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Duke’s Marvin Bagley III to miss game against Louisville

Duke Blue Devils forward Marvin Bagley III (35) fires up a shot during the pre-game shoot around at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C., on Feb. 18, 2018.
Duke Blue Devils forward Marvin Bagley III (35) fires up a shot during the pre-game shoot around at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C., on Feb. 18, 2018. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Marvin Bagley III will miss his fourth consecutive game, when Duke plays Louisville at Cameron Indoor Stadium Wednesday night.

Bagley, a 6-11, 234-pound freshman forward has not played since Feb. 8 because of a “mild knee sprain.”

Bagley injured his knee during the first half of Duke’s 82-78 loss to North Carolina. He still played all but one minute of the game and scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.

However, since that game, he has not played.

Bagley leads Duke and the ACC in points per game (21.2) and rebounds per game (11.4).

In the three games he has missed, Duke has won them all: at Georgia Tech, 80-69, on Feb. 11; at home against Virginia Tech, 74-52, on Feb. 14; and a 66-57 win at then-No. 11 Clemson on Feb. 18.

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Senior guard Grayson Allen has led Duke in scoring in each of those games. He scored 23 against Georgia Tech, 25 against Virginia Tech and 19 against Clemson.

Javin DeLaurier, a 6-10, 231-pound sophomore forward, will likely replace Bagley in the lineup. He has drawn praise from head coach Mike Krzyzewski for his recent play. He finished with 2 points and 10 rebounds Sunday against Clemson.

“Since the North Carolina loss, what we’ve really done is in practice, as a whole team, focused on communicating more and sharing emotion,” DeLaurier said Tuesday. “Which we’ve done better and I’m sure Marvin will be an essential part of that when he gets back healthy.”

No. 5 Duke (22-5, 10-4 ACC), which is currently second in the ACC standings, plays Louisville (18-9, 8-6 ACC) at Cameron Indoor Stadium at 9 p.m.

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.

When asked on Monday whether Bagley would play on Saturday against Syracuse, Krzyzewski said he wouldn’t know until the team’s shootaround a few hours before the game.

“But he’s getting better and we’re going to make sure that he’s completely good before we get into March,” Krzyzewski said. “And that may mean he plays.”

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

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