Duke Blue Devils freshman forward Jabari Parker posted his ninth double-double of the season, but most of the conversation afterward focused on the team's lockdown defensive performance.
Parker scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Blue Devils (21-5, 10-3 ACC) beat Georgia Tech 68-51, beating the Yellow Jackets for the 31st time in the past 34 meetings. Duke ran its overall winning streak to four games while earning its ninth victory in 10 games.
Even more impressive was the Duke defense, which forced 13 turnovers and converted them into 16 points, and which denied Georgia Tech's attempts to get the ball in the paint.
"Our plan was to pressure the ball," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "It's not like we felt we could take the ball away from them. We thought if they were occupied with our pressure they wouldn't see the post as much."
The strategy worked. Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller took only four points and scored just two, nearly eight below his average.
"They came out very focused and played with great force and strength on the defensive end," Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said. "They've really improved defensively since we played them in January. We weren't able to execute in our area and that put us in a tough hole."
It didn't help that Parker appeared unstoppable in the first half, when he scored 10 points. He scored only 12 against Georgia Tech in the first meeting Jan. 7, a 79-57 Blue Devils win.
"He plays with such aggression that you know what he's going to do when he gets the ball," Gregory said. "He's going to go, whether he gets it in the post or on the perimeter. He's strong and he's explosive."
Duke also got 14 points from forward Rodney Hood, who scored 27 in the first game against Georgia Tech. Guard Rasheed Sulaimon added 11 points Tuesday.
Georgia Tech (13-13, 4-9 ACC) was led by forward Robert Carter Jr., who finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Forward Kammeon Holsey added 12 points, and guard Chris Bolden scored 10 despite shooting 2-for-8 from the field.
Duke led comfortably throughout the second half. Georgia Tech made a rally to cut the lead to 52-40 but could get no closer after Hood drained his fourth 3-pointer. Parker applied the dagger minutes later when he blocked a shot and scored on an offensive rebound and was fouled. Suddenly, after Parker converted the and-one, the lead was back to 18 points with 9:02 left.
"They were right in the game," Krzyzewski said. "Then Parker made that three-point play."
Gregory said, "We made four strong stops. We were just not able to get over the hump."
It didn't take long for Duke to start rolling. After matching 3-point baskets to start the game, the Blue Devils scored nine straight and Georgia Tech called a timeout after Parker rolled in a layup with 16:26 to give Duke a 12-3 lead.
"They went after us on the defensive end and we didn't respond like we should," Gregory said.
The Yellow Jackets closed the game to four points, only to have Duke answer with consecutive 3-pointers. The Devils stretched the lead to 10-points on back-to-back baskets by Parker that gave them a 22-12 advantage with 10:17 left in the half. The freshman finished the first half with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Duke continued to press its advantage and emerged from the media timeout to go on a 7-2 run, all points coming from guard Quinn Cook, for a 29-14 lead with 7:27 left. Duke stretched its advantage to 17 at 34-17 and might have done more had it not been for Holsey, who offset a late Duke push with five of his nine first-half points.
Holsey and Carter, who also scored nine in the first half, kept Tech from getting blown away. Duke led 43-27 at the break thanks to its great shooting. The Devils shot 59 percent (17 of 29) and made seven of 11 3-pointers (64 percent).
Overall, Duke shot 45.3 percent to 39.1 percent for Georgia Tech.
NOTES: Georgia Tech PG Trae Golden, who missed two of the last three games with a nagging groin injury, did not start but entered the game at the first break. He finished with two points in 17 minutes. ... Georgia Tech had its first sellout of the year, although Duke was well-represented in the stands. It was Duke's first appearance at McCamish Pavilion, which opened last season. ... Duke plays Thursday against arch-rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Georgia Tech finishes its four-game homestand with a game against Clemson on Saturday.