By Agence France-Presse

000 1K72KO 640x426 - France eliminates USA from FIBA World Cup in major upset

France’s Evan Fournier (C) runs with the ball next to Donovan Mitchell of the US during the Basketball World Cup quarter-final game between US and France in Dongguan on September 11, 2019. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu / AFP)

Rudy Gobert scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as France handed the United States their first loss in the FIBA World Cup in 13 years on Wednesday to advance to the semi-finals in China with an 89-79 win.

France will play next on Friday against Argentina, who advanced by defeating Serbia on Tuesday night.

000 1K73P4 350x233 - France eliminates USA from FIBA World Cup in major upset

France’s Rudy Gobert holds the ball as Myles Turner (L) of the US tries to block  (Photo by Ye Aung Thu / AFP)

Shooting guard Donovan Mitchell of the NBA’s Utah Jazz scored 29 points as he helped the Americans to cut down a 10-point French advantage in the third quarter and seize back the lead in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.

But the French came back, led by the imposing Gobert and sharp-shooting small forward Evan Fournier of the Orlando Magic.

Fournier slashed to the hoop for a driving lay-up to give France the lead again at 78-76 and they held off the Americans through the final minutes.

The writing has been on the wall for the USA squad, which sent a team of second-tier stars to the competition and promptly suffered a shock loss to Australia in a warm-up exhibition two weeks ago.

The loss in Melbourne was the first for the United States in 78 consecutive games in major competitions and exhibition games.

 

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