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Nicolas Batum says Rudy Gobert used Myles Turner’s comments as motivation

Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, Myles Turner

Team USA center Myles Turner took a little jab at French big man Rudy Gobert prior to their recently concluded FIBA World Cup matchup, in which France won 89-79.

As relayed by John Schuhmann of NBA.com, Nicolas Batum said Gobert used the Indiana Pacers center’s sly comments as fuel for their Wednesday showdown, which obviously worked in favor of France:

Myles Turner had said Rudy Gobert is the Defensive Player of the Year, “according to some.” Of course, Turner thinks he should have won the award last season, as he led the NBA in total blocks and blocks per game. But still, that is an obvious knock on the Utah Jazz big man’s achievement.

With how Wednesday’s game turned out, Turner might have just regretted his words. Gobert put on a commanding performance to catapult France into the FIBA World Cup semis. He scored 21 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and swatted away three shots in 34 dominant minutes.

Turner, on the other hand, laid a massive goose egg. In a forgettable 10 minutes, he had just two points, one rebound, two turnovers, and three fouls. Nevertheless, as much as he was owned by Gobert, the 23-year-old can just file this game as valuable experience heading into next season.

France can now brag about breaking Team USA’s 58-game winning streak in international tournament competition with NBA players on its roster.

Next up for Gobert and the Frenchmen is an Argentinian squad that surprisingly upset Serbia on Tuesday. The two giant-slayers should carve out what should be a classic semifinal matchup.