St. John’s led No. 5 Duke by 10 points with 8:35 to play but could not hold on, falling 77-68 to the Blue Devils on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
It was the 1,000th career win for Mike Krzyzewski, making him the first NCAA Division I men's coach to reach the milestone.
Tyus Jones scored 22 points and the Blue Devils (17-2) went on an 18-2 run down the stretch to put Krzyzewski in four figures on his first try.
Jahlil Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds, combining with Jones and Quinn Cook (17 points) to fuel the decisive spurt.
“When you play Duke, you know that they are going to have firepower,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “They are well-coached, have talented personnel and a good approach,” said St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin.
Sir'Dominic Pointer had 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks for the Red Storm (13-6), which was looking for a huge win to put on their NCAA Tournament resume down the road.
Rysheed Jordan scored 18 points, and Phil Greene IV added 13. Leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison was held to 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.
Number 1,000 came about 500 miles from the cramped and cozy confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke's home floor, but Coach K was hardly on unfamiliar soil.
Madison Square Garden was where he notched win No. 903 against Michigan State in November 2011, breaking the Division I record previously held by his college coach and mentor, Bob Knight.
By midway through an entertaining first half, the 67-year-old Krzyzewski was on his feet in front of the Duke bench as St. John's erased an 11-point deficit.
Wearing a blue suit and white sneakers to support Coaches vs. Cancer, Krzyzewski stalked after the officials at the end of the first half to argue that Harrison's buzzer-beating 3-pointer came after the shot clock expired.
Coach K didn't get the call, and the Red Storm went into the locker room leading 43-39.
“He was gracious as always,” said Lavin of his brief encounter with Krzyzewski after the win. “We have tremendous respect for Coach K. I congratulated him on the milestone.”