Coach 1K: Duke tops St. John's to give Krzyzewski milestone

New York, NY ( - Mike Krzyzewski can now be known as Coach 1K.

Duke's Hall of Fame leader became the first Division I men's head coach to record 1,000 career wins after the fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied for a thrilling 77-68 victory over St. John's in front of a capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden.

The milestone result, which occurred on the same MSG court in which Krzyzewski eclipsed mentor Bob Knight for the all-time Division I wins record back in 2011, was reached after Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Quinn Cook led the Blue Devils (17-2) on a 23-5 run that turned a 10-point deficit deep into the second half into a 74-66 lead with a minute to play.

"I'm glad it's over," Krzyzewski said afterward. "I'm honored, don't get me wrong. I'm the lucky guy who's been at two great institutions in West Point and Duke. I've had unbelievable support. I've never had a day in 40 years that I had to worry about my back with my A.D., superintendent, or president, and not many people can say that."

Jones netted nine of his game-high 22 points during the game-changing sequence, with 11 of Cook's 17 points came after halftime. Okafor also finished with 17 points while pulling down 10 rebounds and going 7-of-10 from the floor.

St. John's (13-6) nearly spoiled the celebration behind big efforts from Sir'Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan, but was held without a field goal for a six-minute stretch as Duke came charging back.

"We played great in the last 10 minutes and I'm not sure I have ever been a part of a game like that. That's kind of nuts!," Krzyzewski quipped.

Pointer ended with 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Jordan tallied 18 points, though just two came in the second half.

All of Duke's offense during the pivotal surge came from its top trio, with Cook and Jones igniting the comeback with consecutive 3-point plays and Okafor converting one of his own on a second-chance attempt to trim the Red Storm's advantage to just 61-60 with 6:35 left.

After Cook's step-back triple shortly afterward sent the Blue Devils ahead, Okafor -- the other main attraction of a pro-New York Knicks crowd with visions of the presumptive No. 1 overall pick of this year's NBA Draft playing for the hometown team -- scored on a strong post move and added another free throw to put the Blue Devils up 66-62 with 4:07 to go.

"This is one of, if not, the best arena in the world," said Okafor of Madison Square Garden. "It was great to (get the 1,000th win) in the same place (Krzyzewski) got 903. That was something I watched on TV, so it's sort of surreal to think I am here right now."

Phil Greene IV's driving layup with 2:35 remaining finally ended St. John's field goal drought, but it came after Jordan fouled Jones on a corner 3-point try and the freshman calmly sank all three free throws for a 69-63 advantage.

St. John's shot just 33.3 percent after the break after hitting at a 54.8 percent clip in the first half.

A late trey by Jones and two Cook free throws all but sealed the outcome, with Cook's makes putting the Red Storm down by eight points entering the final minute.

"In a game of runs, they had the one that was the most important, which was in the home stretch," said St. John's head coach Steve Lavin. "It was just a high-level game. Two teams that wanted to win and Duke made the decisive final run, or final blow, that we were not able to answer."

St. John's trailed by as many as 11 points during a fast-paced first half that contained big momentum swings from both sides, with Jordan and Pointer spearheading a tear by the Red Storm over the final 12 minutes of the period.

Jordan scored the first five points and Pointer recorded the final 10 of a 15-5 flurry that pulled St. John's within 26-25, and the latter tied it at 28-28 moments later on a layup and free throw with 5:25 left in the half.

Jordan delivered another 3-point play less than two minutes later, then followed with a jumper to give the Red Storm a 35-32 edge. St. John's went into the break up 43-39 when D'Angelo Harrison beat the buzzer on a deep 3 that appeared to come after the shot clock had expired.

An 8-0 spurt, which Porter started with a thunderous baseline dunk and finished with a tip-in, extended the Red Storm's lead to 53-43 early in the second half.

Okafor also made his presence felt early on, totaling six of his 10 first-half points during a 16-3 run that staked Duke to a 21-10 lead less than eight minutes in.

Game Notes

Krzyzewski improved to 26-8 all-time at Madison Square Garden, where Duke has won 18 of its past 21 games but was dealt a 93-78 loss in its most recent meeting with the Red Storm there on Jan. 30, 2011 ... Jones' 22 points matched a career high set twice previously, including Monday's win over Pittsburgh ... Okafor has reached double-figure points in 19 straight games, trailing only Johnny Dawkins for the most by a Blue Devils freshman ... Duke finished with a 44-29 rebounding advantage ... Knicks president Phil Jackson and forward Carmelo Anthony and St. John's greats Chris Mullin and Lou Carnesecca were among those in attendance.