USA Basketball is indeed human.
A U.S. team comprised of a roster entirely of NBA players lost for the first time in an international game since 2006 on Saturday, falling to Australia in a 98-94 upset loss in an exhibition game leading up to the FIBA World Cup next week.
The loss snapped a 78-game international winning streak for the U.S. — the longest in program history — which dated back to its semifinals loss to Greece in the 2006 world championships.
Australia rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit behind San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, who led the team with 30 points, in the stunning upset.
“They wanted it more than us tonight,” U.S. guard Kemba Walker said, per The Associated Press. “Lesson learned for us.”
The U.S. entered the game 30-0 all-time against Australia.
“It was awesome,” Mills said.
The U.S. is lacking some NBA star power on its roster this summer, such as James Harden and Anthony Davis, who both declined to play for the team.
Instead, Walker, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton and Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes headline a team that has looked vulnerable, winning by just nine points against Spain earlier this month.
“Some of it is expected with a new group that’s trying to learn about each other and learn a system,” U.S. head coach Gregg Popovich said. “So, it’s not surprising. But the Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we want to be and how you have to play in this kind of a competition.”