When the NBA history in Abu Dhabi is written, Atlanta Hawks will have their name engraved as winners of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Games 2022.
Nate McMillan’s men capped a memorable first visit to the Gulf region with a clean sweep of the two-game series by defeating Milwaukee Bucks 118-109 in the second game at the Etihad Arena on Saturday.
The Hawks took the court having won Thursday’s first game 123-113 and once again proved they were the better side by clinching a second victory.
Trae Young was the star of the night with an explosive first- half, scoring 31 points, including six assists and two rebounds.
The Bucks had the edge over Hawks in the first quarter 25-24 but the latter team took the second quarter 39-30 to go into the second half break with an eight-point lead.
Bobby Portis gave Bucks the perfect start by sinking a three-pointer from the corner but it was Young who top-scored with 12 points, including three assists and three rebounds to keep Hawks just a point behind as the two sides traded baskets in the first quarter.
Atlanta Hawks 123 Milwaukee Bucks 113 - in pictures
Young was the standout player in the second as the Hawks took control of that period as they did in opening game.
The Hawks point guard was electric and had the capacity 18,000-seat Arena in awe, with his spectacular play and three-point baskets.
Young fired in an incredible seven three-pointers in the first half of play as the Hawks built a strong platform and kept that momentum going for the remainder of the game.
The Hawks appeared to have the game in the bag at the end of a dominant third quarter 33-20 score, stretching their lead by 21 (96-75).
The Bucks made a vain bid to get into the game, taking the final quarter 34-22 but that was as close they got, finishing nine behind the Hawks at the final hooter.
Young top scored for the winners with 31 with De’Andre Hunter (21), AJ Griffin (13) and Onyeka Okongwu (12) chipping in with useful contributions. Lindell Wigginton (16), Portis (15) and Jrue Holiday (12) were the pick of the scorers for the Bucks.
The Hawks started with Young, Hunter, Clint Capela, John Collins and Aaron Holiday.
The Bucks began with Fabien Allen, Portis, Pat Connaughton, Holiday and Brook Lopez. Conspicuous in absence in their line-up was their star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who didn’t take to the court.