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Morning Rehash: Spurs survive scare from bearded men, defeat Timberwolves 117-110

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A week before the winter solstice, the Spurs were prepared for their arrival. The visitors wielded large axes and carried the hammer of Thor -- plus, they put up points in a hurry -- but they were pushed back in retreat. They were pushed back by The Manu.

Your beard is magnificent.
Your beard is magnificent.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Wake early 
if you want 
another man's life or land. 
No lamb 
for the lazy wolf. 
No battle's won in bed. 

- The Havamal

Life in Minnesota is hard. Men toil and struggle and grow large beards and get all tatted up. It's not by choice but by necessity. Minnesota men are either vikings or wolves. Minnesota men have been sharpened by the hand of Gord and do not suffer fools gladly.

Because of this the San Antonio Spurs and their fans inside the AT&T Center approached tonight's match-up with the Minnesota Timberwolves with caution.  In fact, some fans used so much caution they didn't even show up until the 2nd quarter.

But those that were there witnessed an epic struggle.  The battle pitted the precision passing and teamwork and selflessness and yelling at Danny Green from the Pop-led Spurs against the large, exceedingly hirsute men from Minnesota.

Kevin Love scored 42 points including a ridiculous 8 of 9 from beyond the arc and had 14 rebounds in 38 minutes. He is the obvious leader of the Bearded North-men.  But this Nordic leader finally met his match when Boris Diaw manned up against him in the final five minutes of the game and held him scoreless.

Tony Parker dropped in 29, Manu Ginobli had a smooth 20 and Kawhi Leonard seemed to finally find his shot scoring 19 on 8-11 shooting.  I guess Kawhi's new escapades on Twitter are really helping him open up and come out of his shell to start making baskets again.

The game was a back-and-forth affair until the 6 minute mark when the Coyote finally broke out the t-shirt cannon, and Tony and Manu put the game away.

Back to the north go ye large, facial-haired men.

Standard Pop Quotes

You have to play well.  That's the deal.

-Coach Pop during a time-out in the 1st quarter

WHY ISN'T HE GUARDING HIM?

-Coach Pop, to his assistants, after Love made his 8th three pointer of the night with 8:12 remaining in the 4th.

Spur of the moment

I was torn between Boris, Kawhi, Tony and Manu, but I have to give it to Manu.  He's like the t-shirt cannon.  He always goes off just when you need him to.

20 points, 9 assists and 4 boards with 16 points and 5 assists IN THE FOURTH QUARTER.  Manu does Manu things during Manu time.

By the numbers

  • 29 & 19: Season high point totals for Parker and Leonard respectively
  • 47.8%: Three point field goal % by the Timberwolves.
  • 21.4%: Three point field goal % by Timberwolves not named Kevin Love.
  • 0: Points from Danny Green.  Pop pulled him in the 2nd after a blown defensive assignment and he didn't see the court again.
  • 3: Number of times Pop stalked down the sideline and yelled at the triumvirate of Green, Matt Bonner and Jeff Ayres on the bench because of something he saw that he didn't like on the court.  It must be therapeutic for him.

Odds and Ends

  • I was fortunate enough tonight to sit directly behind the Spurs bench, so I was able to get some great Pop quotes and see some of the interactions up close.  Just to see the eye contact between Tim and Pop or when Boris saunters over and sits on the scorer's table or when Tony sneak peeks up at the video board during time outs is worth the price of admission.
  • With about 1:40 left in the first quarter Manu got the ball down in the corner and pump faked Corey Brewer, who flew past and hit him on the head.  He quickly regained his composure and hit Manu on the head again as he shot, but no foul was called.  I'm pretty sure Pop asked the referee to just check Brewer's hand for black shoe polish to prove that he had fouled Manu on the head.  It didn't work.
  • A guy sitting behind us said "Yeah that number 8, Patty Mills, he's the future of the franchise," which is proof that money can't buy you everything.
  • Nikola Pekovic is the largest human being I have ever seen.
  • Nikola Pekovic is the largest garden gnome I have ever seen.
  • Nikola Pekovic is not a descendent of Vikings, but is more likely a descendent of Viking ships.
  • If you meet Nikola Pekovic in a dark alley, do not try to pass him. Because you will literally not be able to pass him in an alley. You better get out on the freeway where you have some elbow room.
  • Look, I know you're highly regarded around here, and even the light seems to shine down on you in a weird way, but can you take a seat?  We're trying to watch a game here.
Pop

Tweets of the night

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined for 28 points and six assists in the fourth quarter vs. Minnesota. Ginobili played the entire period.</p>&mdash; Andrew A. McNeill (@drew_48moh) <a href="https://twitter.com/drew_48moh/statuses/411718228851691520">December 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Bringin &#39;em back with some Van Halen. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23purosananto&amp;src=hash">#purosananto</a></p>&mdash; Dan McCarney (@danmccarneysaen) <a href="https://twitter.com/danmccarneysaen/statuses/411699929732493312">December 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>This game just makes me feel sorry for Mexico.</p>&mdash; Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) <a href="https://twitter.com/JMcDonald_SAEN/statuses/411699223331999744">December 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23spurs&amp;src=hash">#spurs</a> had a slight edge in bench scoring tonight...55-12.</p>&mdash; Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) <a href="https://twitter.com/WolvesRadio/statuses/411712801007095808">December 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Ginobli however you spell his name , I see him clutching  <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Spurs&amp;src=hash">#Spurs</a></p>&mdash; ǝɐɯ ǝǝʇ.♥ (@Queen_Gates) <a href="https://twitter.com/Queen_Gates/statuses/411742851077517312">December 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>I had a 36 inch bat I named hammer of Thor.&#10;&#10;There is a little Thor inside all of us.</p>&mdash; Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoseCanseco/statuses/398915004411301889">November 8, 2013</a></blockquote>

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So as the night drew to a close, the men from the north were sent away in defeat.  They gathered their swords and their hammer and Gord and retreated.

Go now, giant bearded men into the night. Go before we start another fire.

Go you must.
No guest shall stay 
in one place for ever.
Love will be lost 
if you sit too long 
at a friend's fire. 

- The Havamal