Dallas’ DeJuan Blair suspended for Game 5 due to kick to Tiago Splitter’s head

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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.