Duke shoots 3’s, hangs on against UVa.

No. 2. Blue Devils ride early hot shoot­ing to hold off No. 3 Cavs, 81-71

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CHARLOTTESVILLE — RJ Bar­rett got it started, Zion Wil­liamson filled in some gaps and Cam Red­dish added a late flurry.

In No. 2 Duke's lat­est in­stall­ment of Fresh­men Gone Wild, all three — and point guard Tre Jones — had star­ring roles Satur­day night as the Blue Devils used an early bar­rage of 3-point­ers to stun No. 3 Vir­ginia, and then held off the Cava­liers, 81-71, to sweep the sea­son se­ries.

“That re­ally sets the tone for us and we played de­fense to­day as well,” Bar­rett said of the fast start that saw him make five 3-point­ers be­fore the game was 12 min­utes old, help­ing Duke quiet a sold­out John Paul Jones Arena with the host Cava­liers al­ready trail­ing 29-15.

“We were just in our zone and it's great to see when our team is like that,” Bar­rett said.

He fin­ished with 26 points, Wil­liamson had 18 and Red­dish had 17, in­clud­ing three 3-point­ers early in the sec­ond half.

“It's any given night for all of us,” Red­dish said af­ter fin­ish­ing 5 of 8 from beyond the arc, with three com­ing in a span of less than three min­utes. “We all can do a mix­ture of ev­ery­thing and it just de­pends on who gets found, who's open and it's a sim­ple as that.”

Duke fin­ished 13 for 21 from 3-point range af­ter mak­ing just 2 of 14 in a 72-70 vic­tory against Vir­ginia on Jan. 19.

“It's a lit­tle bit de­flat­ing when they're bang­ing 3s

and you’re try­ing to keep them out of the lane,” Vir­ginia coach Tony Ben­nett said.

Ben­nett thought his team might have over-ad­justed by fo­cus­ing too much on try­ing to close off the in­side, but his coun­ter­part, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, thought it was at least as much a case of his own play­ers rec­og­niz­ing the strat­egy change.

“My play­ers felt it,” Krzyzewski said. “That lit­tle bit of room — they took ad­van­tage of it without any kind of coach­ing.”

The Blue Devils (21-2, 9-1 At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence) ended Vir­ginia’s 13-game home win­ning streak and won their third straight in Charlottesville. They now share first place with North Carolina and have two games left with the Tar Heels.

Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome each scored 16 to lead Vir­ginia (20-2, 8-2), which plays the No. 8 Tar Heels on Mon­day night.

Duke led 31-17 be­fore two 3-point­ers by Guy, one by Jerome and an­other by Ki­hei Clark fu­eled an 18-8 run for Vir­ginia that closed the gap to 39-35 at the half. Af­ter the break, Red­dish con­nected three times from deep as the Blue Devils pushed the mar­gin to 52-41 in just over four min­utes.

Vir­ginia kept try­ing to close the gap, and got within 66-61 on De’An­dre Hunter’s 3-pointer with 5:25 left, but Mar­ques Bolden scored in close for the Blue Devils, Wil­liamson scored on a stick­back and Tre Jones hit a pullup in the lane, boost­ing the mar­gin back to 72-61.

Star power

Le­Bron James sat un­der the bas­ket at the Duke end of the floor and didn’t get up to leave un­til about 1:15 was left on the game clock. Former Duke great Grant Hill was also in at­ten­dance, as was Ralph Samp­son, Vir­ginia’s three-time na­tional player of the year.

Late in the game, Hunter was open in the left cor­ner and ei­ther lost con­trol briefly or took too much time set­ting up for a 3-pointer. By the time he got it off, Wil­liamson came fly­ing at him and knocked the shot sev­eral rows deep, one of his three blocks.

“There’s maybe two peo­ple in the world that can make those plays and they both were in our gym,” Ben­nett said in an ap­par­ent nod to James’ visit.

Big pic­ture

Duke: Wil­liamson is the player that ev­ery­one seems to fo­cus on in pregame warmups be­cause of his phys­i­cal gifts, but it’s Bar­rett that leads the Blue Devils in scor­ing (23 points per game to Wil­liamson’s 22 en­ter­ing the game). When Bar­rett and Red­dish shoot as well as they did Satur­day, Wil­liamson can be a part-time de­coy who still man­ages to do plenty of dam­age.

Vir­ginia: The Cava­liers ap­peared shocked by the first 12 min­utes, dur­ing which the Blue Devils were 7 of 8 on 3-point­ers and 10 of 14 overall in tak­ing a 29-15 lead. They gath­ered them­selves and had sev­eral runs that en­er­gized the crowd, but a team that’s 20-0 against ev­ery­one else never could get over the hump against ar­guably the coun­try’s most tal­ented squad.

Up next

Duke: The Blue Devils re­main on the road, play­ing at No. 16 Louisville on Tues­day night.

Vir­ginia: The Cava­liers head to Chapel Hill to

Duke for­ward Zion Wil­liamson (1) drives past Vir­ginia’s guard Brax­ton Key dur­ing the first half of an NCAA col­lege bas­ket­ball game

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