MEXICO CITY — Trae Younger placed on a present for almost 20,000 followers within the NBA’s regular-season recreation in Mexico Metropolis.
He wouldn’t thoughts attending to do it each season.
Younger scored 41 factors, then fed Dejounte Murray for a go-ahead 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to present the Atlanta Hawks a 120-119 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night time.
“I really like the power of the world tonight, the electrical energy. It was enjoyable taking part in right here,” Younger stated. “I do know we’re clearly most likely going to broaden the league and broaden it to some extra cities. I imply, I’m going to be open to taking part in right here. That is an unbelievable place to play.”
Jalen Suggs scored 21 factors and Paolo Banchero had 17, however missed a 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining on Orlando’s remaining possession.
“We have been making an attempt to run the identical play for Franz (Wagner). He scored on a possession earlier than however he drew two defenders, kicked it out to me and I missed the shot,” Banchero stated. “We had an opportunity to win and we didn’t win. But it surely was an incredible recreation, although. Nice setting.”
Trae Younger placed on a SHOW within the NBA’s Mexico Metropolis Sport ‼️ 🤩
— NBA (@NBA) November 10, 2023
Younger had 33 factors within the first half for Atlanta (4-3), which performed for the primary time south of the border. Jalen Johnson had 19 factors, Murray added 16 and Bogdan Bogdanovic completed with 15.
Though the Magic performed the sport because the host staff, most of the sellout crowd that got here to the Enviornment Ciudad the Mexico, a glass-clad cutting-edge facility, have been carrying jerseys of Younger, who lived in Lubbock, Texas, or Hawks gear and cheered loudly for the visiting staff.
The ambiance appeared to make the gamers overlook about taking part in at an altitude of seven,350 ft above sea stage, however that didn’t final endlessly.
“You’ll be able to undoubtedly really feel the altitude, it affected all of us,” Younger stated. “There was a second within the third quarter after I needed to come out as a result of the altitude acquired to me, I wanted to get a breather.”
The Magic pulled forward 111-100 after rookie Anthony Black hit a 3-pointer from the proper nook, however the Hawks had a 14-2 run sealed with Johnson’s driving layup to take a 114-113 lead with 4:04 left to play.
The groups exchanged leads and Wagner scored on a hook to place Orlando forward 119-117 with 43 seconds left to play. Younger drove towards the basket and fired a move out to Murray behind the arc for the ultimate factors.
The Hawks constructed an 18-7 lead early within the recreation after a 3 by Younger, however the Magic rallied to tie it at 34 after the primary 12 minutes.
The Hawks led 73-69 on the half, with Younger taking pictures 9 for 14 from the sphere and 11 for 11 from the free throw line.
However the Atlanta guard cooled off within the third scoring, going simply 1 for six, and Orlando closed the quarter on an 11-5 run to take a 98-93 lead into the fourth interval.
It was the league’s thirty second recreation in Mexico since 1992, greater than any nation exterior the U.S. and Canada.
In response to NBA metrics, there are 30 million followers within the nation and it has been talked about as a possible metropolis when, or if the league, decides to broaden.
“I can´t set a selected timeline, however a foremost a part of my job, if not an important a part of my job, is to develop this league. So it´s one thing to consider quite a bit,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated earlier than the sport.
Mexico has an NBA G League staff that had a profitable first yr taking part in on the Enviornment Ciudad the Mexico. Optimistic suggestions from former NBA gamers who reside in Mexico Metropolis would possibly assist town on its bid for a franchise sooner or later, however for now the one factor sure is extra common season video games.
“We´ll undoubtedly can be again,” Silver stated when pressed by Mexican reporters for the probabilities of town getting a staff. “We can be again subsequent yr with not less than one recreation, we´ll see whether or not it´s two video games.”
Hawks: Host the Miami Warmth on Saturday night time after a three-game highway journey
Magic: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday