The Atlanta Hawks opened their 2022-23 season at against the Houston Rockets. The preseason was a good showing for most the team, but now it’s time for the real thing for 82 games. The Hawks moved out to a 1-0 start with a 117-107 victory over the Rockets in the opener.
Dejounte Murray got the regular season started with his first bucket as an Atlanta Hawk, and the first points of the game.
First bucket of the season is DJ's first bucket in Atlanta pic.twitter.com/MpOVv9lNmM— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 19, 2022
It was a slow start for the Hawks, as the Rockets went on a 14-4 run we Jalen Green led the Rockets early with seven points. The Hawks eventually got out their rut and followed it up with a 22-4 run. With a newly-signed contract in his hands, De’Andre Hunter came out agressive and gave the Hawks a boost with six points in the first quarter.
The Hawks second unit, plus Trae Young, played well towards the end of the quarter and locked down defensively as the Rockets didn’t score for over 4:30 down the stretch. The Hawks led 26-20 heading into the second quarter.
Heading into the second, the Rockets got into a rhythm led by their rookie Jabari Smith Jr. as he scored seven points to give the Rockets a 37-36 lead before Nate McMillan called a timeout.
Young found John Collins for a three to get the Hawks back in rhythm.
Trae behind the back to JC ❄️ pic.twitter.com/xXaJYobCuM— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 20, 2022
From there, the Hawks went on a mini-run to extend their lead, and Young took over scoring the ball and continuing to find his teammates for easy shots.
Get used to it pic.twitter.com/gJqGNh8Xao— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 20, 2022
Going into halftime, the trio of Young, Murray, and Collins were all in double digits, as they led the Rockets 59-50. Young and Murray were both able to show off their playmaking skills, combining for 15 assists in the first half.
Collins continued his efficient scoring going into the third quarter with five early points. One of the many ways Collins was able to score tonight was the pick and roll from with Murray and Young.
The DJ and JC pick and roll pic.twitter.com/kSJEra4OKl— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 20, 2022
Atlanta closed the quarter leading 84-80 heading to the final frame.
The Hawks got some exceptional defensive play from Murray in the fourth, as his ballhawking led to a flurry of Rockets mishaps down the stretch.
Sheesh Dre it's like that pic.twitter.com/yWCK84Sqjw— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 20, 2022
Atlanta took home the win after pulling away in the final minutes. Collins finished with 24 points and six rebounds in the win, with Murray adding 20 points, 11 assists, five steals and five rebounds. Young (23) and Hunter (22) each had 20+ points as well.
The Hawks will be back in action again from State Farm Arena vs. the Orlando Magic.