DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Luke Kennard scored 25 points and No. 19 Duke held on to beat Clemson 64-62 on Saturday.
Playing less than 48 hours after an emotion-draining victory over No. 7 North Carolina on Thursday night, the Blue Devils (20-5, 8-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) blew a 14-point lead in the second half and needed a stop at the buzzer to seal their fifth straight victory.
Shelton Mitchell had a career-high 23 points and Elijah Thomas finished with 15 for the Tigers (13-11, 3-9), who have lost three straight and haven’t won at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995.
The Tigers had a chance to win it or send it to overtime after Thomas rebounded Frank Jackson’s missed three-pointer in the final seconds. Kennard deflected a pass out of bounds near midcourt with 4.3 seconds left to set up Clemson’s final inbounds play.
Donte Grantham inbounded the ball in the backcourt to Mitchell, who dribbled toward the right wing but couldn’t get a clean look against Matt Jones before the buzzer sounded.
Clemson: The Tigers were trying to join North Carolina State as teams earning their first victory at Cameron since 1995 — and just the fifth win here in their history. They certainly were in position for it, catching the Blue Devils on short rest. Instead their two losses this week came by a total of three points.
Duke: This was a game the Blue Devils simply couldn’t afford to give away in their push to make up ground in the league standings. They have got a tough road the rest of the way, with only two of their remaining six games at home and three matchups with Top 25 opponents looming.
Clemson: The Tigers return home to take on Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
Duke: The Blue Devils visit No. 13 Virginia on Wednesday night.
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