LOUISVILLE — Just as happened here in a big game last month, Louisville came up firing a lot of blanks Saturday.
Amile Jefferson scored 19 points and Jahlil Okafor added 18 as fourth-ranked Duke handled the No. 6 Cardinals 63-52 in the KFC Yum Center.
"In the beginning, we were playing great defense. We had a difficult time, very similar to the Kentucky game, getting good offense," U of L Coach Rick Pitino said. "We had good ball movement, we had good player movement. We just could not knock down shots. Sometimes it's very simplistic."
Just as in last month's 58-50 loss to UK.
Saturday, U of L shot 29.5 percent (18-for-61), its second-lowest percentage of the season to the 25.9 percent put up against UK.
Duke (15-2, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) made 21 of 43 shots (48.8 percent).
Terry Rozier led the Cardinals with 17 points. Montrezl Harrell added 10 points and 14 rebounds, his 19th career double-double and seventh this season.
"We had good looks at shots, but they didn't stay in," Harrell said. "I had a couple ones around the basket that kind of bounced in and out."
The Blue Devils snapped a two-game skid, giving Coach Mike Krzyzewski his 998th career victory.
"Obviously we're ecstatic about the win," Krzyzewski said. "I thought our guys played with a lot of poise and they followed the game plan really well."
Duke, which leads the all-time series with U of L 6-4, caught the Cards a bit off guard by playing zone defense.
"We practice zone every day in practice, but we never thought that they would," Rozier said. "We figured they would go zone at the end of the shot clock, but they went straight zone and that bothered us a little bit."
Louisville (15-3, 3-2) suffered its first double-digit loss in more than three years, dating to a 74-63 loss at Marquette on Jan. 16, 2012.
Duke had an 11-0 run en route to a 30-20 halftime lead.
"In the first half, although the shots were open, we're not Gonzaga and we're not some of these great shooting teams," Pitino said. "We've got to get paint touches in zone offense. Give them a lot of credit. They did a lot of good things to hurt us."
Louisville outrebounded the Blue Devils 22-17 in the half but shot just 22.6 percent (7-for-31), while Duke made 46.2 percent (12-for-26).
"More than any game I have seen this year, this was the most open we've been and we just could not knock down the shot," Pitino said. "But, you know, I have said that we are a little offensively challenged from the perimeter, so we've got to be meticulous with our paint touches."
Duke led 15-14 before scoring the next 11 points.
Jefferson started things with a free throw, and Tyus Jones followed with a steal-and-layup for two of his 10 points.
A Jefferson jumper preceded a three-point play by Justise Winslow.
Quinn Cook finished the flurry with a three-pointer that just beat the shot clock.
Duke opened the second half with seven quick points — a three-pointer by Cook, a low-post bucket by Okafor and two free throws by Jones — to open a 37-20 lead.
The lead grew to 46-25 before Rozier energized the Cardinals with seven straight points, cutting the deficit to 46-32.
A pair of Rozier free throws later pulled the Cardinals to within 11, 56-45, with 2:31 left.
Rozier drained a three-pointer with 1:27 left to make it 58-48.
That's as close as U of L would come, though.
"It wasn't really just our offense, too," Rozier said. "We didn't do what we were supposed to do on the defensive end. Okafor had a real good game. He's amazing. And they just played as a team, and they passed the ball way more than we did. So they were the better team, definitely, today."
■ U of L honored its 1980 NCAA championship team with a halftime ceremony. The Cardinals also wore retro uniforms featuring a 1980s inspired theme.