--C Al Horford missed his 11th straight game Friday night recovering from the bone bruise in his right knee suffered Jan. 9 at Orlando. He's on the way back, though.Coach Mike Woodson said that Horford's return to action could come as soon Wednesday's game in Minnesota.
"We're going to step it up (Saturday) in terms of running," Woodson said before Friday's game against New Jersey at Philips Arena. "Come Monday, and depending how things go on Sunday, he'll get a chance to go through a full practice. And if not Monday, he'll for sure be out there Tuesday. A lot of it depends on how he feels the next few days after working out and how he responds to the increased activity."
There's no question the Hawks miss their leading rebounder and best interior defender. They've gone 5-6 without him.
--The Hawks continued their trend of slow starts Friday, trailing by as many seven points in the game's opening minutes. But they rebounded in time to keep things under control, trailing just 28-25 at the end of the quarter.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "For all the great players that have come through this league, just to make it once is an accomplishment. For Joe to make it three years in a row is something special. And I absolutely expected him to be on that team." -- G Mike Bibby, on Joe Johnson's third straight All-Star bid.