January 20, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Elton Brand scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half as No. 2 Duke blew past Clemson 82-60 Wednesday night.
Brand had one basket in the first 20 minutes for the Blue Devils (18-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led only 32-29 at the break. With Brand jamming at will, Duke rolled to its 13th straight victory.
William Avery had 18 points, 12 in the first half, and was nearly flawless with the basketball as Duke finished with almost as many blocks (seven) as turnovers (eight).
The Tigers (12-7, 1-5), playing without suspended starters Vincent Whitt and Johnny Miller and injured sixth man Tony Christie, couldn’t do much to slow Duke and watched the lead gradually grow as big as 28 points.
Clemson had been in the top 25 since November but fell out this week as it lost for the sixth time in seven games. Leading scorer Terrell McIntyre went just 5-of-18 from the field for 13 points.
The Blue Devils came out firing in the second half to take control, with Shane Battier making two 3-pointers and Trajan Langdon another to start a 13-5 run.
It was Avery and Battier who kept Duke in it while Brand struggled at the start. He and Langdon, the team’s top scorers, hit just 2-of-9 in the first half.
Avery scored 10 of the Blue Devils’ first 12 points and Battier kept the middle clogged in the first half. Avery’s only 3-pointer gave Duke its first lead, and he steadied the club in an unexpectedly tough first half.
Without Miller and Whitt, suspended Wednesday for violating team policy, Clemson was thought to be little more than road kill under the wheels of the Blue Devils’ express through the ACC.
The Tigers forced their freshmen to stick with Duke. And for a half, they did.
Will Solomon scored nine of his career-high 19 points and picked up for McIntyre, who opened 1-of-9. Forwards Dustin Braddick and Chucky Gilmore combined for six points and battled Duke’s never-ending battalion of big bodies.
The victory was the 450th at Duke for coach Mike Krzyzewski, who missed practice Tuesday with a pain in his left shoulder. After an exam Tuesday night, he flew into Clemson a few hours before the game.
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