France tops Italy 84-75 to reach men’s basketball semifinals

Aug 2, 2021, 3:19 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2021, 4:12 am

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Rudy Gobert scored 22 points, Evan Fournier had 21 and France advanced to the men’s basketball semifinals in the Olympics for the first time since 2000 by beating Italy 84-75 on Tuesday.

Thomas Heurtel made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 2:18 remaining after Italy had erased a 14-point deficit and Gobert had a couple of late buckets to finish it out, including a spinning slam for the final basket.

The French will play Luka Doncic and Slovenia on Thursday in the semifinals.

Simone Fontecchio scored 23 points and Danilo Gallinari had 21 points and 10 rebounds for their Italians, who were in their first Olympics since winning the silver medal in 2004.

France was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the last two Olympics and hadn’t been further since reaching the gold-medal game in 2000.

But the French won bronze medals in the 2014 and 2019 Basketball World Cups and maybe this is finally the time for this group to break through on the Olympic stage.

The French, who beat the U.S. in their opener, have power inside with Gobert and fellow 7-footer Moustapha Fall, along with plenty of punch on the perimeter.

They used both to break open the game in the third quarter. Gobert scored on a lob and a dunk around a three-point play by Nicolas Batum in a 9-0 run that made it 56-46.

After a couple free throws by Fontecchio, Fournier and Batum made consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 62-48 with 3:19 to remain in the period.

But Italy opened the fourth with a 12-2 burst, getting the final 10 of them from Fontecchio, to tie it at 66.

Italy scored the final five points of the first quarter and got the first basket of the second for a 27-20 lead. France came back with a 9-0 run that turned a six-point deficit into a 33-30 lead on Fall’s three-point play with 6:02 remaining in the half.

The teams went back and forth from there until Fournier made the last basket of the half for a 43-42 lead.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

AP source: Nimmo staying with Mets on $162M, 8-year deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Center fielder Brandon Nimmo is staying with the free-spending New York Mets, agreeing to a $162 million, eight-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the agreement is subject to a successful physical and no […]
22 hours ago
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, hits a 3-pointer with less than a second left in the NBA b...
Associated Press

Murray’s 3 gives Nuggets 121-120 win over Lillard, Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jamal Murray’s 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining lifted the Denver Nuggets to a thrilling 121-120 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Damian Lillard had 40 points for the Trail Blazers, including a 3-pointer that gave them a one-point lead with 8.8 seconds remaining. Murray then answered with his […]
22 hours ago
Utah forward Ben Carlson (1) goes to the basket as Jacksonville State guard Skyelar Potter (5) defe...
Associated Press

Utah hits 16 3-pointers, routs Jacksonville State 99-58

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lazar Stefanovic made six of Utah’s 16 3-pointers, and the Utes scored the first 19 points of the game and cruised to a 99-58 rout of Jacksonville State on Thursday night for its fourth straight win. Stefanovic finished with 20 points. Branden Carlson added 19 points and Gabe Madsen had […]
22 hours ago
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) celebrates a touchdown by wide receiver Van Jeffer...
Associated Press

Baker cooks: Newcomer Mayfield rallies Rams past Vegas 17-16

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Baker Mayfield was waived by Carolina on Monday and claimed by the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday. After a cross-country flight, he got one short practice with his new team on Wednesday. And on Thursday night, Mayfield led the Rams to two late fourth-quarter touchdowns and a stunning 17-16 victory over […]
22 hours ago
San Antonio Spurs' Tre Jones (33) goes to the basket against Houston Rockets' Usman Garuba (16) and...
Associated Press

Johnson’s hot start helps Spurs beat Rockets, end skid at 11

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Keldon Johnson scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs snapped an 11-game losing streak by beating the Houston Rockets 118-109 on Thursday night. Johnson sparked the turnaround by making his first nine shots and his first three 3-pointers in helping San Antonio win for the first time since Nov. 11, […]
22 hours ago
Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul G...
Associated Press

Adebayo, Butler lift Heat past Kawhi-less Clippers 115-110

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo knows the Miami Heat have some work to do to climb up the standings. Thursday was, he hopes, a good start. Adebayo had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler added 26 points and the Heat held off the Los Angeles Clippers 115-110. “If we worry about ourselves, I feel […]
22 hours ago
France tops Italy 84-75 to reach men’s basketball semifinals