Myles Turner made it clear yesterday in Team USA’s press conference he had something to prove.
“He’s the defensive player of the year, according to some,” Turner said, speaking about Rudy Gobert.
Turner never got it going Wednesday as Team USA was eliminated from the 2019 FIBA World Cup by France by a score of 89-79.
Facing a two-point deficient with four minutes remaining, Nando De Colo, Evan Fournier, Gobert and Frank Ntilikina scored four straight buckets to give France a six-point lead with 2:52 remaining.
USA was never able to cut it closer than four points the rest of the way.
Turner did not play in the fourth quarter.
Gobert and Fournier dominated the first half to give France a 45-39 lead heading into the break.
Turner’s struggles began early when he recorded two fouls in the first 4:28 of the game, so Brook Lopez promptly replaced him.
But the third quarter was all Donovan Mitchell.
The Jazz guard took over and gave Team USA a three-point lead heading into the final period of action. He continued his dominant play in the fourth quarter as USA continued to pull away in the first few minutes of the quarter, but France didn’t quit.
Team USA was led by Mitchell with 29 points and Marcus Smart with 11 points.
France was led by Gobert with 21 points and 16 rebounds and Fournier with 22 points.
USA was outrebounded by 16 rebounds by France, which begs the question if Turner could have helped in that end of the game if he wouldn’t have gotten into early foul trouble.
He finished with just 2 points and 1 rebound.
Team USA is now eliminated from FIBA World Cup play and will not medal, ending its 58-game winning streak in competitive international play.
The much anticipated USA versus Serbia matchup is going to happen, but in the consolation bracket. They will play tomorrow at 7 a.m.