France surprised everyone on Wednesday night as they ended the journey of Team USA at the FIBA World Cup, beating the back-to-back champions 79-89. France now advances in the tournament and is set to lock horns with Argentina in the semifinals.
Team USA will not medal and will play against fellow eliminated tournament favorite, Serbia, today.
Control of the game swung back and forth between both teams and it was closely contested with France up 82-78 with just under a minute left in regulation.
USA went to Donovan Mitchell but he was shut down by Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert in the paint. Gobert was a beast in this game, recording 21 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Evan Fournier continued on his hot shooting streak and dropped 22 points (four 3s), three rebounds and four assists.
Mitchell was knocking down shots for Team USA earlier in the game but wound up scoreless in the fourth quarter, when the team needed his offense the most. He still ended the contest with a game-high 29 points. He was the only one who got his game going on the offensive end for the Americans. Celtics duo of Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart combined for 21 points in the loss.
In the other quarterfinal game on tap, the Australian Boomers continued on their scorching run in the 2019 FIBA World Cup as they eliminated the Czech Republic via am 82-70 victory.
The game stayed close early on, but the Aussies opened up the game in the third quarter as they outscored the Czechs 30-18 in the third quarter. From there, Australia managed to hold their ground and successfully fended off the Czech Republic’s late-game push in the fourth quarter.
Patty Mills stayed sizzling hot for his team, spearheading the offense with 24 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Patrik Auda was the top-scorer for the Czech Republic with 21 points. However, it was Tomas Satoransky who’d steal the limelight as he flirted with a triple-double, recording 13 points, nine rebounds, 13 assists and one block.
Expect a high-octane slugfest between Australia and Spain on Friday. That is of course unless Spain decides to crank up their defense up several notches as they did in their game vs. Serbia.
Looks like we’re going to be crowing in a new FIBA World Cup champion soon. Which team will rise up and take the gold?