Hawks beat Bucks in thrilling debut for NBA in Abu Dhabi

Sell-out crowd watches the basketball giants go head to head at Etihad Arena

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Atlanta Hawks drew first blood against Milwaukee Bucks in the first of the two NBA Abu Dhabi Games in front of a 18,000 seat sell-out crowd at the Etihad Arena on Thursday.

Dejounte Murray (25), Trae Young (22) and De’Andre Hunter (17) did the bulk of the scoring for the Hawks to triumph 123-113 in the first-ever NBA game in Abu Dhabi.

The Bucks began well and led the first quarter by a point before the Hawks got their act together and established their superiority as the match progressed with a fine defensive performance.

The Hawks went into second half leading 71-67, with Young leading the scoring with 16 and two assists.

The third quarter began in similar fashion with the Hawks continuing to pile up points, stretching their lead to 14 points at one point, and gradually take control of the game leading 101-94 at the end of the third quarter.

Not to be outdone, though, the Bucks battled back to narrow the gap to three points before the Hawks regained control at 111-102 and forcing their opponents into a timeout.

The Hawks, however, maintained their strong game in the remaining period to finish deserving winners.

Murray in his first year for the Hawks topped the scoring chart with nine assists and eight rebounds in just over 30 minutes of action.

The teams play again at the Etihad Arena on Saturday night.

Updated: October 07, 2022, 6:28 AM