Grayson Allen’s 28 points led the surging Duke Blue Devils to an 82-56 win Wednesday night over the visiting Louisville Cardinals.
The win moves fifth-ranked Duke to 23-5 overall, 11-4 in the ACC, while Louisville drops to 18-10, 8-7.
Duke did pretty much everything well, hitting 15-of-16 from the foul line, while winning the battle of the boards 44-30 against a huge Louisville team.
But it was Duke’s zone defense that controlled the game. Mike Krzyzewski said Duke talks better in the zone, is more “unified” in the zone, while Allen added “I like what we’re doing right now. We’re talking a lot more.”
Louisville shot a miserable 36 percent from the field, got to the line only seven times and turned it over 15 times, 10 of those coming on Duke steals.
This was the third consecutive game Duke has held an ACC team under 60 points.
Louisville came into the game averaging 78.8 in conference play. This was their lowest point total of the season.
Louisville led only once, at 2-0. It was still close at 16-15, when an Allen 3-pointer started a 12-0 run that included two dunks by Javin DeLaurier and one by Marques Bolden, the two sophomores whose playing time has expanded with the continued absence of Marvin Bagley III.
Bagley sat out of his fourth straight game. More on that later.
Allen again did the bulk of the ball-handling and more importantly perhaps the communicating. Krzyzewski said Allen “organizes” the team while the game is going on.
“It’s definitely intentional,” Allen said, “trying to keep this group going. Sometimes we’ve gotten comfortable with leads. What I’m saying going down the court is to stay focused on every play. It’s really mature for the entire team to keep saying ‘don’t let up, don’t let up’ for 40 minutes. It’s a big step for a young team.”
Duke didn’t let up. It was 42-25 at the half. Louisville scored the first four points of the second half but Allen answered with three field goals—two from beyond the arc-in a span of 1:40 to make it 50-31 and the lead never again dipped under 16, peaking at 72-43.
Duke also benefited from another superb game by Wendell Carter, Jr. The 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks are what we’ve come to expect from Carter.
But he also led everyone with a career-high six assists. Two of those were short, interior passes to Bolden for dunks.
“He makes so many people on the court look good,” an appreciative Bolden said. “He’s easy to play with.”
Playing with a nose he broke Sunday at Clemson, Bolden scored eight points with five rebounds. He, DeLaurier and Jack White gave Duke 18 rebounds in 50 combined minutes.
“That’s an adjustment he’s made to his post scoring, passing out of double teams, hitting cutters,” Allen noted of Carter. “He’s so talented and can do so many things. There’s not a lot he can’t do on the floor.”
“He can pass,” Krzyzewski said. “We knew that right from the beginning. With Marvin out, he’s going to get more doubled, so when he’s crowded like that he can make a play. He’s had a great year but in the last few weeks he’s stepped it up.”
Carter has 55 points, 42 rebounds, 12 assists, and 12 blocks in the four games Bagley has missed.
Speaking of Bagley, here’s some of what Krzyzewski had to say.
“It’s a day-to-day thing. Marvin has a problem or else he would play. It’s not a structural problem. But if we weren’t concerned about him getting more injury, he would play. He’s not ready but he’s getting closer now. I don’t know when he’ll be ready but I’m not going to push him. But we’re good with everything.”
Duke had a light 45-minute practice yesterday and likely won’t do much more prior to the Syracuse game Saturday.
Allen has led Duke in scoring each of the last four games, 95 points in all, bringing his career total to 1,861.
Gray Trent, Jr. joined Allen and Carter in double figures, with 11 points. Trevon Duval added six points, four assists and five steals.
Duke played 11 players and everyone except Jordan Goldwire grabbed at least one rebound.
Ray Spalding had a solid game for the visitors, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. But Duke held their two leading scorers, Deng Adel and Quentin Snyder to 16 points, on 8-for-21 shooting.
- No. 5 Duke cruises past Louisville at home; picks up fourth win without Bagley
- Duke better or worse without Bagley? Blue Devils are definitely different
- Duke men’s basketball routs Louisville for fourth straight win without Marvin Bagley III
- Louisville basketball routed at Duke, suffering fifth loss in seven games
- Analysis: Duke basketball continues to win without Marvin Bagley III
- Allen ties Bobby Hurley on Duke three-point scoring list
- DUKE TOO MUCH
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Player of the game vs. Louisville
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Alex O’ Connell