Already qualified, Team USA downed France on Day 9 of the Rio Olympics Basketball tournament. The victory means the US is guaranteed to win Group A with an unblemished 5-0 record. As for France, the Europeans gave a good account of themselves in this 100-97 defeat and put a foot in the next round.
Indeed, both Australia and France have shown that Team USA is certainly not untouchable. Sure, the giants of the NBA are hot favourties and are undefeated, but the Aussies and French have pushed them close. France has the star power in Tony Parker (missing here) and Euroleague MVP Nando De Colo to pose the US problems in later rounds.
Admittedly, it could be questions that this was an eased off USA performance considering the team had already qualified. The rest of the competition will tell us how many more gears the US players have to move into, if any.
Hot starts for Team USA are becoming common in the 2016 Olympic Games. The trademark flyer was in evidence here as the undefeated team drained 30 points during an impressive first half. Indeed, that frame ultimately proved the difference as the French could manage just 24-points. The scorecard will show that France actually won the remainder of the game.
Nevertheless, the USA was 55-46 through halftime. The Europeans responded in the third act, but the US was a step ahead and entered the fourth quarter with a 12 points lead. Les Blues erupted in that final stanza, plundering 28 points and giving the US something to think about late on.
Klay Thompson unloaded 30 points to pace the winners, while Kevin Durant added 17 points, Carmelo Anthony 10 points, and Kyrie Irving 10 points.
Thomas Heurtel and Nando De Colo led France with 18 points apiece.