‘‘We know that no team is perfect,’’ Hairston said. ‘‘Every team has flaws. One thing that this team is not going to do is use Ryan’s injury as an excuse. ... We’re going to adjust.’’
With his team protecting a 58-57 lead, Leslie went to work, knocking down a jumper then getting past Hairston in the lane for another bucket. On the next possession, he muscled the ball up between two defenders, and soon the Wolfpack pushed their biggest lead to 67-57 with 7:44 left.
The Blue Devils twice got as close as four, though Leslie scored over Mason Plumlee inside to answer the last push with 1:41 left. The Wolfpack closed this one out confidently, hitting eight straight and 9 of 10 free throws in the final minute.
The Blue Devils played the final 3-plus minutes without Curry, who crumpled to the court after slipping on a wet spot. While Quinn Cook (17 points) and Plumlee (15 points, 11 rebounds) performed well for the Blue Devils, top rookie Rasheed Sulaimon managed just four points on 0-for-10 shooting.