Jeff Teague has been the catalyst for the Atlanta Hawks throughout the early part of the season and that continued on Friday night when he turned in a career-best performance in a 113-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Teague scored 23 of his career-best 33 points in the second half as the Hawks erased a two point deficit at the half with a monster second half. For the third consecutive game, Atlanta came out of halftime with a solid defensive performance. The Hawks outscored the Sixers 28-17 in the third limiting Philadelphia to 33 percent shooting while forcing six turnovers. Atlanta didn't shoot well in the quarter either going 8-for-25 but were a perfect 11-for-11 at the free throw line which made all of the difference.
The Sixers looked for a spark in the fourth and Evan Turner did all he could to keep them in the game offensively. However, they never could solve Teague and Atlanta's pick and roll game that he used to carve up their defense and cruise home for the win.
Teague was outstanding hitting 10-for-16 field goal attempts while going 12-for-13 from the free throw line. He added 10 assists for yet another double-double performance. DeMarre Carroll also turned in a stellar performance with 21 points and six rebounds. Al Horford added 20 points and eight boards while Kyle Korver also finished in double figures with 13.
Atlanta has struggled to defend the three-point line for much of the season but flipped the script on the Sixers going 10-for-23 in the game. Carroll went 5-8 including a long one just before the halftime buzzer sounded. Korver went 3-5 and extended his streak of consecutive games with a made three to 82 games.
Gustavo Ayon and Lou Williams also made their season debuts for the Hawks. Ayon replaced Paul Millsap in the starting lineup and finished with six points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Williams saw his first action in 10 months and finished with seven points in 16 minutes.
Turner was a big bright spot for the Sixers finishing with 27 points and four rebounds. Tony Wroten made his second consecutive start at the point for Philly and added 22 points and six assists. Thaddeus Young added 17 while Spencer Hawes finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Atlanta improves to 5-4 on the season and wrap up a back-to-back on Saturday with a rematch against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.