Duke preys on Deacs as Kelly, Curry star
For most of this basketball season, Duke seniors Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry have carried the Blue Devils to the nation’s top ranking with their inside and outside scoring.
Duke’s third senior starter, Ryan Kelly, is reminding teams that he’s a factor as well.
Kelly had his second consecutive solid game on offense Saturday, hitting five 3-pointers to score 22 points as Duke topped Wake Forest 80-62 in an ACC men’s basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Following up on his 18-point game in Duke’s 67-50 win over Davidson Wednesday night, Kelly scored 13 of Duke’s first 19 points against Wake Forest to get the Blue Devils (14-0, 1-0 in ACC) rolling.
“It makes a huge difference,” said Plumlee, Duke’s senior who leads the team in scoring and rebounding. “That’s what he’s capable of. He’s one of the best stretch shooting forwards in the country. When he gets hot … Today it wasn’t just jump shots. He was attacking the rim and drawing fouls and getting on the glass. When he plays like that it gives our team a whole new dimension.”
It’s the fourth consecutive game that Kelly has topped the 20-point mark against the Demon Deacons (7-6, 0-1). But Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Kelly is capable, no matter the opponent.
“I think Ryan has the ability to score 20 against anybody,” Krzyzewski said. “I think Ryan is really good. I think when you’re trying to take Mason and Seth out of the game, it opens it up a little bit more for Ryan.”
That’s exactly what Davidson did in Charlotte on Wednesday night and what Wake Forest attempted to do in Saturday’s ACC opener. Kelly foiled both.
“I went into the game with confidence, got open looks and the shots went in,” Kelly said. “Guys got me the ball in the right position and I knocked it down. Guys were saying earlier in the season that I wasn’t shooting the 3-ball well. Numbers always find a way to come back to where they’re supposed to be.”
Kelly has made 8 of 11 3s over the last two games, raising his season totals to 23 of 46 (50 percent). That quite an improvement from the 4 of 17 3-point shooting he posted in Duke’s first six games of the season.
Duke led by as many as 17 points in the first half and took a 41-30 lead to the locker room behind 17 Kelly points in the first 20 minutes.
After playing to a 29-all halftime tie against Davidson, Duke had a goal to put away the Deacons much quicker.
“We wanted to get off to a good start in the first half,” Curry said. “They stuck with us the first few minutes. But after that we were able to knock some open shots down, get some stops and that’s what we want to do early.”
Duke opened the second half with a 15-4 run, taking a 56-34 lead, with offense that was far more balanced. Kelly had five points during that stretch, but Plumlee and Curry each scored four.
Curry, Duke’s top perimeter player who averages 16 points a game, scored 22 against Wake Forest to match Kelly for game-high honors. Curry hit three 3s as Duke made 11 of 24 to fall one made 3 short of its single-game high this season.
But it wasn’t a matter of Duke standing around the 3-point line looking for shots.
“We did a good job of running our offense,” Curry said. “Guys set a lot of good screens for me, personally, and we did a good job of getting into the paint and kicking out. Whenever we can be aggressive and get into the paint, it allows us to get open threes.”
Even though Duke won handily, the game did have a couple of strange twists. Kelly fouled out after logging only 18 minutes of playing time to score his 22 points.
“It was strange,” Kelly said. “I put myself in a few positions where I shouldn’t have on the defensive side to create some fouls. I would have liked to be out there for 30-35 minutes.”
Duke point guard Quinn Cook had a career-best 14 assists and committed only one turnover in 38 minutes of playing time. That’s the best assist-to-turnover ratio for a Duke player since former great Bobby Hurley had a school-best 15-to-1 mark in a 1993 game against N.C. State.
But Cook was 0-for-11 from the field, including four missed 3s, going scoreless.
Krzyzewski called Cook’s day “weird.”
But Cook didn’t take it lying down. After the game, with fans milling around the Cameron court taking photos, Cook returned to take some extra shooting practice.
No. 1 DUKE 80, WAKE FOREST 62
Percentages: FG .411, FT .667. 3-Point Goals: 4-11, .364 (Miller-McIntyre 2-4, McKie 1-1, Fischer 1-2, Rountree III 0-1, Adala Moto 0-1, Harris 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 1 (McKie). Turnovers: 19 (Thomas 6, McKie 3, Adala Moto 3, Miller-McIntyre 2, Cavanaugh 2, Harris, Jones, Fischer). Steals: 4 (McKie 2, Jones, Harris). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .460, FT .500. 3-Point Goals: 11-24, .458 (Kelly 5-7, Curry 3-7, Sulaimon 2-4, Thornton 1-2, Cook 0-4). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 4 (Curry, Marshall Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Kelly). Turnovers: 6 (Curry 2, Cook, Hairston, Kelly, Mason Plumlee). Steals: 6 (Thornton 2, Sulaimon 2, Cook, Hairston). Technical Fouls: None.
|Wake Forest||30||32 — 62|
|Duke||41||39 — 80|
A—9,314. Officials—Karl Hess, Brian Dorsey, Gary Maxwell.