Melo hit with 'cheap shot' in USA win

August, 6, 2012
8/06/12
8:15
PM ET
New York Knicks fans can't be happy with Facundo Campazzo.

Why?

Because Campazzo, the Argentine guard, intentionally hit Carmelo Anthony in the groin in the United States' 29-point win on Monday.

"It was more of a tap," Anthony said afterward. "I'm fine. I'm cool."

It happened after Anthony hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter against Argentina. As he landed, Campazzo ran by and hit him in the groin.

"You come down in transition and you're wide open and for somebody to do that, it was a cheap shot," Anthony told reporters in London.

The 6-8 Anthony hit the deck immediately. As he was on the ground, some of his United States teammates and coaches argued with the Argentinian bench.

It looked like forward Luis Scola got into it with head coach Mike Krzyzewski near midcourt, and several players, including Tyson Chandler and Anthony (after he got up), were woofing at Argentina.

According to the NBC announcers, Team USA assistant Mike D'Antoni also came to Anthony's defense.

This is notable, of course, because of the odd history between D'Antoni and Anthony.

Though neither player nor coach ever stated so publicly, it was widely believed Anthony was one of the driving forces behind D'Antoni's resignation in March.

The cheap shot Anthony absorbed on Monday -- which was believed to be in retaliation for an earlier shot Campazzo took from Chris Paul -- could serve as motivation for the U.S. if they face Argentina again in the semifinals.

Team USA takes on Australia in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

After the game, Kobe Bryant spoke with Campazzo about what happened with Anthony. According to Bryant, Campazzo apologized.

"I have a great amount of respect for Argentina and how hard they've played, but that was uncalled for," Bryant said.

Cheap shot aside, Anthony did not come close to matching the numbers he put up last week against Nigeria, which were otherworldly.

Anthony finished with five points on 1-for-6 shooting, and pulled down five rebounds against Argentina. In the United States' wins over Tunisia and Nigeria last week, Anthony combined for 53 points in 26 minutes.

On Monday, Team USA didn't need big numbers from Anthony.

After a shaky first half on defense, the Kevin Durant-led offense outscored Argentina 66-29 in the final two quarters.

Durant had 28 points and hit eight of 10 3-pointers as the United States improved to 5-0.

Chandler finished with three points and five rebounds. He also made several tip-outs on missed shots to extend U.S. possessions but was hampered by foul trouble (he picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter).

PRIGIONI SITS: New Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni sat out Monday's game. Prigioni has missed the last three games due to kidney stones. Campazzo, who hit Anthony in the groin, was in the starting lineup in place of Progioni.

You can follow follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

ESPN.com's Marc Stein contributed to this entry from London.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2