WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Chris Paul just graduated from his freshman season.
Paul scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half to lift 15th-ranked Wake Forest to a 90-84 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over No. 3 Duke.
Paul used a spectacular second half to get the best of his counterpart, Duke senior guard Chris Duhon. Paul took a feed from Taron Downey and hit a 3-pointer that put Wake Forest (16-6, 6-5 ACC) ahead for good before he streaked upcourt for a layup and a 77-72 lead with 4:35 left.
Jamaal Levy made 1-of-2 at the line for an 80-77 edge before Paul struck again. The reigning ACC Player of the Week beat Duke (21-3, 10-2) down the floor again for a layup as he was fouled. He added the free throw for a six-point cushion with 3:08 to go.
"The coaches work a lot with me and teach me many things about being a leader," said Paul, who rushed onto the court here last season as a high school senior after Wake's win over Duke. "Not just in the game, you have to be a leader all the time. I love being a leader for this team."
The Blue Devils lost their second straight, although they maintained a one-game lead over second-place North Carolina State in the ACC. Star shooting guard J.J. Redick made just two free throws for all of his points after entering with a 17.3 scoring average.
"Redick has a slight hip flexor," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He got into foul trouble and they played good defense on him. He was the target of their defense from the start and he tried to do his best."
Paul also finished with eight assists and four steals on the heels of his 30-point explosion in Sunday's win over Cincinnati. The smooth guard scored 11 points in the final 5:10.
"Chris played with great courage and courage is contagious," Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser said. "His teammates feed off of that. I wouldn't trade him for any point guard in the country."
Redick shoved a trash-talking Paul for an offensive foul early in the game and picked up three in the first half. Paul said he was fired up for the game after Redick refused to shake his hand during Wake's loss in Durham in December.
The game also featured a double-technical early when Duke reserve Nick Horvath pushed Wake's Trent Strickland.
Duke led nearly the entire first half and by as many as nine points before settling for a 44-39 edge. The Blue Devils took their largest lead on Shelden Williams' two foul shots for a 54-41 cushion just over two minutes into the second half.
Wake responded with the next 10 points to get back in the game and finally tied it when Vytas Danelius drilled a pair of 3-pointers around a basket by Williams to make it 61-61 with 12:08 remaining.
"We got a few stops defensively," Prosser said. "Vytas hitting two threes was comforting, but it started at the defensive end of the court. We don't want to waste a possession on offense."
Wake center Eric Williams came off the bench to finish with 16 points and 11 rebounds and helped offset Shelden Williams, who finished with 18 and nine. Shelden Williams outplayed Eric Williams badly in the first meeting.