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No. 6 Duke 88, Virginia Tech 56

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Curry makes his father proud

BLACKSBURG, Va. Seth Curry hasn’t had an abundance of success playing against Virginia Tech, his father’s alma mater. Two years ago, when Curry fouled out after registering zero points in 15 minutes, the students chanted, “Who’s your Daddy?” as Dell Curry sat in the stands.

Thursday night, Curry dominated the floor just like his Daddy did back in the day with 22 points as Duke rolled to an 88-56 win.

Curry scored Duke’s first six points, swishing his first two shots from downtown. That was just part of the 3-point show the Blue Devils put on en route to a 47-28 halftime lead. Duke went 12-of-16 (75 percent) from downtown, tying the season-high for 3s made in a single game.

No. 6 Duke (23-3, 10-3 in the ACC) went 8-of-9 from beyond the arc in the opening 20 minutes, with Quinn Cook, Rasheed Sulaimon and Tyler Thornton contributing a 3-pointer apiece to go along with Curry’s five. Overall, Duke shot 60 percent from the field in the opening period.

Curry scored 19 first-half points, missing just once from beyond the arc (5-of-6). His final 3-pointer of the first half was one for the highlight reel, as Curry recovered from a Jarell Eddie block of his layup. Gathering the ball, he stepped back behind the arc and drained it. And he let Eddie, also a Charlotte native hear it, resulting in a technical foul. He was able to laugh about it with Cook on the bench and apologized to the referee after halftime.

“My fault, I couldn’t help it,” he said.

Curry rested for much of the second half. Sulaimon, who averages 20 points a game after a Duke loss, scored 17 points on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown. Mason Plumlee (13) and Josh Hairston (11) also finished in double figures for Duke.

It was the eighth time this season Duke had hit at least 10 3-pointers. In those games, the Blue Devils are a perfect 8-0.

With the Blue Devils “raining 3s” – to borrow a term from Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton – the pressure was off Mason Plumlee, who struggled in Duke’s three games last week. Plumlee quietly put together a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. He also went 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

With much needed time off after last week’s wringer of a schedule, the Blue Devils looked refreshed. The defense was much more effective, forcing 12 turnovers and limiting the Hokies to 38.5 percent shooting in the first half, when the game was competitive (Virginia Tech never got closer than 20 point in the second half). Taking out Erick Green, the other Hokies shot 14-for-51 (37.8 percent) for the game.

Green, who leads the nation in scoring with an average of 25.3 points per game entering Thursday’s contest, finished with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Sulaimon, Cook and Thornton took turns rotating on him, as Duke tried to keep a fresh player on him when possible.

Green was forced to help on Curry after Marquis Rankin, Virginia Tech’s best perimeter defender, picked up two early fouls. It didn’t matter what the Hokies tried on Curry, though, as he was in his groove, just like his Daddy used to do.

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