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News » Spurs 95, Heat 93

Spurs 95, Heat 93

Spurs 95, Heat 93MIAMI (AP) - San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich quickly pointed out that DeJuan Blair only had one defensive rebound Sunday night.

"Not good enough," Popovich said, barely keeping a straight face.

So far, Blair is showing the Spurs - and probably the rest of the NBA - that he's certainly good enough.

The rookie scored 28 points on 11 of 13 shooting, 15 of those points coming in the final 7 minutes, and the Spurs erased an 11-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Heat 95-93 in a preseason game.

"He's a real mobile, agile player, even though he's got the girth that he has," Popovich said of the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Blair, who's noticably slimmer than he was playing college ball at Pittsburgh. "It's a heck of a gift."

George Hill added 12 points and Michael Finley scored 10 for San Antonio (1-1 preseason), which played without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Daequan Cook scored 20 points, Mario Chalmers added 17 and Michael Beasley finished with 16 for Miami (0-3). The Heat were without several regulars, including reigning NBA scoring champion Dwyane Wade.

Cook tried to win it with a 3-pointer at buzzer, but his shot bounced off the rim.

Blair's steal and layup with 3 minutes left helped the Spurs take control, and further illustrated why he's looked like the steal of the NBA draft so far in preseason. The 37th overall pick last June had 16 points and 19 rebounds in San Antonio's only other preseason game so far, not including the Spurs' win in an exhibition last week over Greek club Olympiakos.

"It's just hard work and my teammates trusting in me and just trying to adjust to the system," Blair said. "I'm not showing it, but it's problems for me. Adjusting to the system is kind of hard, but I'm getting it."

As Blair got dressed after the game, guard Keith Bogans was at the next locker, having a sandwich and some Doritos. Blair lamented that neither of those are among his culinary choices these days, as he tries to slim further down.

It's paying off.

"He's a character guy. He's a quality guy," Popovich said. "He's a hard worker and obviously, he has a passion for the game."

Both sides were far from being full strength, with at least two probable starters unavailable for each team.

For the Heat, Wade (left ribs), Jermaine O'Neal (left foot) and Quentin Richardson (left ankle) were among those sitting out. The Spurs opted to leave Duncan and Ginobili at home to rest.

Wade went through a pregame workout on the Heat practice court, then received treatment. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team doesn't believe the muscle strain will be a long-term concern for Wade.

"He's feeling better," Spoelstra said. "He was actually able to do quite a few exercises in the weight room (Saturday) and that's going to be part of the proactive approach that we take with him to try to gain more flexibility in this area and try to build up some strength."

Miami was also without backup point guard Chris Quinn (right foot). The Heat - who insist that they're committed to Chalmers being the starter again - held internal discussions Saturday about adding depth at that position, and Spoelstra said more talks will take place Monday.

Chalmers scored 11 of his points in the third quarter, when Miami stretched its lead to 73-62 entering the final 12 minutes.

NOTES: Both teams are off until Wednesday, when the Spurs will host the Los Angeles Clippers and the Heat face Oklahoma City at Tulsa, Okla. ... Haslem's contract with Converse expired Oct. 1, but is continuing to wear the company's shoes. He said he may take a one-year deal with Converse "so I can be a free agent in everything next summer." ... Among the new amenities in Miami's arena are upgraded HD screens on the scoreboard. ... Parts of the arena's highest level were curtained off, which the Heat will do at some home games this season. Depending on the night, capacity will be listed between 16,500 and 19,600.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 12, 2009


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