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Monday, April 26, 2010
Carlisle implores club to get 'on the floor'

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle got awfully tired of watching San Antonio Spurs backup center DeJuan Blair play garbage man and beat the Mavs to loose balls.

Blair scored seven points, grabbed seven rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, and scooped up a number of loose balls for his team. He made at least three significant plays in the second half. Blair gave the Spurs the lead, 59-57, in the third quarter on a bucket that came off a loose ball. On the next possession, he grabbed an offensive rebound and got fouled, making one free throw for a 60-57 lead.

But, his defining moment came at the start of the fourth quarter. Blair literally lunged backward to the ground near the free throw line in pursuit of a long rebound, beating Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd to the ball.

Blair grabbed it and from his back quickly tossed it to Manu Ginobili, who charged the basket and was yanked from behind by Eduardo Najera, who was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul.

Ginobili made both free throws for a 68-61 Spurs lead and then on the ensuing possession due to the flagrant foul, Blair rebounded Ginoili's missed jumper and stuck it back.

"There’s five or six times where DeJuan Blair beats us to loose balls on the floor," Carlisle said. "We've got to get guys on the floor after the ball. Right now, those are the defining plays from the last two games."