In front of Australia, the duel Fournier-Mills had animated the beginning of match, and this time, it is Donovan Mitchell who answers the back French. The Blues do not try to accelerate the game, and it's a real round of observation (8-6). Under the panels, Rudy Gobert learned the lesson. He does not jump on feints, unlike Myles Turner who is already out with two faults.
Frank Ntilikina confirms his aggressiveness of previous matches, and Andrew Albicy is in the same register. Marcus Smart plants a basket to 8 meters, and the United States pass in front (16-14). Vincent Collet made a call to Nando de Colo, and he hit the front. The Blues are solid under the panels with a Gobert who follows his miss shot to equalize (18-18).
The duo Fournier – Gobert is holding the house
The match finally ignites a little with De Colo who makes us a Stephen Curry: he gets a ball at 10 meters and the foot on the logo, he sheds a bomb without thinking. Filoche! Dominators in the racket, the Blues rely on Mathias Lessort to drive the nail. The Americans are in "small ball" and it is Derrick White who traps the Blues in the back of the defense. Team USA only survives when there is space. It's Jaylen Brown on transition or Donovan Mitchell on his pace changes. In contrast, Kemba Walker is transparent and the Americans show nothing in creation.
This is the duo Fournier – Gobert who will punish them. The first, still easy plant two 3-points to move to +6 (39-33). The second is both aggressive and sober, and Turner cumulates the mistakes. At free throws, Gobert's arm does not tremble, and France escapes (45-37). Once again, it is Mitchell who avoids the worst with a shot left hand to the siren (45-39). The domination of the Blues rebound is decisive: 21 -12!
Gobert is the man of the beginning of the 2nd half with a big dunk, and causing the new release of Myles Turner. Batum gives us a rare 3 + 1, then Fournier is still there to support him, and here are the Blues at +10 (51-41, then 53-43). The Americans are already in the penalty but the Blues are foiling. The retreat is unsteady, and Donovan Mitchell catches fire. The back of the Jazz flies over quarter-time, 3-point or dunk. The French defense is on the heels, and it becomes a match of attack. Ideal for the United States that ironed in front thanks to the aggressiveness of Marcus Smart (63-62). The United States got their hands on the match. They dictate the tempo, and it is Mitchell, at 3-points, who strikes again (66-63).
Ntilikina as a hero!
France lost its rebound, and the second chances benefit the Americans as on this 3-point Harrison Barnes (70-65). And it wakes up Kemba Walker who gives seven points ahead (72-65). Team USA is the image of his tournament: it's windy but the individual talent and aggression hurt. A real job of undermining. It is Ntilikina (11 pts) who gives a second wind to the Blues with a caviar for Gobert then a drive (74-71). Referees forget to give Colo a basket after a foul. And it hurts because behind Walker is looking for a foul, and he puts his throws (76-71).
There are five minutes left to play, and Ntilikina takes his 3-point responsibilities to equalize (76-76). Evan Fournier (22 pts) plants a lay up then serves Gobert for a new big dunk. France is ahead (80-76) three minutes from the end, and the defense of Ntilikina has rubbed off on his teammates more solidarity rebound. And the leader of the Knicks bluffes everyone with a 3-point limit of 24 seconds (82-76).
It's crazy, and Gobert (21 pts, 16 rbds) goes to stick his friend Mitchell 50 seconds from the end. It is De Colo throwing that makes the Blues breathe (84-78). Opposite, Walker's arm trembles. The Americans have missed six free throws in this quarter. And behind Middleton walks on the line! Twenty seconds to hold, and De Colo returns to the line, and he puts both (87-78). The United States takes a time-out, but it's too late. France wins 89-79 against the Americans, undefeated since 2006 in official competition. Exceptional!