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Irish shock Duke in first ACC game

Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins led the Irish to an upset of No. 7 Duke. (Associated Press)
Notre Dame’s Eric Atkins led the Irish to an upset of No. 7 Duke. (Associated Press)

Men’s basketball: Eric Atkins scored seven of his 19 points during a decisive 20-4 run to lead Notre Dame to a 79-77 upset of No. 7 Duke on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference debut for the Fighting Irish.

The Irish were able to pull the upset despite being without leading scorer Jerian Grant, who was dismissed from school for an academic violation the day after a loss to Ohio State. It was the first loss in an ACC opener for the Blue Devils (11-3, 0-1) in seven seasons.

Rodney Hood led Duke with 27 points, including making 5 of 10 from 3-point range as the Blue Devils were 12 of 28 from beyond the 3-point line.

The Blue Devils lead 60-50 when Andre Dawkins made a 3 from the top of the key with about 11 minutes left.

But Notre Dame went to a small lineup to spark the 20-4 run. Atkins tied the game on a layup, then followed that with another basket inside on a pass from Pat Connaughton. Steve Vasturia, who wasn’t getting much playing time before Grant was dismissed from the team, hit a 3-pointer to give the Irish a 68-64 lead after Duke freshman Jabari Parker, who struggled all game, badly missed a 3.

The Blue Devils closed within one point twice in the final 2 minutes, but the Irish didn’t wilt under the pressure. Atkins made a layup after Duke cut it to 72-71, then Garrick Sherman hit a free throw with 16 seconds left after missing the first. Duke still had a chance to tie the game, but Hood dribbled too deep and when he tried to pass back out it was stolen by Jackson.

• Wildcats upend Cowboys: Marcus Foster scored 17 points, Nino Williams made two free throws with 5.7 seconds left and Kansas State held off No. 6 Oklahoma State 74-71 in Manhattan, Kan., in the Big 12 opener for both teams. The Cowboys’ Marcus Smart missed a running three at the buzzer.

• SMU knocks off UConn: Nic Moore had 20 points and six assists to lead SMU to a 74-65 victory over No. 17 Connecticut in Dallas. It was the Mustangs’ first conference win as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

• Bearcats beat Tigers: Sean Kilpatrick scored 11 of his 18 points down the stretch and Cincinnati overcame early shooting woes to beat No. 18 Memphis 69-53 in Memphis, Tenn.

Durant hits winner against T-wolves

NBA: Kevin Durant scored 23 of his season-high 48 points in the fourth quarter and sank the winning shot with 4 seconds to play, rallying the Oklahoma City Thunder from 13 points down in a 115-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.

• Spurs drub Clippers: Tiago Splitter had 22 points before leaving with a right shoulder injury, Tim Duncan added 19 points and 11 rebounds and San Antonio beat visiting Los Angeles 116-92 in the Clippers’ first game without injured All-Star Chris Paul (ankle).

• Sixers withstand Blazers: Thaddeus Young matched his season-high with 30 points and the Philadelphia 76ers held off a furious late rally by the Trail Blazers to pull out a 101-99 win in Portland, Ore., for their fourth straight win.

• Suns bag Bucks: Gerald Green had a season-best 24 points and a career-high five steals as Phoenix beat the visiting Milwaukee 116-100.

Red-hot Blues blast Blue Jackets

NHL: Patrick Berglund scored twice, Vladimir Sobotka and Alex Pietrangelo each had a goal and an assist and the St. Louis Blues beat visiting Columbus 6-2 for their fifth straight win.

• Flyers rally past ‘Yotes: Jakub Voracek scored the winner with 8:08 left and Philadelphia overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Phoenix 5-3 in Glendale, Ariz.

• Avs repel Sharks: Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and Semyon Varlamov stopped 30 shots, including several big saves down the stretch, to help Colorado hold off the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in Denver for their third straight win.

• Red Wings down Stars: Jimmy Howard made 44 saves and Henrik Zetterberg scored two goals, leading the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-1 victory over the host Dallas Stars.

Johnson leads Champs Tournament

Golf: Zach Johnson relied on great wedge play and a few timely putts for a 7-under 66 to take a three shot lead after two rounds of the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, Hawaii. Defending champion Dustin Johnson (66), Matt Kuchar (68) and Jordan Spieth (70) were tied for second as the winners-only tournament started to show some separation.

Canadians dominate Moguls race

Winter Sports: Mikael Kingsbury won a World Cup moguls competition at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. Canadian teammate Justine Dufour-Lapointe topped the women’s field. Olympic champion Alex Bilodeau of Canada was second, and American Patrick Deneen finished third.

American Hannah Kearney was second in the women’s event, and Dufour-Lapointe’s sister, Chloe, was third.

• Yarnold wins skeleton: Britain’s Lizzie Yarnold outdueled Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States in the second run to win a World Cup skeleton race in Winterburg, Germany, extending her lead in the series standings. Yarnold’s two-run time was 1 minute, 57.53 seconds. Pikus-Pace was 0.57 seconds back for silver, after being tied for the lead after one run. Canada’s Sarah Reid was third, another 0.39 seconds back.

Finland, Sweden advance to final

Hockey: Juuse Saros helped Finland beat Canada in the world junior hockey semifinals, making 23 saves in a 5-1 victory in Malmo, Sweden. Finland will play Sweden in the final today after Sweden beat Russia 2-1 in the first semifinal.

Nadal beats Monfils to win Qatar Open

Tennis: Rafael Nadal opened his 2014 campaign with a title, defeating Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in the Qatar Open finals in Doha, Qatar.

• France claims Hopman Cup: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet gave France its first Hopman Cup title by winning the decisive mixed doubles match against Poland in the final in Perth, Australia.

West beats East in All-American game

Football: Future Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen threw for 183 yards and Oregon commit Royce Freeman rushed for three TDs as West beat East 28-6 in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.