Friday, December 20, 2013

Jabari is Boss as Duke takes it to UCLA at MSG

Jabari Parker proved himself worthy of No. 1 NBA Draft pick yet again with 23-point, 10-rebound effort to propel Duke to 13-point win over UCLA at Madison Square Garden. (Photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

By Jason Schott - Daly Dose of Hoops Contributor 

Duke Blue Devils. UCLA Bruins. Two of college basketball's elite in a packed Madison Square Garden for the CarQuest Auto Parts Classic on Thursday night. 

It was a fun night, as Bruce Springsteen was part of the crowd that saw Duke beat UCLA 80-63. The game was tied at 37 at halftime, and the game was still tied at 45 four minutes into the second half. Duke then went on a 12-2 run capped by an electric Jabari Parker dunk with 12:43 left. Duke maintained an eight-point lead the rest of the way, and sealed the win when Amile Jefferson got a layup to make it 76-63 with 1:25 left.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the win, "We're obviously really happy. We beat an outstanding team, a team that's very difficult to defend because they score at all positions, and well coached, and I thought their zone stood us up. We were playing out by the NBA (three-point) line, in fact a little bit beyond it on the wings. We just didn't attack the zone very well, and I thought it hurt our defense. I thought we were having problems with their zone and we took the offense to the defensive end of the court, and they can shoot. They got six threes in the first half, and in the second half, we did a much better job." 

Coach K continued, "We did a really good job of hitting Amile (Jefferson) in the middle of the zone and he ended up being like a toss-back for those of you they still have toss-backs? Anyway, bounced right back to our guys and it got them rhythm shots, and Jabari got us off to such a good start in the second half against their man (to-man defense). Our bench, Amile and Rasheed (Sulaimon) played extremely well and, so good, I mean, Amile that's the best he's played since the start of the year, and for Rasheed, that's the best he's played this year. He's been practicing well the past two weeks and it paid off. I was so happy that big shot put us up 74-63, and to see his teammates be so happy for him and supportive of him is really good." 

Jefferson had 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in 23 minutes. Sulaimon had 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 18 minutes, and the basket that Coach K referenced occurred at the 2:00 mark in the second half. 

Jabari Parker led the way for Duke with 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook had 14 each.

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