advantage of the bottom of the basket. Good passers-by promoted the games of Boston Celtics forward Ivan Fournier and Fenerbahce’s point guard Nando De Colo. The French perimeter pair finished the match with a combination of 41 points and six balls in three balls.
The last period began with an American dominance, as Kevin Durant returned to court. With strong shooting and a trio, however, France was back in the game and forced errors from the United States with a great defensive performance by Nicolas Batum from the Los Angeles Clippers.
The team took a 28-point advantage from the Fournier basket to enforce USA’s first loss at the Olympic Games since the historic semi-final in Athens-2004, when Manu Ginobili’s Argentina defeated the dream team of LeBron James, Alan Iverson, Carmelo Anthony defeated. and company.