Spurs vs. Timberwolves: Shootout Part 2?

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The last time the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves faced off in the Alamo City, (can we call them the Direwolves today in honor of the premiere the Game of Thrones season 4 trailer?), the two teams played one of the most exciting games of the season. A week before that, they were supposed to play a game in Mexico City, which was postponed thanks to an elevator fire. So when these teams get together, something exciting or weird happens.

The truth is, the reason last game was so exciting is because Kevin Love had one of the best games of his career, scoring 42 points and making 8-9 three-point attempts. The Spurs weren’t their sharpest that night, but Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were able to will the Spurs to victory, making play after play to erase as much as a seven point fourth quarter lead. The other thing that happened during that run to close out the game was Boris Diaw blanketed Kevin Love, letting him get just four shot attempts up in the final seven minutes of the game. And that doesn’t even begin to describe how nice a defensive job Diaw did to close out the game.

Tiago Splitter didn’t play that game either, so it will be up to Diaw and Jeff Ayres to try to limit Love again when it counts, or better yet, try to let him go off for 40 points in the first 3 1/2 quarters. Meanwhile, the Spurs come in to tonight’s game with three days off. The only other time that happened was when they had four days off in mid-November and beat the Boston Celtics 104-93. Instead of looking exactly at how much that helps or doesn’t, let’s just say having extra time off helps and leave it at that. Spurs are 3-1 this month and have won three straight since that embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks. Tip-off from the AT&T Center is set for 6 p.m.

Other notes:

-Tim Duncan continues to shoot the ball better and better after a dreadful November. Duncan is shooting 52 percent in January after 48 percent December and 43 percent November. He’s up to 46 percent on the season.

-Manu Ginobili remains questionable for tonight’s game, but our own Matt Tynan reports that Ginobili has been on the court with the team during media availability the last two days, so take that for what you will. Also, #Manu6MOY

-Winter is coming.