It looked like Team USA was going to avoid another embarrassing loss when they went up 74-67 with just under four minutes to play against France to open the Tokyo Olympics. Instead, the Americans suffered a humiliating collapse by giving up a 14-0 run and ultimately losing, 83-76. So, if you're counting at home, that's a 16-2 run to close the game.
It's the first loss in the Olympics for USA Basketball since 2004:
Team USA loss to France today is USAB’s first Olympic loss since 2004 vs. Argentina.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 25, 2021
Jrue Holiday tried to play hero in the fourth quarter not long after flying over to Tokyo from the Milwaukee Bucks' championship celebration. He was all over the court on both ends, and it seemed like France was on the ropes thanks to his 12 fourth-quarter points.
Then Team USA collapsed, missing a bunch of open looks from 3-point range. There was even one possession with three consecutive misses from 3-land, with Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant and Holiday all missing. It was just a nightmare in the fourth quarter for the Americans outside of Holiday:
Team USA 4th Quarter Shot Chart, 4 of 18.
Just 1 of 3 in the paint. pic.twitter.com/RpNxzp1C1S
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) July 25, 2021
Holiday led Team USA with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench. The Americans shot just 36.2% from the field and 10-of-32 from 3.
Evan Fournier played hero for France with 28 points on 11-of-22 shooting. Team USA had no answer for his shotmaking all game long, and it was his 3-pointer with just under a minute to play that gave the French the lead for good. That triple came after several big hustle plays, with France just wanting it more than the shell-shocked Americans.
Team USA certainly isn't finished in these Olympics, as they should still advance as long as they beat Iran and the Czech Republic. However, after those first two exhibition losses, this latest collapse is another warning sign that this team might not be gold-medal worthy. Gregg Popovich's squad has a lot to clean up, especially in crunch time. They can't just chuck 3s and expect to win gold.
We'll see how Team USA responds.