Duke basketball: Pair of Blue Devils miss clutch shots in waning seconds

Duke basketball (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

A pair of former Duke basketball teammates missed clutch shots on Tuesday night. 

It wasn’t the best night for former Duke basketball players in the NBA on Tuesday night as a pair of former Blue Devils missed clutch shots in their respective games.

After a failed comeback attempt one night prior against the Brooklyn Nets (27-13), the New York Knicks (20-21) took on the Philadelphia 76ers (28-12) in the city of Brotherly Love on the second night of a back-to-back and led by as many as nine points in the final quarter.

RJ Barrett missed a jump shot as the game was tied at 92 with 2:42 to play in the fourth quarter, and then with the Knicks trailing 96-94, the former Blue Devil missed a fadeaway shot in the paint with 20.2 seconds to play.

New York would go on to lose, 99-96, and has dropped three of four games following the All-Star break.

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Barrett finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists on 7-of-17 shooting.

Just hours later, Barrett’s teammate in Durham, Zion Williamson, was putting on a show in Portland on national television, but the fourth quarter struggles of the New Orleans Pelicans (17-23) reared their ugly head once again, being outscored, 43-29, in the final frame.

After two free throws by Damian Lillard to give the Trail Blazers (23-16) a 125-124 lead, New Orleans did not have a timeout. So Lonzo Ball threw the ball the length of the floor with 1.2 seconds left, and there was Zion Williamson to catch, dribble, and try and bank in a shot from the block, but he put too much strength on his attempt.

Williamson finished the game with 28 points, five rebounds, and eight assists on 11-of-17 shooting despite the loss.

Duke basketball stars still having sensational seasons

Despite the missed shots in crunch time for the two Blue Devil stars, both Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett are still having tremendous seasons.

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Williamson is coming off his first All-Star Game appearance and averaging 25.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on 62.0-percent shooting while Barrett was named to his second straight Rising Stars Challenge and is helping lead the charge of the revitalized Knicks with 17.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per contest on 45.0-percent shooting.

Zion Williamson and the Pelicans return to the court on Thursday, March 18 against the Portland Trail Blazers, and RJ Barrett and the Knicks are also in action on that day, hosting the Orlando Magic (13-26).

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