Dejounte Murray top-scored on his debut because the Atlanta Hawks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 123-113 in pre-season in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, the NBA’s first look within the oil-rich Gulf.
Murray, traded by the Spurs within the low season, scored 25 with 9 assists and eight rebounds, adopted by team-mate Trae Younger who had 22 factors.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 19 factors however the Greek star, who drew screams from the group every time he touched the ball, couldn’t encourage a turnaround as Milwaukee trailed from the second quarter.
The Gulf’s first assembly between NBA groups was held at a packed Etihad Area within the United Arab Emirates capital, which will even host recreation two on Saturday.
“We’ve received to maintain that starvation mentality to work… to proceed to study and get higher and develop with one another and compete at a excessive stage,” mentioned Murray.
“And I imagine we will do this… I’m already on to Saturday,” he added. “We received the win, however like I mentioned, there’s at all times room to enhance.”
The Abu Dhabi video games are a part of a resumption of NBA abroad journeys after a shutdown for the pandemic. The Golden State Warriors gained two pre-season video games towards the Washington Wizards in Japan, whereas Paris and Mexico Metropolis will host regular-season fixtures.
The rich Gulf is attracting an growing variety of main sports activities occasions together with this yr’s World Cup in Qatar and 4 F1 races subsequent season, in addition to golf, tennis and heavyweight boxing.
“It’s been a very long time coming,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver informed reporters earlier than the sport, referring to a go to to the area.
“We imagine we’ve had, within the historical past of the NBA, roughly 25 gamers from the Center East, North Africa area.
“It’s our hope that as we proceed to play video games right here and televise video games… that it’s going to encourage much more younger individuals, frankly girls and boys, whether or not aspiring to play within the NBA or the WNBA, to proceed taking part in the sport.”
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