The Atlanta Hawks started the season with a bang for the second year in a row. The Hawks defeated the Houston Rockets 117-107 in front of an energetic crowd at State Farm Arena.
Every fan wanted to see the official backcourt debut of the Hawks All-Star and they were not disappointed. Trae Young and Dejounte Murray posted double-doubles.
Even better, the two point guards lifted their teammates. John Collins led the Hawks with 24 points and eight rebounds. De’Andre Hunter efficiently chipped in 22 points. With the exception of Clint Capela, all the starters scored more than 20 points.
While Capela didn’t make a lot of noise in tonight’s game, his backup did. Onyeka Okongwu had 13 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
The Hawks did a good job of limiting turnovers, but were dominated on the boards. Surely that will be a point of emphasis for head coach Nate McMillan going forward.
Both teams threw the ball wrong. However, the highlights were not lacking. The young Rockets team uncorked several standout dunks in the first half. Fresh off a new contract, Kevin Porter Jr. led the way with 21 points and seven assists.
The Hawks return to action on Friday night. No. 1 draft pick Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic make the trip up I-75 North to visit their Southeast Division rival.
John Collins – 24 PTS, 8 REB
Trae Young – 23 PTS, 13 REB
De’Andre Hunter – 22 PTS, 3 REB
Kevin Porter Jr. – 21 PTS, 7 REB
Jabari Smith Jr. – 17 PTS, 7 REB
Jalen Green – 16 PTS, 5 REB
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