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No. 1 Duke clamps down on Clemson in 68-40 win

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No. 1 Duke clamps down on Clemson in 68-40 win

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Quinn Cook scored a career-high 27 points and No. 1 Duke held Clemson to its lowest-scoring half in 12 years in a 68-40 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night.

Ryan Kelly added 12 points in the first half but sat out the second with what team officials said was a right leg injury.

The Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 48 percent, built a 42-31 rebounding advantage and pulled away down the stretch to improve to 58-4 at home against the Tigers.

Devin Booker had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Clemson (8-6, 0-2), which had season lows for points and shooting percentage (28 percent) and shot 12 percent in its brutal first half.

The Tigers had just 10 points at halftime, their fewest since scoring nine against Wake Forest in 2001.

Still, Clemson made things interesting briefly in the second half, closing to 34-22 on Adonis Filer's layup with 15 1/2 minutes left.

That came after Duke's third consecutive turnover in the backcourt, and had an incensed coach Mike Krzyzewski thrusting his fist on the court as he called a timeout.

Tyler Thornton rattled in a 3-pointer two possessions later, and Seth Curry followed that with a jumper to push it to 39-22 and put Duke back in control. Clemson didn't get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

Mason Plumlee finished with 13 rebounds - his ACC-leading 10th double-figure rebounding game this season - for the Blue Devils, who opened with 15 wins for the sixth time under Krzyzewski.

For Cook, it was a strong bounce-back performance after he missed all 11 of his shots - but had a career-high 14 assists - three days earlier in a rout of Wake Forest. He was 12 of 16 in this one with three of Duke's eight 3-pointers and easily surpassed his previous high of 17 points two months ago against Minnesota.

Yet neither he nor anyone else could make anything early in this one. The teams combined to miss their first 16 shots over the first 5 1/2 minutes.

But while Duke eventually warmed up, the Tigers spiraled to their coldest half in years.

Clemson was 3 for 25, went nearly 8 minutes between field goals, managed just one basket over the final 12 1/2 minutes and didn't reach double figures until 2:39 before the break - all tough numbers to overcome for a team looking for just its third victory against a No. 1 team and first since 2001.

Kelly scored 10 points during a 16-2 run that included 13 straight points for Duke - and by halftime, he had outscored the entire Clemson team.

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Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice is a very positive person. Unfortunately, he's playing for a team right now that's shrouded in negativity.

The Redskins have played 10 games this season, and they've walked off the field as losers in nine of those contests. They've gotten rid of their head coach, and many are wondering how many other major changes will come.

And when it comes to the fans, many — if not most — are furious with the direction of the franchise. Guice is noticing that, too.

"It just sucks when I score, or someone else scores, and our team posts a picture to Instagram or Twitter and everything under it is just, 'Fire this, fire that, we suck," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "That doesn't help anything."

The running back understands that frustration. However, he wants those who are angry to know one thing: While this current roster is obviously responsible for the 2019 issues, they aren't responsible for the two-decade-long slump that's affected the organization.

"I'm new here," Guice said. "I understand some of these fans have been here 20-30 years, but like, there's a lot of guys on this team that are new. Y'all can't bring all that negativity to us like we've been here 20 years. I don't think that's fair to us players."

That's what makes this situation so difficult for those on the field and those who watch those on the field. Fans have been on this unsatisfying ride for far too long, yet most of the players hopped on a stop or two ago. 

So people who post those hateful comments or send those angry DMs are doing so because they've seen a handful of free agency and draft classes bust, and because they've seen numerous coaches come in and fail, and they've been lied to repeatedly about how "close" the Redskins are. They aren't necessarily trying to take it out on Guice or Dwayne Haskins or Landon Collins, it just appears that way.

Guice, for one, is trying his best to improve how he handles that side of being an athlete. He's also choosing to focus on those who've stayed on his side through what's been a trying first couple of seasons in the league.

For all the negativity he encounters, he's grateful for those who remain positive like him.

"A guy that's been there two years and has only played two real games, there's a lot of fans that have still never left my side since I got drafted," Guice said. "That's something I always have to cherish."

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Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

When you win a championship the way the Nationals did, other teams are going to try and capture that magic in any way they can. 

Of course, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg are at risk of leaving town and free agency, but now the Davey Martinez will have to make changes to his coaching staff as well. 

According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies hired Washington's assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon as their new hitting coach under manager Joe Girardi. 

Working with hitting coach Kevin Long, Dillon helped the Nationals lead the national league in on-base percentage while ranking second in batting average and OPS. 

The Phillies struggled at the plate in 2019, ranking 22nd in batting average, 19th in on-base percentage and 17th in OPS. Despite acquiring Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and JT Realmuto last offseason, Philadelphia boasted an anemic offense under former hitting coach John Mallee. 

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