ATLANTA – Rookie Nikola Vucevic set a career high with 15 points to lead six Philadelphia scorers in double figures and the Sixers dodged back-to-back losses once again by beating the Atlanta Hawks 98-87 on Saturday night.
Jeff Teague had 21 points to lead Atlanta.
The Sixers led by 20 in the third period and kept the lead in double figures until the Hawks staged a final comeback attempt. Joe Johnson's basket with 1:45 remaining cut Philadelphia's lead to 94-85. Lou Williams, who had 14 points, answered with back-to-back baskets for the Sixers.
Thaddeus Young had 14 points and Andre Iguodala had nine points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Sixers bounced back from Friday night's 99-79 home loss to Miami.
The Sixers won despite playing without forward Elton Brand, who was held out with a sprained right thumb.
Brand sprained his right thumb when it was caught in a jersey in Friday night's loss to Miami. Rookie Lavoy Allen of Temple made his first career start and had four points as the fill-in for Brand.
The good news for Philadelphia was the return of center Spencer Hawes, who had 14 points after missing 10 games with a left Achilles' strain.
The Sixers dominated the second period to lead by 16 points at halftime and stretched the lead to 20 points in the third period.
Undrafted rookie Ivan Johnson, who recorded his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, tried to keep Atlanta close. Johnson started the second half ahead of Zaza Pachulia after he had eight rebounds and six points in less than 9 minutes in the first half.
Johnson had three straight baskets for Atlanta late in the third period as the Hawks pulled to within 12 points. The Hawks couldn't take advantage of opportunities to cut the lead to 10, and the Sixers closed the period with a 7-0 run to stretch the lead back to 19 at 81-62.
A 3-pointer by Vladimir Radmanovic helped Atlanta open the final period with a 13-4 run to close to within 10 at 85-75, but they couldn't trim the deficit to single figures.
The Sixers and the Hawks began the night tied for the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia played like an elite team while Atlanta struggled in its second straight home loss.
Josh Smith missed his first eight shots before scoring on a drive midway through the third period. Smith had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Joe Johnson had 16 points.
The Hawks have lost back-to-back home games to Memphis and Philadelphia after winning the final three games of a 4-1 road trip.
The Hawks said backup center Jason Collins, who sprained his left elbow in Thursday's loss to Memphis, will miss at least two weeks. Collins said the sprain was "moderate."
Collins had assumed a more prominent role as the primary backup to Pachulia with All-Star center Al Horford was lost for three months with a torn left pectoral muscle.
NOTES: The Sixers, who took a 90-76 win over Atlanta in Philadelphia on Jan. 20, have won four straight over the Hawks for the first time since Feb. 4, 2005 through Dec. 14, 2005. ... Smith blocked seven shots, three shy of his career high. ... The Sixers had 17 points off Atlanta's 15 turnovers. ... The Hawks had a 47-37 edge in rebounds.