Mavericks fans may want to argue it was not intentional, he was just trying to get untangled after a fall, but the NBA league office sees it differently. And now Dallas’ path to a crucial Game 5 win just got more difficult.
Dallas big man DeJuan Blair has been suspended for Game 5 of the team’s series against San Antonio for a fourth-quarter kick to Tiago Splitter’s head, the league announced on Tuesday.
Blair was big in Dallas’ dramatic Game 4 comeback at home, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. His energy on both ends of the court was key for the Mavs, and when he was ejected for the foul and kick to the head with 3 minutes left in regulation the Mavs could not sustain their momentum and pick up a win.
It was clear Blair’s foot contacted Splitter’s head, however he said after the game it was unintentional. Intended or not, the league is going to frown on kicks to player’s heads.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.
J.R. Smith (slightly out of context): “We don’t start paying attention until after All-Star break.”
Raptors guard Delon Wright dislocated his shoulder, but at least he won’t need surgery.
Raptors media relations:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Raptors (11-5), off to a surprisingly strong start, are second in the Eastern Conference. They’ve bought themselves margin for error. All in all, a month-long absence for Wright isn’t so bad.
Wright had been a key part of an excellent all-bench unit that included Fred VanVleet, O.G. Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Jakob Poeltl. Two-way player Lorenzo Brown has assumed Wright’s role, and Norman Powell – returning from his own injury – will provide a boost. Toronto can also stagger Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan more.
The chemistry of the bench mob was something to behold, but the Raptors should withstand this.