Hawks players Gustavo Ayon and Lou Williams each made their season debut at home in Atlanta’s 113-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
Ayon started the game at center, as head coach Mike Budenholzer tinkered with the lineup and moved Al Horford down to power forward and Paul Millsap to the bench.
The 6’10″ big man had been out with a shoulder injury since his first appearance as a Hawk, when he went down in the preseason opener against the Heat on October 7th. He had only played 3:41 in the game before the injury occurred.
Ayon finished his debut last night scoring six points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with four rebounds, one assist and one block in 17 minutes of action.
Williams was not as effective as Ayon in their debut, but his return was much more welcomed.
Lou checked into the game at the 4:22 mark in the first quarter amongst a showering of cheers by the Philips Arena fans as he made his first return to the court since undergoing reconstructive right knee surgery 10 months ago. He tore his ACL back on January 18th in Brooklyn.
Williams finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 15 minutes of play, one minute shy of his cap limit set by Budenholzer.
Coach Bud said Williams will not initially play in back-to-back games, which means he won’t play when the team visits the Knicks on Saturday. No decision has been finalized on Ayon’s availability against New York.