NEW YORK (AP) – Luke Kennard made two clutch jumpers in the final 2:04 to help No. 14 Duke thwart a rally by Clemson and advance to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with a 79-72 victory Wednesday.
The fifth-seeded Blue Devils (24-8) play fourth-seeded and No. 8 Louisville on Thursday at Barclays Center.
Kennard took a while to find his shot but finished with 20 points. Freshmen Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson each scored 20 and picked up the slack while Kennard was cold.
Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson (17-15) with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Duke built a 13-point lead midway through the second half but could not put away Clemson. Marcquise Reed converted a 3-point play with 2:51 left in the game to cut Duke’s lead to 69-68 and get the small contingent of Tigers fans pumped up.
Kennard answered with a jumper to push the lead back to three. He dropped in a fall-away from the baseline with 1:14 left to up the lead to 75-70.