The Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks battled on Thursday afternoon from Abu Dhabi in what was the first game of the 2022 preseason for the Hawks. The game marked the inaugural Abu Dhabi Games, and the Hawks took home the 123-113 victory.
The Hawks started Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, De’Andre Hunter, John Collins and Clint Capela, to no one’s surprise.
Murray had 19 points in the first half, pacing all scorers, while Collins had a pair of thunderous jams.
OH MY, JOHN COLLINS #NBAinAbuDhabi NOW on NBA TV pic.twitter.com/0eTePvQoKe— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 6, 2022
The New Connection: Dejounte Murray and John Collins!— NBA (@NBA) October 6, 2022
Watch #NBAinAbuDhabi Live Now on @NBATV and in the NBA App
Atlanta carried a 71-67 lead into the half, with Young totaling 16 points and two assists in the opening two quarters. Giannis Antetokounmpo totaled 14 points in the first half. The Hawks looked crisp on offense in their first half of the preseason, for whatever that is worth. They had Murray on the ball a lot, seemingly trying to get a feel for what that looks like.
Young ran off the ball as much as we’ve seen him in a half, with Murray attacking and creating with the spacing caused by Young’s gravity. Obviously the Hawks will have Young on the ball a ton this season, but it was a nice sight to see things go well in our first extended view of him off the basketball alongside Murray.
Murray finished with 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in just over 30 minutes of action. Not a bad debut for the new starting two guard, who played into the fourth quarter in the preseason opener.
A cool 25 for DJ pic.twitter.com/XA5Ii7N2UQ— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) October 6, 2022
The Hawks carried a lead into the fourth quarter and pulled away down the stretch on their way to the win. Atlanta played their regulars a bit more than Milwaukee did in the second half, which undoubtedly had an impact on the final result of the game.
Young finished with 22 points and three assists in 30 minutes of play, while Collins had 16 points and three rebounds. De’Andre Hunter looked healthy and active on his way too 17 points and seven rebounds in just over 24 minutes.
The Hawks and Bucks will be back in action Saturday afternoon to complete the two-game Abu Dhabi Series.