Team USA began their quest for gold in this years Olympic games, boasting a 25-game win streak in the competition. After a relatively shaky performance in Las Vegas, fans of the U.S. team expected a statement win in their first official match. Instead, the men’s team lost to France, 83-76.
The U.S. stars were led in scoring by Jrue Holiday with an 18-point game off the bench. Holiday is fresh off of winning an NBA championship and surprised everyone with his tough play. However, his gritty performance was not enough to inspire the rest of the team as they fell short of expectations once more.
The French team was led by the Celtics own Evan Fournier. He finished the contest with 28 points and made key plays down the stretch to help seal the win for France. Fournier will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and this type of performance should warrant an extension offer.
Boston’s star player, Jayson Tatum, struggled shooting the ball and finished the game with just nine points. Tatum’s scoring was lacking during the exhibition games but he was making up for it by contributing on the boards and as a playmaker. This time around he finished with only one rebound and 0 assists. Tatum showed signs of his improved playmaking and vision during the exhibitions and Celtics fans hope he can get back on track.
Tatum and USA will return to action against Iran on July 28th at 12:40 a.m. ET. Fournier and France’s next matchup will be played later that day versus the Czech Republic at 8 a.m. ET. Both games will be televised on NBC.
(Photo of Jayson Tatum/Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)