Rapid Reaction: Duke Takes Down a Talented UCLA Team 80-63
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Duke takes down a talented UCLA team 80-63 with a strong second half, and what a second half by Duke it was after a less than optimal effort in the first. Duke would outscore UCLA 43-26 in the second after being tied at 37 at the half. Duke had issues with the length of the Bruins in their 2-3 zone and it showed with indecision and turnovers, and issues with shot selection.
Duke would pick it up on both ends of the floor in the second half and hold UCLA to 26 points and 40% shooting for the game. Duke got great efforts from a lot of people in this game. Jabari Parker paced Duke with 23 points and also pulled down 10 boards and had 5 assists. Remarkably efficient in his effort, Parker shot 50% from 3-point range and went 7-for-13 overall. When Duke was in need of a big shot, Parker was the go-to guy. Duke also got 14 apiece from Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook. Hood would pull down 5 rebounds in the game and Cook had 7 steals, frustrating Kyle Anderson all night. Cook also had 5 assists for the Devils.
Huge for Duke was the bench in this game. 22 points off the bench is not the norm, but a welcomed addition if not an unexpected one. Amile Jefferson was huge for Duke in this game, pulling down 8 boards and scoring 11 points. Jefferson was instrumental in busting the UCLA zone in the second half. Jefferson’s crisp passes out to shooters gave Duke great looks at threes that spurred on the lead. It can’t be stressed enough how Amile Jefferson’s contribution was very important going forward for Duke, he stepped up in a big time game, against a big time opponent.
In a great sign for Duke, and probably the most exciting development, Rasheed Sulaimon was getting significant minutes and scoring 8 points and dishing 4 assists off the bench. The excitement in Rasheed Sulaimon’s face and the exuberance showed by the coaching staff is exactly what the doctor ordered.
More later on a great team win.