FINAL 1 2 3 4 T
USA 25 11 32 26 94
Italy 19 26 19 21 85

USA Basketball is now 4-0 in Group D.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)

USA Stays Perfect; Rallies Past Italy

SAPPORO, Japan, Aug. 23 -- It was gut check time for USA Basketball. After a poor-shooting second period, Team USA trailed by nine points at halftime in its matchup with Italy on Wednesday at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

Italy appeared primed for the upset until USA's Carmelo Anthony decided to take over the game.

Anthony powered a spirited rally, erupting for 19 of his game-high 35 points in the third quarter as the USA defeated Italy, 94-85, in a battle of unbeaten teams. The victory wraps up the top spot in Group D for USA.

Anthony, who fired in 29 second-half points, played a key role in a 17-4 run that turned a 48-36 deficit into a 53-52 Team USA advantage. He connected on 8-for-11 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

Anthony's point total is a USA record and breaks the previous mark set by Kenny Anderson, who scored 34 at the 1990 World Championship.

“He was en fuego," Teammate Shane Battier said. "Everything he put up, was going down. It was fun to watch. When a guy is playing like that, you try to get him the ball and get out of the way.”

Team USA big man Elton Brand was quick to agree.

“Carmelo was amazing," Brand said. "He got hot and he’s that type of scorer. He can shoot from anywhere. We are a very unselfish team and we kept getting him the ball.”

Dwyane Wade also played a big part in the comeback, popping in 26 points. Team USA, which forced 16 turnovers, outscored Italy, 58-40, after intermission.

Marco Belinelli scored 25 to lead Italy, which fell to 3-1.

The United States (4-0) wraps up its preliminary round games in Group D with a matchup against Senegal on Thursday at 6:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.


Photos: Check out Wednesday's gallery from Team USA's win over Italy.
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Aug. 23: USA-Italy postgame

PtsAnthony 35 Belinelli 25
RebThree with 5Basile 5
AstPaul 6Di Bella 5

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