PORTLAND, Ore.—It took a while for Portland State to tire out, but Duke finally adjusted to what will likely be its fastest-paced game all season and survive a Thanksgiving Day scare.

The No. 1 Blue Devils rallied from a six-point second-half deficit to top Portland State 99-81 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in their first game at the PK80 Invitational. Duke did a better job of dictating the tempo after the break and got the Vikings into major foul trouble to force it out of its full-court pressure on defense. 

Freshman Marvin Bagley III took control in the paint, finishing with 18 points and 15 rebounds to lead the team on the glass, but it was fellow first-year point guard Trevon Duval who led the Blue Devils in scoring with 22 points.

"They just knocked us back the whole first half. We were in a reactionary mode the whole 20 minutes. The second half, they had to react to us in our zone defense," Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We literally allowed them to play one-on-one the whole first half, so your heels are all back. In the second half, that wasn’t the case."

The Blue Devils (6-0) took the lead for the first time since the opening minutes on a bucket in the paint by freshman Wendell Carter Jr. early in the second half, capping a 7-0 run. Carter scored three points in just seven minutes on the floor in the first half, but settled down like the rest of the team after intermission and finished with 16 points.

After Portland State responded with five straight quick points, Trevon Duval reeled the Blue Devils back in by himself, finishing a 3-point play at the rim before getting a steal in the backcourt, drawing a foul and knocking down two free throws. Those five points started a 13-2 run that ended with Duke in the lead for good, and Duval helped ice the game with several free throws down the stretch to best his previous career high of 18 points. 

"We just had to come out and play. It’s as simple as that, come out and play team basketball and play together," Bagley said. "We started to feel the energy start to change, and we ran with it."

With the Blue Devils up 74-69 with 8:39 left, senior guard Deontae North was whistled for his second technical foul and fifth personal foul to get ejected from the game for yapping at the officials from the scorer's table. North led the Vikings with 24 points, and they struggled on offense without him the rest of the way. 

Portland State (4-1) had five players foul out in the final nine minutes, and the Vikings went cold after shooting 7-of-14 from long distance in the first half.

Portland State ran the ball straight down the floor every time it gained possession in the first half, stretching its lead to as many as eight points and entering the locker room with a 49-45 advantage. North had 20 points by halftime on 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc, and the Vikings were almost even on the boards through 20 minutes with the Blue Devils, who had to go small to keep up with their pace of play. 

"We didn’t spend as much time talking about how they were playing. We spent all our time talking about how we weren’t playing," Krzyzewski said of the halftime locker room. "They’re good, but we were helping them be good."

Duke struggled to box out for a lot of the afternoon, as the Vikings had 15 offensive rebounds and 15 second-chance points.

"They can send as many as four or five guys to the offensive boards. They do a few unconventional things.... A guard's not accustomed to blocking out another guard," Krzyzewski said. "[Portland State's] defensive balance is getting the offensive rebound. It’s a different way, but it’s a good way. There are a lot of ways to do this game."

But the Blue Devils stayed in the game thanks to the contributions off the bench of freshman Alex O'Connell and sophomore Marques Bolden, who combined to play 22 minutes in the half. Krzyzewski elected to stick with Bolden in the post for much of the afternoon instead of Carter, who struggled at first to keep up with Portland State's pace, and Bolden responded with one of the best games of his career, scoring eight points with 10 rebounds.

"If you’re out there affecting the game and making changes, then you’re going to play, so that was one thing I was trying to do," Bolden said. "We just haven’t played a team that presses and runs as much as they do, so it was a struggle for us early on.”

Duke will next face Texas Friday evening at 5:30 at the Moda Center in Portland.

"When you’re in a tournament, you assume you’re going to play Sunday night. Especially when you’re young, you assume that," Krzyzewski said. "[The opponents] don’t assume that. Their game is today. An older good team understands that today is our game too.... That’s part of growing up and maturing."