Only eight NBA teams were in action on Tuesday, giving players on other squads a chance to watch basketball, rather than play it. More than a few of them took advantage of the opportunity to check out the battle between 2 Kentucky and No. 4 Duke, and they were left as gobsmacked by Blue Devils as everyone else was.
Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky counterpart John Calipari, the Blue Devils wasted no time in laying waste to the wildcats. They jumped out to a 32-11 lead, were up 59-42 at halftime and eventually marched off with a thoroughly convincing 118-84 triumph.
Even a former North Carolina player, the Grizzlies' Brice Johnson, was compelled to compliment Duke – albeit apologetically. "I'm sorry! But if you are a basketball fan or love the game … this is impressive! "He tweeted, adding," straight up !!!
It was impressive, indeed, especially considering that Calipari suffered his worst loss since taking the reins at Kentucky nine seasons and 339 games ago. In fact, according to ESPNNCAA and NBA stops, and the Blue Devils accounted for the third-biggest scoring margin ever between teams ranked in the AP top five.
Along the way, Marvin Bagley's one-year-old record for most points, 25, by a Duke freshman in his debut was bettered by both RJ Barrett (33) and Zion Williamson (28). Those two, plus fellow first-year Blue Devils Cam Reddish (22) and Tre Jones (6) outscored Kentucky all by themselves, 89-84.
Williamson, as expected, wowed observers with his imposing size, skills and dunking prowess. "He did not just do that … .." tweeted the jazz's Donovan Mitchell after one of the burly sensation's many highlight-reel plays.
"Jesus Duke looks like a cheat code right now," Tweeted the Heat's Josh Richardson. "Kentucky may get beat by 50," the Clippers' Montrezl Harrell opined.
Duke's play, Mitchell, a Louisville product, which makes predictable glee in the Wildcats' humiliation. "It's always good when Kentucky is not that right," he tweeted, adding a crying-with-daughter emoji and the hashtag, "#CardNation."
Not surprisingly, Kentucky players were less thrilled. The Timberwolves' Karl-Anthony Towns was reduced to mothering, "Damn … .. I mean … Damn."
"Put me in coach !!" implored the Nuggets' Jamal Murray, appending Calipari's Twitter handle.
Rodney Purvis, who is playing for Heat's G-League affiliate, had a little more practical advice for Calipari. "Give the ball to Keldon Johnson, the plays not working," he tweeted, referring to a freshmen guard for the Wildcats who led his squad with 23 points.
Gary Trent Jr., Who was himself a freshman for Duke last season, Blazers defeated the Bucks to offer his take. It arrived in the form of three emoji, which attested to the imposing strength of this season's Blue Devils.
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