DURHAM, N.C. — Grayson Allen scored 21 points, including 18 in the second half and No. 21 Duke defeated Pittsburgh 72-64 on Saturday in a game that saw the return of coach Mike Krzyzewski from back surgery. Complete Box Scores and States
Allen shot 5-of-9 from the floor in the second half and made four 3-pointers during that period, as the Blue Devils 18-5, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away down the stretch for their third straight win.
Senior Amile Jefferson added 15 points and nine rebounds, freshman Jayson Tatum had 12 points and six rebounds and sophomore Luke Kennard finished with 10 points in the win for Duke, which shot 50.0 percent in the second half.
Michael Young scored 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting to lead Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight.
Jamel Artis added 17 for the Panthers (12-11, 1-9), who shot 51.0 percent and played Duke tight right down to the final minutes.
Pittsburgh trailed 60-57 with 3:10 left in the game, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Allen ensured the home side extended its winning run.
Meanwhile, Duke’s head coach Krzyzewski was making a return to the sidelines after a four-week absence following a lower back surgery and he received a very warm welcome back.
“I felt like crying when they were doing introductions,” he said. “You forget how lucky you are until you have something taken away.”
Jefferson added: “To play well and to have coach back was huge. He brings a sense of urgency and verve.
“He was in it the whole time. I think he brought what he always brings.”
With Coach K recovering, the Blue Devils went 4-3 under associate head coach Jeff Capel.
The Duke Blue Devils will take a few days off before hosting No. 12 North Carolina on Thursday night in what is expected to a thrilling ACC battle.
The Pittsburgh Panthers will seek to end their current losing streak on Wednesday night when they visit Boston College.