The United States lost their first Olympic men's basketball game since 2004 as they went down 83-76 to France in their opening group match of the Tokyo Games.

The Americans are three-time defending champions in the Olympics, but have arrived in Japan short of star power after a number of withdrawals, injuries and Covid-19 issues, and it showed as they made a sloppy start to the competition.

The Boston Celtics' Evan Fournier scored 28 points for France, who dominated the third quarter of the Group A contest and then survived a fourth-quarter rally to take a huge scalp.

The Americans began the fourth on a 13-1 run, leading 69-63 when Jrue Holiday made a lay-up, but it was only temporary as big three-pointers from Nicolas Batum and Fournier swung the momentum back to France.

Fournier put the French back in front, 76-74, with 57 seconds left and they had the better of a scrappy finish as the Americans missed all seven of their attempts from the field inside the final minute.

It was a first Olympic defeat for the United States men's team since the semi-finals of the Athens Games, when they were beaten 89-81 by eventual champions Argentina.

The United States are always the team to beat at basketball - they now have a 139-6 record and have won gold 15 times since joining the Olympic programme in 1936 - boasting more depth than any other country with their star-studded NBA line-ups.

But their recent form suggested reaching the top of the podium would not be as easy as in the past, after they dropped two straight exhibition games this month including a surprise loss to world 22nd-ranked Nigeria.

Gregg Popovich's team must look to repair some of the damage when they face Iran in their second game on Wednesday.