Flu sidelines Hawks' guard Johnson

MINNEAPOLIS -- Just when the Atlanta Hawks finally appeared to be getting fully healthy, they had another setback.

All-Star guard Joe Johnson missed the Hawks' game Wednesday night against Minnesota because of illness, offsetting the return of Al Horford from a 12-game absence.

Johnson missed the past two days of practice and did not make the trip to Minneapolis for the game against the Timberwolves. Hawks coach Mike Woodson said he hoped to have the team's leader in scoring, assists and minutes back for a game in Charlotte on Friday.

It's the latest in what has been a season full of missed time for the Hawks, who have played a combined 24 games without starting forwards Josh Smith and Horford, who was out with a bone bruise in his right knee.

"We were just kind of trying to break even in terms of wins and losses with Al out of the lineup," Woodson said. "Now Joe, our leading scorer is out. So it will be kind of interesting to see how we play and who steps up and makes the plays."

The Hawks went a combined 11-13 without Smith and Horford and now have to play at least one game without their captain, who is averaging 21.5 points, 6.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds in his third straight All-Star season.

Maurice Evans was put in the starting lineup in Smith's place, but the pressure to fill the void likely will shift to Marvin Williams, who is averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds in six games since missing two with a concussion.

"It will give him an opportunity to extend his game a little bit," Woodson said. "But only time will tell."

The Timberwolves were short-handed as well.

Starting power forward Craig Smith bruised his ribs in a victory over Indiana on Tuesday night and was unable to play against the Hawks. Coach Kevin McHale said he will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

Rookie Kevin Love got his third career start in Smith's place.