Screw your heavily-promoted national television matchup: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich struck again today, deciding to give his aging stars a much-needed break as the rest of the Spurs travelled to face the Miami Heat. Pop is the best. Reports the Express-News: “Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green did not travel with the team after Wednesday night’s win in Orlando, instead heading back to South Texas this morning for an extra day of rest leading up to Saturday’s sure-to-be-rugged home game against Memphis. The four were spotted on a Southwest flight making a pre-lunch escape from central Florida. As a result, the Spurs – who were already without injured small forward Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson – get set to take on the defending NBA champions using a roster of nine players. In retrospect, Popovich was probably hinting at the decision to come before Wednesday’s game in Orlando, when he admitted the most road-heavy November in team history was taking its toll on his players. ‘We’re getting tired,’ Popovich said. ‘We’ve had a six-day trip and a 10-day trip. Usually you don’t have that in one month.’ Tonight’s game will be the 12th road game of the month for the Spurs, who have been on their current six-game trip since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. It is the Spurs’ fourth outing in five nights, and comes against a Miami team that hasn’t played since Saturday. By choosing to dispatch his four top healthy scorers home – the Big Three plus Green combine to average 57.9 points per game – Popovich clearly sent the signal that he cares more about keeping his team fresh than about television ratings and winning streaks.”