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Saturday August 18 2018
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Pitt loses at Duke in Coach K's return

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Grayson Allen didn't trip anyone on Saturday -- at least, not on purpose. Instead, Duke's Allen scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half and the No. 21 Blue Devils handed Pitt their eighth consecutive loss, 72-64, on Saturday.

The game marked Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's return after a four-week break following back surgery.

Allen, who has been involved in nearly a dozen incidents of intentionally tripping, kicking or stomping on opposing players, played a clean game. He did get tangled with Pitt's Jamel Artis midway through the second half, but the trip appeared to be inadvertent. 

Amile Jefferson added 15 points, freshman Jayson Tatum had 12 and Luke Kennard added 10 to help the Blue Devils (18-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their third straight.

All of Duke's key players are healthy again, and so is the Hall of Fame coach. The Blue Devils' roster composition more closely resembles the team they were expected to be when they were picked No. 1 in the preseason Top 25.

Michael Young scored 24 points and Artis added 17 for the Panthers (12-11, 1-9), who have lost eight straight but the ACC's last-place team gave its preseason favorite fits all game.

Pitt had the ball down 63-59 when Artis missed a 3-pointer in transition with about 1 1/2 minutes left. Allen countered with the shot of the day -- a 3 with the shot clock winding down that bounced high off the front iron, then straight through, putting Duke up by seven with 49.7 seconds remaining.

By then, Krzyzewski could finally exhale in his first game back on the bench in more than a month.

He underwent surgery Jan. 6 to have a fragment of a herniated disk removed from his lower back, and in announcing his return Thursday night, the winningest men's coach in Division I history revealed that he's been attending practice for about 1 1/2 weeks.

The Blue Devils went 4-3 with associate head coach Jeff Capel running things in the interim, winning their last two on the road in a span of 48 hours.

Nothing came easy in this one, with Pitt leading for about 8 minutes and neither team leading by more than six points until there were about 5 minutes left.

The Panthers' best remaining shot at an ACC road victory comes Wednesday night when they visit Boston College.

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