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Griffin's 22 points lift No. 9 Duke past Louisville 74-65

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

By GARY B. GRAVES

AP Sports Writer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) AJ Griffin scored 22 points, including consecutive 3-pointers during a late 12-0 run that helped No. 9 Duke escape Louisville 74-65 on Saturday.

The Blue Devils (17-3, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 24-8 after 10 minutes before Louisville eventually rallied to forge several ties, the last at 60-all on El Ellis' long 3-pointer with 8:28 remaining.

Wendell Moore Jr.'s two free throws put Duke back up 62-60 before Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams followed with timely blocks, the latter of which set up Griffin's 3 that made it 65-60.

Griffin then followed Williams' block of Mason Faulkner with another big 3 for an eight-point lead with 4:50 left. Banchero added a jumper and Williams a layup for the double-digit cushion that helped Duke earn its third consecutive victory and fifth in six games.

Ellis had 18 points off the bench and Dre Davis 16 for the Cardinals (11-10, 5-6), who fell short in Mike Pegues' second debut as interim coach. Pegues led Louisville to a 5-1 start while head coach Chris Mack was suspended and took over again on Wednesday after Mack and the school agreed to part ways.

Griffin made all five of his 3s and finished 8 of 13 from the field. Williams added 14 points with 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Banchero had 11 points with 15 boards and a block. Duke outshot Louisville 44%-42%, holding the Cardinals to just 33% after halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Duke: The Blue Devils created plenty of looks, especially in the paint. That led to a lot of layups and dunks as they outscored Louisville 42-26 in the lane. Those chances made a difference, though not as much as Griffin's sharp shooting from behind the arc when Duke needed it.

Louisville: Changing coaches didn't appear to have an immediate effect as the Cardinals quickly trailed by double digits. But Pegues kept on urging his team from the sideline, and they soon found the energy that had been lacking. The Cardinals strung together baskets to eventually tie the game and stayed close but could not get over the hump. The performance was still good enough to earn a big cheer from their biggest crowd this season.

UP NEXT

Duke visits Notre Dame on Monday night in a game rescheduled from Jan. 1.

Louisville hosts North Carolina on Tuesday night.

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Updated January 29, 2022

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