DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After being shut down in the first half, J.J. Redick did what is becoming customary.
Redick scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half as No. 6 Duke pulled away for a 62-54 victory against Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
After shooting 1-of-6 in the first half, Redick shot 7-of-13 and nailed four 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes. It was the third time this season Redick has exploded for a half when the Blue Devils needed it.
"The guys they had guarding me did a heck of a job getting through screens," Redick said. "I thought in the first half I didn't get any clean looks. Everything was rushed with a hand in my face. I got my shot blocked a couple of times. In the second half, I just tried to work harder coming off screens and free myself up a little bit. Also, when I did catch the ball, I tried to be more poised and slow down a bit."
The junior scored 21 points in the first half of an 81-74 victory against Michigan State and fired in 19 in the second half in a come-from-behind 78-67 win against Oklahoma in the Devils' last contest. He also scored 17 points in the first half during a rout of Valparaiso.
In this one, Redick scored 12 points to lead a 20-7 run over a 4:33 span that gave Duke a 55-45 lead. Lee Melchionni drained two 3-pointers from the arc during the run, the first giving Duke the lead for good at 40-38.
"He made three huge plays," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "The 3-pointer he hit that put us up, 40-38, was unbelievable; and the charge he took. He also got three offensive rebounds, but he got one that kept the clock alive and gave us a new clock.
"It was a battle out there. Every win this year in the ACC is going to be big, and we wanted to get off to a good start, and we did."
Sharrod Ford kept Clemson in the game in the second half, scoring 14 of his 20 points. He made 8-of-17 shots for the game and added eight rebounds but was the lone Tiger in double figures.
"This is probably the way it's going to be in the ACC, I guess," Clemson first-year coach Oliver Purnell said about his first league game. "I thought it was a very physical, hard-fought basketball game. I was impressed with the way that our young team came in and battled and played at ACC-level intensity. I didn't think that we followed our offensive game plan very well in the first half and we just wanted to space the floor and create space for Sharrod Ford in there and also create opportunities for driving lanes."
Akin Akingbala scored seven points during a 19-11 run to open the half that gave Clemson a 38-35 lead with 10 minutes left.
The Blue Devils held the Tigers to 32 percent shooting (20-of-62), forced 23 turnovers and held them scoreless from the arc for the first time in 411 games. Clemson missed all six attempts. Duke, which missed its first nine 3-pointers, extended its streak to 526 games when Redick knocked one down three minutes into the second half.
In an ugly first half, Sheldon Williams scored four of his 10 points as Duke used an 8-3 run over the last 3:18 to take a 24-19 halftime lead. The teams combined for 31 percent (17-of-54) shooting, including 0-for-8 from the arc, and 28 turnovers.
"I think most of it (Duke's struggles on offense) was Clemson's defense, to be completely honest," Krzyzewski said. "I thought Oklahoma played the best defense against us in the first eight games, but they only did it for about a half. Clemson played it all game. You could see Oliver (Purnell) was using his subs because he wants to keep them fresh defensively, which I think is good. We forced each other into over 20 turnovers. It was two really good defensive teams."
Williams finished with 13 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks and four steals for Duke (9-0, 1-0 ACC), which has started 9-0 for the fourth time in five years. Daniel Ewing scored 10 but was held to 4-of-14 from the floor.
"This game was kind of ugly from the start," Williams said. "Both teams got off to a slow start. Both teams were trying to just work their way into it and were missing good shots. It seemed like the basket had a lid on it in the first half, and then we kind of eased into it late in the first half and going into the second half."
Akingbala scored nine points for Clemson (9-4, 0-1), which has lost 18 straight to Duke since 1997.
The Blue Devils were playing without forward Shavlik Randolph, who is expected to miss three to four weeks recovering from mononucleosis. Reggie Love, who replaced Randolph in the starting lineup, played just 10 minutes before leaving with a bruised foot.