Which: USA vs France, Men’s basketball
When: Sunday at 8 a.m.ET
Streaming: Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
The United States plays a strong defense against France in the first quarter
Gregg Popovich chose to go with a starting lineup of Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Bam Adebayo, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant for the United States in his first Olympic game.
The United States recorded a 16-4 streak in the first, capped by transitioning buckets from Jrue Holiday and Jayson Tatum, who opened a 22-13 lead with 1:23 remaining in the quarter.
The United States shot 47.6% in the first, with Adebayo and recently crowned NBA champions Jrue Holiday leading with five points each to help the United States take a 22-15 after the first.
The United States applied a heavy switch defense that helped force six turnovers in the first quarter. France, who shot 30.8% in the first quarter, were held without a basket in the final five minutes of the quarter. Evan Fournier had eight points in the first to lead France.
United States embarks on quest for four consecutive gold medals
It’s time to get serious.
The US basketball team fell short of their standards in an exhibition match, losing their first two games to Nigeria and Australia before ending 2-2.
As the team’s quest for a fourth straight gold medal must officially begin, and with France offering a tough opener, the United States will need to start to look a bit more like the Dream Team.
Even without the brightest stars like LeBron James and Steph Curry, the American list is stacked and remains the favorite to capture gold. The team is led by Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jayson Tatum. They will also be joined by those who have just finished the NBA Finals: Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker, all of whom are expected to play against France.
The French squad also has plenty of NBA talent, including Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, Nicolas Batum, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Frank Ntilikina, who is out against the United States due to mild muscle discomfort.