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Brunei
Monday, November 28, 2022
25 C
Brunei
Monday, November 28, 2022
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    Hawks sweep Bucks in Abu Dhabi

    ABU DHABI (AFP) – Trae Young top-scored with 31 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks to their second win in three days over the Milwaukee Bucks in pre-season action in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

    The explosive point guard made seven three-pointers in the first half alone as the Hawks went on to dominate the 2021 NBA champions 118-109.

    Bucks’ two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who admitted he felt “rusty” after Thursday’s game in Abu Dhabi, did not take the floor, much to the disappointment of the fans in attendance.

    Also missing was Hawks’ new recruit Dejounte Murray, who had top-scored for Atlanta on his team debut in Game 1.

    The Bucks trailed by five points early on but a Jevon Carter three-pointer saw them snatch the momentum as they inched ahead 17-15 and ended the first quarter up one point on the Hawks.

    Young put on a show for the crowd in the second quarter as Atlanta entered halftime leading 63-55.

    Milwaukee Bucks’ forward Serge Ibaka tries to block a drive by Atlanta Hawks’ guard Trae Young. PHOTO: AFP

    The Hawks picked up where they left off and extended their lead to 21 points by the end of the third quarter.

    Late in the fourth, the crowd began chanting, “We want Giannis”, but the ‘Greek Freak’, who wasn’t even suited up, would not oblige.

    “It’s one of the hardest parts about these special trips, coming to Abu Dhabi, and how badly everybody wants to see, not just Giannis, see all these players, there’s so many great players on both teams, but obviously Giannis is special,” said Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer.

    “But the other night he played, I thought he put on an amazing performance. He’s played a lot this summer with the Greek national team and played internationally all over the world and he carries a big load.

    “So it’s our job to sometimes be the bad guys and we have to try and keep him healthy and in a good place for a long, long season.”

    Young was pleased to have improved his performance on Saturday compared to Game 1 and said Abu Dhabi served the team well in building chemistry with the new additions to the Hawks roster.

    “I don’t think I shot the ball really well last game. I knew I could have shot the ball better, I did that tonight and that’s what pre-season is for, to get back into it. We’ve got a new team so I’m here just learning my new team-mates and just trying to see where we’re at,” said Young.

    The NBA Games in Abu Dhabi were the organisation’s first ever to be staged in the Gulf region and Arab world. Two sold-out nights saw a combined 23,000 people attend the games at Etihad Arena.

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