Big leads haven't been entirely safe when Duke and North Carolina State get together at Cameron Indoor Stadium. So even as the Blue Devils went up by 21 points, Mason Plumlee knew the Wolfpack would rally somehow.
''They're too good not to,'' Plumlee said.
And No. 4 Duke was too good to let its lead slip away.
Plumlee scored 30 points in the Blue Devils' 98-85 victory Thursday night.
Seth Curry added 26 points and Quinn Cook had 21 for Duke (20-2, 7-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which never trailed, shot 53.8 percent from the field and had to fend off the Wolfpack's late surge for its fourth straight win.
Richard Howell had 15 of his 23 points in the second half for the Wolfpack (16-7, 5-5). Playing their first game this season as an unranked team, they clawed back in it by making 12 of their first 14 shots of the second half.
But N.C. State, the preseason favorite in the ACC, lost its third straight and was denied its first win in Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1995.