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Hawks hand Bucks first home loss of season, 121-106

A big win on the road.

Atlanta Hawks v Milwaukee Bucks

The Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks linked up for the third time in two weeks in Milwaukee. However, the Bucks came into tonight shorthanded, missing the third Holiday brother Jrue, Pat Connaughton, and Khris Middleton – who has yet to appear this season – among others. Atlanta started their usual five of Young, Murray, Hunter, Collins and Capela while Milwaukee plugged in rookie MarJon Beauchamp to go along with Jevon Carter, Grayson Allen, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.

The Hawks started fast, getting stops on one end and turning it into easy buckets on the other. By the first timeout, all five starters had registered a field goal, and the Hawks led 15-7 behind 7-for-9 (78%) shooting from the field.

Here is John Collins tallying his 5000th NBA point.

And here is some of that early ball movement that was driving the Hawks’ scoring outburst.

Atlanta would slow down some after that and let Milwaukee back into the game.

De’Andre Hunter led all scorers with nine points in the first quarter, as Atlanta took a 29-24 lead after 12 minutes. The Hawks were money inside the arc, going 13-for-18 (72%) from that range.

Trae Young started to get going in the second quarter. He used his floater and this tricky three-point shot to push the Hawks lead even higher.

The Bucks had a virtual parade to the free throw line in the first half, with 24 attempts to the Hawks’ six. But Atlanta largely held the Bucks quiet from the field, as Milwaukee only managed 15-for-38 (40%) shooting in the first half from the field and just 3-for-14 (21%) from three.

Trae Young led the way for Atlanta with 14 points on nine shots and five assists to boot. De’Andre Hunter added 13 points with some long mid range shots and drives to the rim.

Despite Trae Young receiving a quick technical foul, seemingly for a “too small” gesture directed at the Milwaukee bench, the Hawks began the second half like they did the first half and pushed the lead to 18 with some crisp execution on offense.

Hunter, in particular, continued his strong play into the third quarter. He was virtual money from mid range tonight.

The Bucks would threaten with some runs, but the Hawks held firm through the end of the third quarter. Atlanta took a 14-point lead into the final 12 minutes looking to pick up their second win over Milwaukee in exactly one week.

Dejounte Murray and the Hawks continued to do a strong job in half court defense, with Murray claiming this loose ball to set up a Jalen Johnson dunk.

Atlanta couldn’t quite do enough to put the Bucks away early in the fourth quarter, and Milwaukee slowly chipped away at the Hawks’ advantage. But the Hawks managed to respond to every surge with tight defense and a timely bucket or foul drawn. Atlanta closed out the night in a relatively drama free fashion, 121-106.

De’Andre Hunter led the Hawks with 24 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 night from the line. Trae Young finished with 21 points and nine assists. Clint Capela added 19 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, as well as fantastic interior defense. Atlanta kept Milwaukee’s perimeter players in check from deep, and the Bucks finished just 6-for-29 (21%) from three on the night.

The win hands Milwaukee their first home loss of the season. It also moves Atlanta to 9-5 on the season. The Hawks will be back at home for another tough game on Wednesday, when they will matchup with the Boston Celtics.

Stay tuned.