DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke's defense is still ahead of its
Portland found that out the hard way Sunday night as the
fourth-ranked Blue Devils rolled over the Pilots 84-43, forcing 19
turnovers, blocking 14 shots and recording 12 steals.
"I told Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski after the game that was
probably the best defense I've ever seen and I known it's the best
defense my players have ever seen," said Portland coach Michael
Holton, a former guard for UCLA. "They suffocated us from the
Luol Deng scored 15 points and had nine rebounds as Duke held
Portland to three first-half baskets in the lopsided win.
"We better play good defense because we're not hitting all our
shots," Krzyzewski said. "In some respects it's a blessing that
it hasn't been as easy offensively because we've concentrated even
more on defense. The kids really believe they have to do it."
Deng came off the bench for the first time this season, but the
freshman didn't miss a beat, scoring 11 of his points as the Blue
Devils built a 28-point halftime edge.
In a 26-second span in Duke's masterful first half, Deng blocked
a shot, hit a 3-pointer and then drew a charge, showing of his
Duke (6-1) didn't have much trouble with its overall game after
an eight-day layoff for exams, extending the nation's longest home
winning streak to 31.
Eugene Jeter led the Pilots with 10 points, but was 3-for-15
from the field.
Meanwhile, Portland (5-2), which came in with a five-game
winning streak, missed 16 of its first 17 shots and was just
3-for-28 with 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes against Duke's
At one point, the Pilots went close to nine minutes without a
basket as Duke went on runs of 12-2 and 15-2 to open up a big
The Pilots came in third in the nation in 3-point shooting, but
the Blue Devils extended their defense beyond the arc and Portland
was never able to get into its offense most of the night.
"To be quite frank with you I was really concerned about this
game," Krzyzewski said. "They had beaten Oregon State and New
Mexico on the road and they took it to Nevada. We were fortunate
that we were able to take away their strength."
Two of Portland's six 3-point attempts early were air balls that
didn't come close to the basket.
Things were worse inside for the Pilots, who had 11 shots
blocked in the half -- six by Shelden Williams, who hurt his left
foot late in the period and had to leave the game twice as Duke
took a 40-12 lead at the break.
Duke's starting center, who sprained the same ankle two days ago
in practice, didn't return to the bench in the second half.
Krzyzewski said if it was an ACC game, Williams probably would
have been able to go back in.
The 12 points were the ninth-fewest Duke has allowed in a half
Duke's block total was the second-best in school history behind
the 17 against Virginia in 1999.
"We did an amazing job on the defensive end," Duke captain
Chris Duhon said. "Our big guys did a great job of protecting our
goal and our perimeter kept guys in front of them and made them
take tough shots."
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