- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 25, 2021

Time to hit the panic button.

The U.S. men’s basketball team fell 83-76 to France in its debut at the Tokyo Games on Sunday — marking the first Olympic loss by the country since 2004, when America finished only with a bronze medal.

Sunday’s loss followed a shaky series of exhibition games in which the U.S. struggled with the competition, losing to Nigeria and Australia. 

Behind Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert, France pulled away on a 16-2 run in the final minutes to upset the U.S. Down 2 with 40 seconds left, the U.S. missed three shots on consecutive possessions that could have given them the lead — only for each attempt to clank off the rim.

Star Kevin Durant went just 4 of 12 from the field and fouled out in 20 minutes of game time.

Fournier led France with 28 points.

Sunday’s defeat snapped a 25-game win streak for the U.S. 

Even with the loss, the U.S. still has a chance at gold as it can advance out of Group A as there’s a round-robin format in place.

But they’ll need one of the two best records in their group of four countries, making their margin of error that much smaller. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide