The French men's national team fought valiantly but eventually, they lost a close Gold Medal game 87-82 to Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics.
They fought back from a 13-point second-quarter deficit and multiple double-digit deficits in the second half to make it a three-point game (73-70) with 5:42 minutes remaining. However, that's the closest they came as Team USA pulled away late and clinched their fourth consecutive gold medal.
TAKEAWAYS: Team USA edge France in Gold Medal game
"Disappointing, but also, I'm proud of what my players have shown," France head coach Vincent Collet said to begin the postgame press conference. "Not only in this game but the tournament."
Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier were top scorers for the team with 16 points apiece while Nando De Colo finished with 12 points and seven assists. France had five players score in double figures with the duo of Guerschon Yabusele and Timothe Luwawu Cabarrot combining for 24 points.
Despite being proud of their fight in this game and how far their program as come, the trio of Collet, Rudy Gobert and Nicolas Batum - all at the postgame press conference - credited Team USA's defence while rueing their turnovers and missed free-throws in the loss.
"When you give those type of turnovers and also missed free throws, those kind of details, you shoot yourself in the foot," French center Rudy Gobert said in his opening comments at the postgame press conference.
France turned the ball over 18 times, some of which were forced by Team USA's spectacular defence, which recorded nine steals and five blocks.
"It's one thing to know it [is coming], and it's another thing to handle it," Collet said regarding Team USA cranking up their defensive pressure in the second half.
To make matters worse, Team USA scored 20 points off those 18 turnovers.
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"We can't turn the ball that much against that kind of team," France forward Nicolas Batum said.
On the free-throws battle, France nearly had as many makes as Team USA had attempts. They made 18 of their 29 shots with seven of those 11 misses coming from Gobert's 13 attempts while Team USA went 14-of-21 from the line.
The Silver medal at Tokyo, ties France's best result at the Olympics, having previously finished second in 1948 (London) and 2000 (Sydney). It's their sixth medal in the last 10 years with three at EuroBasket (Gold - 2013, Silver - 2011, Bronze - 2015) and two at the World Cup (Bronze - 2014, 2019).
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