Even without their starting point guard, the basketball national team from France gave powerhouse Team USA trouble in their group stage meeting at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. The Americans defeated the French, 100-97 and needed a good game from Golden State Warriors forward Klay Thompson, who had 30 points.
Thompson made 7-of-13 shots from the three-point area and was 9-of-16 overall from the field. Warriors teammate Kevin Durant added 17 points while Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving had 10 points and 12 assists.
France, who were playing without their star point guard from the San Antonio Spurs, was led by Huertel, who had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists and Euroleague’s Most Valuable Player Nando de Colo, who had 18 points and 5 assists.
The Americans were in control for much of the game having a 55-46 lead at halftime and an 81-69 lead at the end of the third quarter. However, the French team cut it down to four, 85-81 with 5:27 to go in the game.
Team USA led 100-90 with over a minute to go but the French squad finished the game on a 7-0 run to make the final score close. The Americans were also not able to dominate their last two games, against Australia and Serbia, but will enter the knockout quarterfinals stages as the top seed in their group.
France is also in the quarterfinals and end up as No. 3 in the group behind USA and Australia. Those three teams will be joined by Serbia and awaits the final standings in the other group for their QF opponents.
Argentina and Lithuania are assured of spots in the next round with Spain, Brazil and Croatia battling for the final two slots.