Anthony and Wade lead U.S. to another win at Worlds
Sapporo, Japan (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade combined for 51 second-half points to rally the United States to a 94-85 victory over Italy in a battle of unbeaten teams at the World Basketball Championships.
The Italians led by nine at the break and by 12 early in the second half, but Anthony scored 19 points in the third quarter and Wade added 11 in the period to help the Americans turn it around and clinch first place in Group D.
A three-pointer by Anthony in the closing seconds of the third quarter gave the U.S. a 71-64 lead. Italy, though, pulled to within three early in the fourth, but Anthony and Wade again helped the Americans pull away.
Wade scored seven points and Anthony added five during a 14-4 run that gave the United States a comfortable 87-74 advantage.
Italy got no closer than the final margin.
Anthony finished the game with 35 points, 29 in the second half, and drilled 5-of-7 three-point tries. Wade chipped in 26 on 10-of-13 shooting, scoring 22 in the final 20 minutes. Elton Brand contributed 16 points in the victory, which improved the U.S. record to 4-0 with one game remaining in round-robin play.
The Americans will conclude Group D play on Thursday against winless Senegal, then will have two days off before a single-elimination game in the second round on Sunday. They will play the fourth-place team from Group C.
Italy fell to 3-1 with the loss. Marco Belinelli scored 25 points to pace the Italians, who don't have any NBA players on their roster. Stefano Mancinelli and Fabio DiBella each chipped in 12 points in defeat.
The Italians closed out the first half with a 14-5 run to grab a 45-36 edge and Belinelli started the second half with a steal that resulted in a three- point play to increase the lead to 12.
Anthony and Wade then heated up.
Trailing by 10 after another Belinelli basket, Anthony and Wade scored all the U.S. points in a 13-2 run. A three-pointer by Anthony pulled the Americans within one and Wade followed with a dunk to give his team a 53-52 lead with 5:50 remaining in the period.
A pair of Italian free throws interrupted the American surge, as Anthony then hit another three to highlight a string of eight straight U.S. points. A free throw by Wade capped the burst and gave the United States a 61-54 advantage with 3:50 to play in the third.