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Zion Williamson scores from near and far as No. 1 Duke pounds Wake Forest

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski breaks down win over Wake Forest

Blue Devils travel to Winston-Salem and win their second conference game in a row 87-65
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Blue Devils travel to Winston-Salem and win their second conference game in a row 87-65

Zion Williamson routinely piles up points with dunks, layups and spin moves to the basket.

On Tuesday night he added another wrinkle.

The Duke freshman star nailed three 3-pointers while scoring a career-high 30 points as No. 1 Duke blasted Wake Forest 87-65 in ACC basketball at Joel Coliseum.

Williamson had made just 4 of 21 3-pointers over his first 13 games for Duke before making 3 of 4 against the over-matched Demon Deacons. He also grabbed 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season while collecting five assists.

RJ Barrett added 21 points for the Blue Devils (13-1, 2-0 in ACC) while junior Marques Bolden had 12 and fellow freshman Cam Reddish scored 10 points.

Playing their first game of the season on an opponent’s home court, Duke’s win ended its streak of seven consecutive losses on the road in ACC play while ranked No. 1.

After trailing 42-34 at halftime, Wake Forest (7-7, 0-2) shot just 34.5 percent in the second half to finish at 33.8 percent for the game. Duke blocked 13 shots.

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Leading by eight after a lackluster first half, the Blue Devils emphasized getting the ball inside early in the second half to separate from the upset-minded Deacons.

Duke’s first six baskets of the half were all within two feet of the rim as it turned an eight-point halftime lead into a 54-39 lead with 16:18 to play.

Barrett’s aggressive drive to the basket on Duke’s first possession of the half resulted in a layup and a foul. He missed the free throw but Williamson rebounded and scored to get Duke off and running.

Reddish, Barrett and Williamson scored after driving into the lane on Duke’s next three possessions. Williamson’s dunk off a Barrett pass put Duke up 54-39.

Williamson’s third 3-pointer of the game at 15:28 extended Duke’s lead to 57-41.

Barrett’s 3-pointer at 10:59 pushed Duke’s lead over 20 points for the first time at 67-46.

The underdog Deacons stayed with Duke over the game’s first 15 minutes. The game saw six ties while the Blue Devils could never build a lead larger than four points.

When Wake’s Isaiah Mucius scored with 4:35 to play, Duke’s lead was just 31-30.

Duke started to open things up when a couple of 3-pointers finally started falling. Williamson hit one, his second of the half, and Marques Bolden slammed home Tre Jones’ missed layup in transition to give the Blue Devils a 36-30 lead.

Jaylen Hoard scored inside with 3:06 left in the half for what would be Wake Forest’s final field goal of the half.

Williamson passed to Bolden for a hook shot in the lane and Barrett made of his his next three free throws giving Duke a 39-32 lead.

After Hoard hit two free throws with 30 seconds left, Jones dribbled the clock down before driving to the basket. He lost control of the ball and nearly fell out of bounds but tossed the ball back out front to Reddish, who drilled a 3-pointer giving Duke a 42-34 halftime lead.

The Blue Devils made just 5 of 15 3-pointers in the first half, missing nine in a row during one stretch. But Duke shot 17 of 32 overall (53 percent) by finding paths to the basket against Wake Forest’s ineffective defense. The Blue Devils scored on six layups and five dunks over the first 20 minutes.

Wake Forest shot just 33 percent overall in the first half while hitting 2 of 10 3-pointers. The Blue Devils blocked eight shots, with White recording four in the first half.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.

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