Hawks focus, execute in wire-to-wire win over Bucks

MILWAUKEE -- After dropping their first two games of the season, the Hawks picked up a 127-110 win over the Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Sunday.

Here are five observations:

1. The Hawks never trailed as they picked up their first win of the season. They led by as many as 31 points.

The Hawks had eight players in double-figure scoring, including all five starters. Trae Young (20 points), Bodgan Bogdanovic (17), Dejounte Murray (15), DeAndre Hunter (15), Jalen Johnson (14), Onyeka Okongwu (14), Shaddiq Bey (13) and Clint Capela (12) were the main part of the rotation.

2. Through the first two games, Young shot 8 of 35 from the floor and 3 of 14 from 3-point range.

In the first half Sunday, Young opened cold but attacked the basket and got to the free-throw line. He ended the night with the 20 points on 5 of 14 shooting and knocked down three critical shots from distance that silenced the crowd in the second half.

Young had help from backcourt partner Murray as the two organized the Hawks’ offense as the team looked to get out in transition.

3. The Hawks’ offense built off of their positive outing against the Knicks on Friday night knocking down over 50% of their overall shots before both teams cleared their benches in the final three minutes.

The Hawks moved the ball well with 32 assists to 46 made fields. Bogdanovic led the bench unit with 17 points.

“I mean, we have obviously everyone, most of the guys on this team, they can score, take the ball and just go and score 30 points,” Bogdanovic said. “Just off, skill, talent, whatever. But we know we need to sacrifice in that way. Not just sacrifice and be passive but sacrifice and help others and put them in a better position, look for that better option. But that’s going to come with practice, games and with experience.”

4. After extending his rotation to nine players in the first two games, head coach Quin Snyder kept the rotation a little tighter in the first half. He used just eight players early, not calling his ninth player until late in the third quarter.

The Hawks may have extended the rotation beyond eight due to some early foul trouble. Third-year forward Johnson picked up his fourth foul with 10:15 left in the third quarter. They rolled with fourth-year forward Bey and brought in AJ Griffin with 4:49 in the third quarter.

After the game, Snyder said that the night’s rotation depended on the matchups that the Bucks.

“I guess it’s been good to have everyone figure out that Saddiq and JJ can play together,” Snyder said. “And now it’s good to figure out that we can go big with O(nyeka Okongwu), you know, we can put shooting on the court with AJ. Tonight was a matchup where we started JJ. We can do that.”

5. The Hawks knew coming into the night that they would have plenty of work trying to take the 3-point line away from the Bucks. In the first half action they did a strong job of forcing the Bucks inside, as well as contesting shots when they tried to kick it out.

The Bucks shot 3 of 22 from 3-point range with just Brook Lopez, Malik Beasley and Cam Payne finding the basket from distance in the first half.

The Hawks also held Bucks guard Damian Lillard to 0-for-5 shooting overall and 0-for-3 shooting for distance in the first half of action. Lillard ended the night 2 of 8 from distance for six points as the Hawks held the Bucks to 16 of 44 from 3. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with a game-high 26 points.

“Sometimes, guys, even great players have rough nights and I thought, Dejounte did a terrific job,” Snyder said. “And I thought Clint (Capela) did a terrific job. Those two guys, I think that’s you can’t guard Damian Lillard with one guy. But there was a purpose with DJ. I think he was really focused that (and) frankly, that was something that we talked about, getting his pickup points higher.”

Stat to know

The Hawks had a season-high 15 steals.


“They started feeling good. Anytime you let a team come in and feel good -- especially a desperate team, coming in without a win -- you let them feel good and they see some shots go in, we not playing a good game, it can get that way, especially early in the season when you’re trying to figure things out. You’re trying to find an identity.” Damian Lillard on the Hawks.

Up Next

The Hawks host the Timberwolves on the second night of back-to-back games at State Farm Arena Monday.