Even without Bagley, Duke hands Clemson its first home loss

Grayson Allen scores 19 to help the Blue Devils take sole possession of second place in the ACC standings

Duke defenders Wendell Carter Jr (34) and guard Gary Trent Jr. (2) surround Clemson's Elijah Thomas during the Blue Devils' win Sunday (Joshua S. Kelly/USA TODAY Sports)

CLEMSON, S.C. — Grayson Allen scored 19 points as No. 12 Duke handed No. 11 Clemson its first home defeat of the season, 66-57, Sunday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum.

The Blue Devils improved to 22-5 overall and 10-4 in the ACC, snapping a tie with the Tigers (20-6, 9-5) for sole possession of second place in the ACC standings with four regular-season games remaining.

Clemson entered the game unbeaten in 13 home games this season.

Duke continued its mastery of Clemson despite playing its third consecutive game without freshman star Marvin Bagley III, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder who sprained his right knee on Feb. 8.

The Blue Devils have won nine of their last 11 games and 31 of 35 against Clemson, which also is battling to overcome injuries down the home stretch. The Tigers lost senior forward Donte Grantham — the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder — to a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 20, and starting point guard Shelton Mitchell missed Sunday’s game after suffering a concussion against Florida State on Wednesday.

Wendell Carter Jr. had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Duke while Trevon Duval scored 12 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 11.

Clemson was led by junior forward Elijah Thomas, who had his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 15 rebounds. Guard Marcquise Reed also scored 13 points while Aamir Simms and Mark Donnal added 10 apiece.

Neither team led by more than six points in a first half that included seven ties. Allen scored 17 first-half points to help Duke take a 35-34 lead at the break.

Donnal came off the bench to lead Clemson with 10 points in the first half. Senior guard Gabe DeVoe, who had made 25 of his last 40 shot attempts from 3-point range and was averaging 20.4 points over the Tigers’ last five games, was held scoreless until hitting a 3-pointer with 2:50 left in the game.

That shot pulled Clemson within two, 57-55, and a layup by David Skara on the Tigers’ next possession tied the game, 57-57, with 1:59 left.

But Duke outscored the Tigers 9-0 the rest of the way, including 7 of 7 from the free throw line, to seal the victory.