Klay Thompson was outstanding, proving the Americans with 30 points while Thomas Heurtel, one of France’s less celebrated player, was arguably the best player in the game with 18 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds.
The USA won for the fifth time in as many games to clinch first place in Group A while France saw their three-game winning streak come to an end and will go into the Quarter-Finals with a 3-2 record.
Turning Point: France cut the USA lead to just four points in the fourth quarter after a drive by Joffrey Lauvergne but not long after, a steal byCarmelo Anthony triggered a fast break and led to one of the best plays of the Olympics. Kyrie Irving was falling down but managed to deliver a perfect alley-oop pass to Kevin Durant and that sparked a run for the Americans that put them in front by 10.
Stats Don’t Lie: Thompson had the three-point shooting eruption that everyone was expecting and reminded everyone that he was one of the Americans’ best players at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The Golden State Warriors superstar entered the game shooting just 19 percent from behind the arc but he drilled 7 of his 13 attempts (54 percent) against France. Irving also had 12 assists to go with his 10 points.
Hero: Thompson sparked the USA offense and helped give them a big cushion.
Bottom Line: The USA were not convincing winners, but winners nonetheless. Everyone is wondering when this team will start locking teams down on offense as they have done in most games during coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 10-year reign. France’s defeat to Australia now seems like a long time ago. To push the USA as close as they did without the services Tony Parker, who was rested because of a sore toe, suggests they have good things ahead. France have several NBA players and others like Heurtel and Nando de Colo that are outstanding and possess a lot of national team experience.