points clear of Roma in the Italian Serie A, according to dpa.
Juve played a sluggish first half against the second-to-last hosts, striking on 60 and 74 minutes to secure a win that pushed them on 57 points from 23 games. Crotone stayed in the three-team drop zone on 13 points, nine from the safety of fourth-last place.
"We knew that Crotone would wait for us in defence," Juve's centre-back Leonardo Bonucci said. "It took some patience. Maybe we played a slow first half but after the break we changed pace and clinched a win that keeps us on track toward a sixth straight title." In the southern seaside town, Paulo Dybala had Juve's first shot on goal on 23 minutes saved by Alex Cordaz, while Higuain aimed high before botching two deflections.
Dybala came close again before the break with a lob that Gian Marco Ferrari cleared after Cordaz saved a Marko Pjaca header.
Cordaz saved another header from Kwadwo Asamoah, but was stunned as Mandzukic pounced by the left post.
A header by Diego Facinelli found Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon well positioned before Tomas Rincon sent Higuain away in the box to net his 16th goal.
Juve came close again when substitute Miralem Pjanic slammed a volley against the bar and when he fed Higuain in the box for a high shot.
Later action pits AC Milan away to Bologna in a game that was also rescheduled in December to make room for the Italian Super Cup match that the Rossoneri won on penalties against Juve