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France Upsets USA in Quarterfinals

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

The United States fell to France on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Dongguan, China. France outscored the USA 26-13 in the fourth quarter on their way to an 89-79 victory.

The loss snapped a 58-game winning streak for USA Basketball in tournament games with NBA players and means that the Americans will fail to win a major international tournament for the first time since the 2006 world championships.

After scoring a team-high 16 points in Monday's win over Brazil, Pacers center Myles Turner battled foul trouble on Wednesday and played just 10:18, finishing with two points on 1-of-2 shooting, one rebound, and one block.

PHOTO GALLERY: Myles Turner at 2019 FIBA World Cup »

France took a six-point lead into halftime on Wednesday, but the Americans rallied in the third quarter. Donovan Mitchell went off for 14 points in the frame to help the United States surge back in front.

The United States led 74-67 following Khris Middleton's layup with 7:39 remaining, but France took over from there, reeling off a 15-2 run to take the lead for good. The American offense faltered down the stretch, as they made just one field goal over the final seven minutes.

Rudy Gobert was dominant for France in the interior in the victory. The two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year racked up 21 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks against the United States.

Evan Fournier led the French squad with 22 points and four assists, while Nando De Colo added 18 points.

Mitchell led all scorers with 29 points, while also tallying six rebounds, four assists, and two steals, but did not score in the fourth quarter. Marcus Smart added 11 points in the loss, while Kemba Walker had 10.

While the United States will not win the World Cup, they do still play two more games before leaving China. They will face Nikola Jokic and Serbia in a consolation game on Thursday at 7:00 AM ET.

Regardless of Thursday's outcome, the USA will close out the World Cup on Saturday. If they win, they will face the Poland-Czech Republic winner in the fifth-place game. If they lose, they will face the Poland-Czech Republic loser in the seventh-place game.

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