Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert proved too much for the Americans to handle in their quarterfinal tilt on Wednesday, with the pair combining for 43 points to help France secure an 89-79 win and book a spot in the semifinals.
The loss in Melbourne was the first for the United States in 78 consecutive games in major competitions and exhibition games. France took advantage of mismatches again, and Team USA went away from Mitchell - he didn't score in the fourth.
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Gobert was the main man for France, with the Utah Jazz center netting 21 points and amassing 16 rebounds, along with two assists, while making a superb block with just under a minute to play. Argentina upset a heavily favored Serbian squad, and the French upset sets up a very interesting semifinal matchup. Virtually all of the NBA's top American stars elected to skip the World Cup, which FIBA moved to an odd year for the first time since the 1960s. Walker is one of the NBA's leading pick-and-roll players, but neither he nor the rest of Team USA could put Gobert on skates a la Steph Curry.
France spoiled an impressive performance from Donovan Mitchell, Gobert's National Basketball Association teammate, who led Team USA with 29 points. Those two teams will go head-to-head on Friday, while Team USA will face off against Nikola Jokic and Serbia in a consolation game on Thursday. The 2019 roster was overshadowed by a slate of high-profile departures, and the performance in China wasn't exactly impressive in the lead-up to France's upset victory. While Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart were productive, neither jumped out in a way to indicate that they were on the verge of a breakout season.