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Teague leads Hawks past 76ers, 113-103

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ATLANTA (AP) - First-year Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has been trying to convince Jeff Teague to go to the rim as often as possible.

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This was definitely a pretty good argument for that strategy.

Teague had a career-high 33 points and 10 assists, Al Horford added 20 points and Atlanta beat the Philadelphia 76ers 113-103 on Friday night.

''I tried to be more aggressive, attack and play hard to get a win,'' Teague said. ''Those guys were telling me to just use my speed and get to the rim. It was working out for me tonight.''

DeMarre Carroll finished with a career-high 21 points for Atlanta, which has won three of four.

Evan Turner scored 27 points and Tony Wroten had 22 for the Sixers, who have lost three of four. Spencer Hawes finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Hawks guard Lou Williams, returning to the court for the first time since undergoing reconstructive right knee surgery 10 months ago, finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists in 16 minutes.

Williams, in his second season with Atlanta, received a rousing cheer when he entered the game midway through the first quarter.

Budenholzer said before the game that Williams, who spent his first seven seasons with the Sixers, will not play on consecutive nights. The Hawks visit the New York Knicks on Saturday.

''I was more nervous before the game that when I actually stepped out onto the court,'' Williams said. ''It felt good to be back out there with the guys, just grinding and trying to win a game and to be a part of it.''

Budenholzer decided to bring forward Paul Millsap, Atlanta's second-leading scorer this season, off the bench, and he finished with eight points. Gustavo Ayon started in his season debut, finishing with six points.

Teague, who wove through the lane to feed Millsap for a dunk that made it 103-94 with 3:01 left, seemed to drive at will.

''I think the message throughout preseason and training was that when he's aggressive, something good is going to happen,'' Budenholzer said. ''We just keep hammering that to him. We want him to be more aggressive. Sometimes that's going to mean a lot of assists, sometimes it will mean a lot of points. When he's putting pressure on the defense, good things happen for us.''

The Sixers were without second-leading scorer Michael Carter-Williams because of a bruised arch in his left foot.

Carter-Williams missed his second straight game. The rookie was injured Monday in a home loss to San Antonio and is traveling with the team, but coach Brett Brown said he doubts the former Syracuse standout will play Saturday at New Orleans or Monday at Dallas.

''It's tough, for sure,'' Turner said about Carter-Williams' absence. ''Maybe he could have corralled Jeff Teague, but he'll be back soon.''

Added Brown: ''We tried different a bunch of different ways to try to defend him and not many worked.''

Wroten, a second-year veteran starting in Carter-Williams' spot, has done well in the guard's absence. He had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his first career start, a home win over Houston on Wednesday.

Hawks guard Kyle Korver hit a 3 in his 82nd consecutive game, pulling within eight of breaking Dana Barros' 17-year-old NBA record.

Korver finished with 13 points.

Thaddeus Young had 17 points for Philadelphia.

The Hawks' biggest lead before halftime was 11 on Williams' 3 in the final seconds of the first quarter, but Philadelphia had a two-point lead at intermission after Darius Morris hit a 3 with 2.5 seconds left and Carroll hit a 3 at the buzzer.

Williams' 8-foot runner lifted Atlanta to an 82-71 lead with 31.1 seconds left in the third.

Philadelphia came within four on Hollis Thompson's dunk early in the fourth, but Brown called timeout with 7:39 remaining after Ayon caught Teague's alley-oop for a layup that made it 90-79.

''Our bench came in and got us back in it and showed great energy,'' Brown said. ''But at that point you could feel the momentum was swinging. We give them credit. We just didn't do a great job starting that second half.''

NOTES: Teague's previous career high was 28 points last Jan. 16 at Brooklyn. ... Carroll set a career high with four 3s. ... Barros set the NBA mark by hitting a 3 in 89 straight games from Dec. 23, 1994-Jan. 12, 1996, during stints with Philadelphia and Boston. ... Budenholzer and Brown, both first-year head coaches, know each other well. Budenholzer spent the previous 17 years and Brown the last 11 on San Antonio's staff. ... There were 10 lead changes and nine ties.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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