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U.S. defense looks shaky again in win over France

POSTED: Aug 14, 2016 3:05 PM ET

By John Schuhmann

BY John Schuhmann


— The United States Men's National Team completed pool play and clinched the top spot in Group A with a 100-97 win over France on Sunday. But it will go into the quarterfinals with serious questions about its defense.

After starting Paul George for two games, head coach Mike Krzyzewski went back to his original starting lineup with Klay Thompson at shooting guard. And that move helped the bench, which gained separation from France late in the first quarter.

But the U.S. was never able to put France away and led by just four points with four minutes to go in the game. A 10-4 run, highlighted by a Carmelo Anthony corner 3-pointer off a loose ball, helped seal the win. France hit a 3 at the buzzer for the final margin.

After shooting 4-for-26 through the first four games, Thompson broke out against France. He led all scorers with 30 points on 9-for-16 shooting, hitting seven of his 13 3-point attempts. Kevin Durant added 17 points, making all six of his shots.

Tony Parker did not play, nursing a toe injury suffered in France's win over Venezuela on Friday. France still put the U.S. defense on its heels with good pick-and-roll play from its guards. Nando De Colo and Thomas Heurtel led their team with 18 points apiece.

The U.S. is now 135-5 in Olympic competition and takes a 50-game winning streak in international tournaments into the quarterfinals. It will learn the identity of its next opponent when Group B concludes pool-play action on Monday.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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