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US slink out of Basketball World Cup with lowest-ever finish


Agence France-Presse

Outgoing champions the United States won their final match on Saturday at the Basketball World Cup — but it was still their worst finishing place in the tournament’s history.

Team USA defeated Poland 87-74 in a low-key “classification” game in Beijing to take seventh overall, their lowest position since the competition began in 1950.

Gregg Popovich’s team at least managed to avoid a third defeat in a row, but it was an anti-climactic denouement to their title defence.

Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz had a double-double of 16 points and 10 assists.

This US roster is missing the NBA’s elite names, but the Americans were still fancied to at least reach Sunday’s final in China.

However, they were dumped out in the quarter-finals by France, then lost their subsequent classification match to Serbia, in what was billed as the title game that never was.

The US have at least qualified to defend their Olympic title in Tokyo next summer.

Sunday’s World Cup final is between Argentina and Spain.