Jeff Teague didn’t want to talk about his inclusion on the All-Star ballot Friday.
The Hawks point guard sure played like his name belonged with the NBA’s best hours later.
Teague had 23 of his career-high 33 in the second half as the Hawks defeated the 76ers 113-103 at Philips Arena. Teague’s previous best was 28 points set last season on Jan. 16 against the Nets.
The Hawks opened up a 14-point fourth-quarter lead as Teague scored 15 of the team’s first 23 points in the period. He made 10 of 16 field goals and 12 of 13 free-throw attempts. His 10 assists made for his sixth double-double of the season.
“Mike Scott told me to be more aggressive,” Teague said. “Honestly. He came in the locker room and said ‘They are going at you. Be more aggressive.’ I just tried to be a little more aggressive and attack and try to get a win.”
The Hawks (5-4, 3-1 home) had a season-high point total and have broken the 100-point mark in eight of nine games. DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 21 points. Al Horford added 20 points and Kyle Korver had 13 points for the other double-digit scorers.
The Sixers (5-5, 1-2 road) were led by Evan Turner with 27 points.
Korver ran has a streak to 82 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, second-longest streak in NBA history. He is seven shy of tying the all-time mark of 89 owned by Dana Barros.
Korver passed Craig Ehlo for 10th on the Hawks’ all-time list for 3-pointers made.
The Sixers took a 56-54 lead into halftime after they outscored the Hawks 39-29 in the second quarter.
The Hawks led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter. Horford scored eight of the Hawks’ first 15 points in taking the early lead as he started at power forward. However, the Sixers went on a 12-0 run midway through the second to take their first lead. Young and Wroten each had nine points for the Sixers in the second quarter as the team shot 70.8 percent (17 of 24) from the field.
The Hawks regained the 11-point lead in the third quarter led by Teague’s eight points. They used 15-4 run, punctuated by a Paul Millsap steal and pass for a Horford dunk. It was an 82-73 Hawks lead after three quarters.
“Probably the focus, or what we want to look at, is the first and third quarters,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our defense in those quarters, limiting them to 17 points. Of course the flip side is, particularly the second quarter when they got away from us and had 39, we need to have more quarters like the first and third and none or less of the second quarter. The guys found a way to win and I think coming out of halftime the way they responded on several occasions has been a real positive.”
Lou Williams returned to the Hawks after missing 10 months with a torn right ACL. He checked in for his first action with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter. He played 16 minutes and finished with seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
“It felt good. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be,” Williams said. “I was more nervous before the game then when I actually stepped out on the court. It felt good to be out there with the guys just grinding and trying to win a game and to be a part of it.”
The Hawks got solid production from Gustavo Ayon. He started at center and played 16 minutes with six points and four rebounds.
“The last two weeks we’ve had really hard practice and before the games and after the games,” said Ayon, who made his Hawks debut after a right shoulder injury. “My legs are strong. Only the shoulder is a little weak. But I’m ready for the games.”
With Ayon in the starting lineup, Millsap came off the bench. The forward played 29 minutes with eight points, four rebounds and three assists.
“It was something different, a little mixed feelings,” Millsap said of the lineup change. “I’ll just be ready when my name is called and get out there and do my job. You can’t look at it in a negative perspective. You have to look at it in the positive. Hopefully, I can get used to it going forward. I’m sure I will.”
The Hawks play at the Knicks Saturday.