France knocks holders USA out of World Cup medal rounds

Why Team USA got booted from the World Cup by France relegating it to no better than a fifth-place finish

Team USA won't win a medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The loss by the Czechs also wraps up the final two automatic qualifying spots for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, As the last two European squads remaining, Spain and France are locked into next year's field.

For Colangelo, striking the balance between the World Cup and the Olympics has been a tough task, given the scheduling of the tournaments now in back-to-back summers, making the decision to play in the World Cup tougher than ever for the USA's elite players.

'We came here to win gold, ' Gobert said.

France, who were beaten late by The Boomers last start, rode the impressive outings of National Basketball Association duo Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier, who combined for 43 points to pace the French unit.

France led 45-39 at intermission but the United States stormed ahead 66-63 after three quarters led by Mitchell.

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"I'm not surprised that they ended up getting beat by someone because while they're good players, they're not the best that we have to offer and if you had sent the best that we have to offer". There was no outrage when Serbia was considered the main favorite to win the gold.

France will play next on Friday against Argentina, who advanced by defeating Serbia on Tuesday night. The Americans came up scoreless on six consecutive possessions down the stretch, the drought that allowed the French to take control of a back-and-forth game for the final time. Marcus Smart and Kemba Walker were the only other Americans to finish with double-digit points, with 11 and 10 respectively.

Both teams gave up leads in the second half. The French responded with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes, leading 82-76 after a long jumper by Frank Ntilikina with 2:05 on the clock.

France had been 0-9 against the U.S.in major global play before Wednesday's win.

Though Team USA lost, players showed growth throughout the tournament. There's much left to be desired in volume, though, as Turner only took 2.6 perimeter shots a game (he took 2.4 the year prior). With a win over Serbia, then a victory in the fifth-place game, the US would at least finish higher than the awful 2002 squad (which came in sixth and on home soil, no less: Indianapolis hosted the worlds that year). U.S. guard Donovan Mitchell said after his 29-point performance. However, a surge by France snapped that lead. Marcus Smart made three free throws after getting fouled by Gobert to put the U.S. back on top, and the Americans took a 66-63 lead into the fourth.

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