An inadvertent elbow from Pacers center Roy Hibbert caught Spurs center DeJuan Blair smack in the middle of his face during the first quarter of Saturday’s game at the ATT Center. Blair headed to the bench, bleeding profusely from the nose.
If Blair is to be believed, it was the first time he had seen his own blood.
“I didn’t know I could bleed,” he asserted after the Spurs’ Sunday practice session. “I’m glad to see I was human.”
After Blair’s injury was checked out by the team’s medical staff, he returned and played another 12 minutes, 7 seconds despite being unable to breathe through his nose.
The third-year pro suffered through a night of fitful sleep but vowed Sunday that he would be available for Tuesday’s game against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
“I don’t know (how the nose is),” he said. “I’m breathing a lot out of my mouth. I can’t feel my nose right now. I didn’t sleep a lot last night. I just couldn’t breathe out of my nose.”
Assurance his nose was not broken relieved Blair of the prospect of having to play wearing a mask, something he insisted he would not do.
“You’re not going to catch me wearing a mask,” he said. “I don’t need one of them. I won’t wear a mask. I’m cool.”
Blair is the only player to have started all 50 Spurs games. Guard Danny Green, who has started 22 games, is the only other Spur to have played in all 50.
Healthy hammy: Starting point guard Tony Parker remains the busiest of his teammates. At 34.5 minutes per game, he is the only player on the team averaging more than 28.5 minutes.
The Spurs’ scoring leader (19.3 points per game), who strained his left hamstring in a March 21 victory over Minnesota, anticipates sitting out at least one game before the end of the regular season as coach Gregg Popovich maintains awareness of the playoffs. But Parker insists he is ready to play all 16 remaining games squeezed into 23 days.
“I’m sure Pop will (give me a day off),” Parker said. “I don’t know when. I feel OK. Obviously, it’s a lot of games, but I feel fine. I’m healed up. My hammy is feeling better.”
Dentmon released: Point guard Justin Dentmon, signed to a 10-day contract March 24, was released, leaving the Spurs with 14 players.
Dentmon appeared in games against the Hornets and 76ers, scoring four points with one assist. He is expected to return to the Austin Toros, the Spurs’ D-League franchise.
Not mad at March: The Spurs won 12 of 15 games in March, more than any team in the Western Conference. Only the Chicago Bulls, who went 13-3 in March despite playing nine games without reigning MVP Derrick Rose, had a better record for the month.