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Young's double-double leads 76ers past Hawks 99-80

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm •  Published: December 21, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jrue Holiday returned from a sprained foot and the 76ers returned to form.

No doubt, the steady point guard makes the Sixers go.

All they need now is a healthy Andrew Bynum — and the injured center vows he's on the way back.

Thaddeus Young had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Evan Turner scored 21 points to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Atlanta Hawks 99-80 on Friday night.

Holiday had 11 points and seven assists after sitting out four games with a sprained left foot. With Holiday back running the offense, the Sixers led by as many as 22 points and snapped a season-worst five-game losing streak.

"I think you can see the difference that Jrue makes in our team," coach Doug Collins said. "He just gives us a settling presence. Offensively, things are smoother."

Jason Richardson scored 17 points and the Sixers held the Hawks to 39 percent shooting. That was a 6 percent dip off Atlanta's average.

"We can score when we need to," Holiday said. "But it's just locking up our defense. We tried to take guys out of the game and we succeeded."

The Sixers learned before the game that Bynum, their 7-foot center, had been cleared to start a six-step rehabilitation process. There is still no timetable for when he can return to play from bone bruises in his knees. Bynum said he was confident he would play this season.

Expected to contend in the East with Bynum, the Sixers are under .500 (13-14) and clearly need their rested and recovered big man to make a run in the playoffs.

Josh Smith led the Hawks with 17 points and Lou Williams scored 13.

Williams averaged 11.3 points during seven years with the Sixers and led the team in scoring last season with 14.9 points a game.

His signature moment came in Game 4 of a first-round playoff series in 2011 against Miami when he helped the Sixers avert a sweep with a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc over a lunging Dwyane Wade with 8.1 seconds left that lifted Philadelphia to an 86-82 win.

When the Sixers decided to clean house and make the move to get Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers, Williams, Elton Brand and Andre Iguodala all went elsewhere.

The Sixers were cruising until the third quarter when Williams showed that quick scoring punch off the bench that made him so valuable for them. He hit two straight 3-pointers, then sank two free throws to pull the Hawks within eight after they were down by 16.

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