NEW YORK -- Duke rode its fifth consecutive superb defensive performance, this one against the third-highest-scoring team in the nation, to an 80-63 win over UCLA on Thursday night in the Carquest Auto Parts Classic before 15,410 at Madison Square Garden.
Parker scored at least 20 points for the ninth time this season.
"(Parker) can be a very special player," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He is an outstanding player but he can become better and that is my responsibility. That is why he came to Duke -- to learn and to become better. ...
"Jabari loves to play. He's a natural. In different sports there are people who are naturals. Jabari is a natural ... He's not afraid of the moment. He embraces the moment. He's been terrific."
"We played more zone in the first half than we did in the second half," Alford said. "We probably should have played more zone in the second half, but once we got behind, we had to speed the game up a little.
"Coaches will tell you there are good turnovers and bad turnovers. I thought we had bad turnovers, and they led to baskets."
"We beat an outstanding team that is very difficult to defend because they score at all positions and are very well-coached," Krzyzewski said. "I thought in the first half their zone stood us up a little beyond the NBA line on the wings.
"We just didn't attack the zone very well, and I thought it hurt our defense. The second half was really good basketball for us."
NOTES: The Blue Devils lead the all-time series against the Bruins 10-6. ... The win was Duke's 23rd straight in December and lifted Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski to an 8-1 record against UCLA. ... Duke's Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood are the top scoring duo in the ACC and fifth in the NCAA at 40.9 points per game. ... Duke and UCLA have combined for 15 NCAA titles. The programs have a combined 3,771 wins and a .700 winning percentage. ... Duke played in its 222nd straight game as a top 10 team in the AP poll. ... UCLA sophomore F Kyle Anderson is the only Division I player in the country averaging at least 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game.