MINNEAPOLIS The angry, pink-red welt on Greg Stiemsma's neck burns. You can see it from the upper deck of the Target Center.
Rick Adelman's blood boils.
Vinny Del Negro sweats.
The newly unveiled bear tattoo on Nikola Pekovic's arm draws your eyes and won't let them go.
Blake Griffin thuds as he hits the floor, all 250 pounds of sinew slamming into hardwood and thus squeezing three more points from the Timberwolves' doomed effort.
Minnesota knew this would be physical. The players knew it from watching Griffin for the past three seasons, from any tape of the Clippers this year. They're still something of underdogs, this Los Angeles team, even though they own the third-best winning percentage in the NBA, and they've fought tooth-and-nail for where they stand.
Two weeks ago, along with a loss, the Clippers dealt the Timberwolves two injuries, one to Pekovic and the other to Alexey Shved. This time, defeating them 96-90, they taught the Timberwolves a lesson.
It's time to be a ...