Atlanta Hawks drew first blood against Milwaukee Bucks in the first of the two NBA Abu Dhabi Games in front of an 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 acceptable defensive performance.
The Hawks went into the second half leading 71-67, with Young leading the scoring with 16 and two assists.
The third quarter began similarly, with the Hawks continuing to pile up points, stretching their lead to 14 points at one point, and gradually taking 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 forced their opponents into a timeout.
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.
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