Team USA’s invincibility in men’s basketball is long gone, and the journey to a fourth consecutive gold medal is already fraught with adversity.
France gut-punched the Americans with a brilliant finish for an 83-76 victory to open the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. It snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak dating back to 2004 for Team USA.
The final blow came when Evan Fournier drilled a 3-pointer with a minute to play to give the French the lead for good, completing their comeback after the U.S. had an eight-point lead with four minutes to play. It was the biggest of his 28 points in one of the finest games he has played in his career.
It was followed by an incredible possession in which the Americans managed to get five shots off and missed them all. The final three were wide-open 3-point attempts by Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant and Jrue Holiday.
“I got to lead the team because I know these guys,” Fournier said. “It’s a hell of a win. Our country is going to be extremely proud. But it’s just one game, to be honest.”