Once again, the Demon Deacons had no answer for the Duke senior. They allowed him to score a season-high 22 points in the top-ranked Blue Devils' 80-62 rout on Saturday.
Wake Forest has given up at least 20 points to Kelly in four straight meetings. That's why coach Jeff Bzdelik appreciates Kelly, but probably also won't be sad to see him graduate.
"He's just a terrific player," Bzdelik said. "What makes him a great player is, he can shoot the (3-pointer), he's very crafty in the post, he's very intelligent. He's like a point guard out there in that he catches the basketball, (and) he can do a lot of things with it."
Usually when he's playing the Demon Deacons, he scores with it.
Kelly finished one point shy of the career high he set 11 months ago in his last game against Wake Forest, and the only people who stopped him this time were the officials. He fouled out with 7:25 left.
"He stepped up and he just had the openings and knocked them down," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He was on his way to a 35-point or 40-point game, really, because we would have kept calling his number."
Seth Curry also had 22 points and Quinn Cook overcame an 0-for-11 shooting day with a career-high 14 assists.
Mason Plumlee added 13 points and 12 rebounds and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 12 points for Duke (14-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which was simply too much for a rebuilding Wake Forest team that has only three healthy non-freshmen on scholarship.
Travis McKie had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Wake Forest (7-6, 0-1), which had nearly as many turnovers (19) as field goals (23) and had its three-game winning streak snapped.
C.J. Harris finished with 19 points and freshman Devin Thomas had 12 rebounds for Wake Forest, which was denied its first victory over a top-five team since its most recent one in the series—a 70-68 upset of then-No. 1 Duke in 2009, back when the Demon Deacons themselves were in the top 10.
They haven't beaten Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1997.
"Our young team played hard," Bzdelik said. "We need to play better."
The Blue Devils shot 46 percent and hit 11 3-pointers—including six during the 25-7 first-half run that put them up big.
They pushed their lead well into the 20s with a Curry-led 18-6 run out of the break in which they scored on nine of their first 10 possessions of the half.
Kelly, who entered averaging 21 points in the previous three meetings in the series, will get another crack at the Demon Deacons when the Blue Devils visit Winston-Salem on Jan. 30.
He had 17 points at halftime of this one, including 13 of Duke's first 19, with three 3s—including two some 45 seconds apart—during the Blue Devils' first big run. His 3-pointer 2 1/2 minutes into the second half pushed him past the 20-point mark for the fifth time in his career.
"I think Ryan has the ability to score 20 points against anybody," Krzyzewski said. "I do think that when you're trying to take Mason and Seth out of the game, that it opens it up a little bit more for Ryan, and that's why Rasheed scoring and Quinn scoring will be big and have been big so far, but will be bigger as we go forward because people will try to take different things away from us."
Curry, who had 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, capped the first burst with a four-point play that made it 38-21 with 4:18 until the break. He had three baskets during the second run that turned this one into a full-fledged rout.