"He stepped up and he just had the openings and knocked them down," Duke 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."
When he fouled out with 7 minutes, 25 seconds left, Kelly was one point shy of the career high he set in his last game against the Demon Deacons 11 months ago.
He was at a loss to explain his knack for putting up big numbers at Wake Forest's expense.
"It's just the nature of the game, and it might be how they defend me I don't know but I got open looks, and my guys got me the ball," Kelly said.
The Blue Devils (14-0, 1-0) shot 46 percent in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener 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.
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.
Mason Plumlee added 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Rasheed Sulaimon scored 12 points for Duke, which simply was too much for a rebuilding Wake Forest team that has only three healthy non-freshmen on scholarship.
"Our young team played hard," Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "We need to play better."
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 about 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.