Duke vs. Wake Forest - Postgame Reactions and Takeaways

The game ultimately ended up as the blowout we had expected, but it wasn't that way throughout the entire game.

The Blue Devils got off to a slow start as a result of foul trouble and allowed Wake Forest to control most of the first half. They found themselves trailing 28-26 through the first 14 minutes.

Then Duke woke up.

Jabari Parker hit a fadeaway in the post, followed by a trio to Rodney Hood jumpers —two from long range — before Parker threw down a fastbreak dunk that closed a 12-0 run.

It happen in the blink of an eye, and suddenly Coach K's squad was up 10 and in total control of the action, taking a 46-33 lead into the break.

Sophomore Devin Thomas led the Deacons in their opening surge, scoring 10 points and recording three assists in the half.

Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon helped the Devils keep pace during their slow start, combining for five threes and scoring 12 and 13 points in the half, respectively.

Duke continued their strong play in the second half and coasted the rest of the way, ending up with the 83-63 victory.

Parker led the way, finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds. More importantly, he was efficient on the offensive end, shooting 8-10 from the floor. That level of efficiency has been missing from Parker's game in ACC play, and hopefully he can use his smarter shot selection in this game as a springboard for the rest of the season.

Sulaimon also helped guide the Devils, scoring 19 points on 60% shooting. Dawkins provided a much needed spark of the bench, scoring 17 points, including four threes.

Arnaud-William Adala Moto was the most consistent player on the floor for Wake, recording a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Duke came out seemingly lacking focus, while the Demon Deacons were energized and ready to play from the jump. It showed on the floor, as the Blue Devils were settling for long jumpers and threes while the Deacons were cutting, driving and getting to the rim, playing the more aggressive game of basketball.

It may have took the run from Parker and Hood to spark Duke, or maybe it was something Coach K said during a huddle, but starting at that point their gameplan changed. They began attacking the rim and only taking jump shots that came in the natural flow of the offense.

And that's the style Duke is going to have to play if they want to reach their full potential.

The bottom line is that the game turned out the way it was projected to because Duke is the much better team. The team got a wake up call in the first half after trailing Wake for as long as they were, and that'll help them play sharp and focused in their next few games, all against inferior competition.

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