Duke’s Marvin Bagley to miss third straight game with knee sprain

Duke forward Marvin Bagley III at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham on Jan. 27, 2018.
Duke forward Marvin Bagley III at Cameron Indoor Stadium In Durham on Jan. 27, 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III will miss his third consecutive game with a knee sprain, the school announced on Saturday.

No. 12 Duke (21-5, 9-4 ACC) plays No. 11 Clemson (20-5, 9-4 ACC) on Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner will have sole possession of second place in the ACC standings.

Bagley, who leads the team in points (21.2 ppg) and rebounding (11.4 rbg), injured his knee last Thursday, in Duke’s 82-78 loss to North Carolina. Bagley played all but one minute of that game.

But he sat out against Georgia Tech last Sunday, an 80-69 win, and against Virginia Tech on Wednesday, a 74-52 win. Duke’s game against Clemson will be the third straight game he has missed.

Duke has won the two games it has played without him. It played arguably its most complete game of the season against Virginia Tech.

Senior guard Grayson Allen, who scored 25 points, and freshman guard Gary Trent Jr., who scored 19 points, combined to shoot 12-for-24 from behind the 3-point line.

On Wednesday, Krzyzewski seemed optimistic about his star freshman forward’s injury.

“Marvin is getting better, but you just got to be careful,” Krzyzewski said of his injury. “That’s what we’re trying to be. And he is trying to be.”

Bagley has had minor injuries in the past, but none that have kept him out for a period of time.

He missed the last 30 minutes of Duke’s game against then-No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 14 after he was poked in the eye by a teammate. Duke won that game 88-81 after a career-high 37-point performance from Allen. Bagley returned the following game.

Bagley also injured his shoulder against Miami on Jan. 15. He left the game briefly, but eventually returned. Duke won 83-75.

Duke will likely start sophomore center Marques Bolden (6-11, 246 pounds) in his place, or sophomore forward Javin DeLaurier (6-10, 231 pounds), who played well against Virginia Tech. DeLaurier finished with 7 points and 4 rebounds.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander