Duke vs. Clemson score: Blue Devils rout Tigers, Jalen Johnson throws down insane dunk


Notching its best win of the season and aligning itself closer to the path of an at-large NCAA Tournament berth, Duke on Saturday demolished Clemson with its biggest blowout victory of the year 79-53. The Blue Devils (7-5, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) led wire-to-wire, jumping out to an early lead and pushing the gas pedal throughout.

Just eight minutes into the first half, it was apparent which way the game was already heading. Duke freshman Jalen Johnson grabbed a steal and threw down a transition poster dunk on Clemson freshman PJ Hall. The dunk and ensuing made free throw off the and-one extended Duke’s lead to seven points, and Clemson (10-5, 4-5) never recovered.

Johnson finished with a quiet nine points but added a team-high eight rebounds to go with five assists and a pair of steals in the win. Five Duke players finished in double figures overall, including Matthew Hurt, who had 13 points in just 28 minutes of action.

For Clemson, the poster dunk and the subsequent collapse was metaphoric in a way to how its last few weeks have gone. Only two weeks ago it had the No. 1 defense at KenPom and a 9-1 record, but Virginia dehumanized the Tigers 85-50 on Jan. 16 and they have yet to look the same, with four losses in their last five all by huge margins.

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