By Eurohoops team / email@example.com
Rudy Gobert flew high for an imposing dunk with two minutes to go in the game, and the momentum changed completely in France’s favor.
The outcome of his outburst? Les Bleus are the first team to beat the USA in an official game in 13 long years since Greece did in 2006 and with this epic 89-79 result they advance to the semifinals, sending the Americans the play for qualification against Serbia.
Gobert’s overall presence in the second half was decisive, leading Vincent Collet’s squad with a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds. At the same time, Evan Fournier set the mood from early on and finished with a 22-point performance.
Les Bleus didn’t make it easy on Team USA from the get-go. With constant pressure on defense and long-range shooting, as well as domination of the boards, they got ahead 45-39 at halftime. France expanded its lead to as much as 10 points in the third period, though Donavan Mitchell didn’t let them celebrate too early.
Though not even Mitchell’s 29-point game wasn’t able to stop feisty France who returned to the game hungrier than ever and closed the game the right way. With the score tied at 76 and less than four minutes on the court, thanks to an 8-2 run (84-78) and Gobert’s block, “Les Bleus” got the job done.
France now head to the semis, ready to face Argentina.
Photo credit: FIBA.basketball