For the first time since 2002, Team USA has lost two consecutive games at the FIBA World Cup. To some basketball aficionados, this was an expected result for the American side, as the team was without several of its regular NBA stars. For Donovan Mitchell, though, losing two in a row comes with a sharp sting.
Team USA squared off against Serbia on Thursday for the fifth place game, resulting in a 94-89 victory for the Serbs. Simply put, it was a terrible showing from the American side, who fell behind by a score of 32-7 after the first quarter of play. Mitchell logged 26 minutes, scoring nine points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field (1-of-4 from beyond the arc), five rebounds, four assists and one steal.
“We’re not here to get moral victories, we’re here to win,” Donovan Mitchell told ESPN after Thursday’s loss to Serbia. “To lose two in a row stings.”
Team USA’s first loss of the 2019 FIBA World Cup came on Wednesday, when Rudy Gobert and the French National Team upset the Americans by a tally of 89-79. Mitchell had 29 points in that game, but it simply wasn’t enough.
Now that they’ve lost two in a row, Team USA cannot place higher than seventh at the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Americans will be back in action on Saturday, when they’ll face Poland to determine the seventh and eighth place positions.