No. 2 Kentucky shuts down No. 5 Duke for 74-63 victory
CHICAGO (AP) -- Tyler Ulis had 18 points and six assists, and No. 2 Kentucky used its speed and athleticism to hold off No. 5 Duke for a 74-63 victory in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night.
Kentucky forced 16 turnovers and outscored Duke 18-4 in fast-break points. Jamal Murray scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, and Isiah Briscoe added 12 points as the Wildcats (3-0) placed four players in double figures.
Amile Jefferson led the Blue Devils (2-1) with 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Marshall Plumlee finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.
Grayson Allen, who scored 54 points in Duke's first two games, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting. He got his first basket on a 3-pointer from the corner with 12:08 left in the second half.
Spurred on by a pro-Kentucky crowd, the Wildcats grabbed control with a 10-2 run early in the second half. Murray kicked it off with a layup and a dunk, and Skal Labisserie's layup made it 49-38 with 14:48 left.
John Calipari's team was never really challenged again. The Wildcats opened their biggest lead of the game when Ulis converted a layup to make it 71-55 with 4:09 to go.
Marcus Lee had 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Kentucky, and Alex Poythress finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Matt Jones made three 3-pointers and finished with 16 points for Duke, which shot 40.7 percent from the field, compared with 44.8 percent for Kentucky.
The opener of the fifth edition of the Champions Classic featured the defending national champions and another Final Four team in Kentucky. The Wildcats opened last season with 38 consecutive wins before losing to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament, and the Blue Devils beat the Badgers for their fifth title under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
NBA scouts filled many of the courtside seats at the home of the Chicago Bulls, and they were treated to quite a show.
Lee had a couple of impressive alley-oop dunks in the first half, one off a nice pass from Briscoe from just inside half-court, and a reverse jam off a slick setup by Ulis. Plumlee, the younger brother of NBA players Miles and Mason, muscled his way inside for nine quick points in the first four minutes.
But the Wildcats began to control the inside, and the Blue Devils struggled to find open shots. Briscoe slipped inside for a layup in the final seconds of the first half, lifting Kentucky to a 37-31 lead at the break.
Duke: The Blue Devils dropped to 3-2 in the Champions Classic.
Kentucky: The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Blue Devils 12-9. They had lost three in a row to Duke.
Duke: Takes on VCU on Friday night in the 2K Classic in New York.
Kentucky: Hosts Wright State on Friday night.