DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Quinn Cook matched a career high with 27 points for No. 4 Duke, and the Jahlil Okafor-less Blue Devils routed Clemson 78-56 on Saturday.
Three freshmen — Justise Winslow (20 points), Tyus Jones (11) and Grayson Allen (10) — also reached double figures to help Duke (24-3, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) win its seventh straight.
With the 6-foot-11 Okafor out with a sprained left ankle, the Blue Devils went small and quick. They scored 19 fast-break points and outscored the Tigers 42-30 in the paint, largely on drives and layups.
Jaron Blossomgame had 10 points to lead Clemson (15-12, 7-8), which lost for the fourth time in five games and was denied its first win at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 20 years.
The Tigers pulled to 51-41 on Damarcus Harrison’s jumper with just under 14 minutes left.
Allen countered with a 3, and then Cook made two big plays: He buried a corner 3 while falling into Duke’s bench, then put the Blue Devils up 20 for the first time with a fast-break layup that made it 61-41 with about 10 minutes to play.
Winslow and Cook came up big without their biggest teammate.
Okafor — Duke’s leader in scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage — was on the bench in a sportcoat and a boot protecting the ankle he injured during Wednesday night’s overtime win over No. 15 North Carolina, leaving the Blue Devils with just seven available scholarship players.
Without Okafor to worry about, Clemson initially extended its perimeter defense to better focus on Duke’s shooters. The Blue Devils missed 10 of their first 11 3s before they hit six straight and finished 7 of 20 from behind the arc.
But the Tigers had a hard time taking the driving lanes away from Winslow, who scored 17 points in the first half and keyed a 30-9 run that erased an early five-point deficit and put Duke ahead to stay.
Clemson: The Tigers have played three of the ACC teams in the top five of the polls, and all have been road losses: They lost by six at then-No. 5 Louisville and by 23 at No. 2 Virginia.
Duke: Allen reached double figures for the first time since the opener against Presbyterian.
Clemson: hosts Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Duke: visits Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
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