MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Wes Johnson missed Monday night’s game against Houston because of an illness, giving rookie Derrick Williams his first career start.

Johnson’s absence left the injury-plagued Wolves without a healthy small forward on their roster. Michael Beasley is out with a sprained right foot and Martell Webster has yet to play this season because of a back injury.

The Timberwolves chose Williams with the second overall pick and projected him as a player who could fit in at either small or power forward. But in this lockout-shortened season, coach Rick Adelman has had Williams playing almost exclusively at power forward to ease his transition.

Williams is coming off one of his best games when he scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a loss at Utah.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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