France handed Olympic basketball powerhouse the U.S. a shock 83-76 defeat on Sunday.
The was the first defeat for Team USA since 2004 and just sixth in the history of the tournament.
The French had upset the U.S. men when they last met in the 2019 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals and they had their number again on the first day of group play at the Saitama Super Arena, powered by a game-high 28 points from Evan Fournier.
"It felt good, it felt good," Fournier told Reuters.
The Americans got out to a good start in the first half, leading 45-37 at the break on the back of their defensive energy, but were outscored 25-11 in a disastrous third-quarter with France taking the lead.
Team USA clawed back to briefly regain the lead in the fourth quarter, but the French wouldn't go away and took their first-ever Olympic win versus the U.S.
The United States is always the team to beat at basketball – it now has a 139-6 record and has won gold 15 times since joining the Olympic program in 1936 – boasting more depth than any other country with their star-studded NBA line-ups.
But its recent form suggested reaching the top of the podium would not be as easy as in the past, after it dropped two straight exhibition games this month including a surprise loss to world No. 22 Nigeria.
Preparations were also disrupted by the absence of players due to this year's late NBA playoffs and late replacements due to COVID-19 tests and injury.
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