SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich decided this week that DeJuan Blair would start in the season opener. On Thursday night, the 21-year-old big man showed exactly why.
Blair scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and also had eight rebounds in San Antonio's 111-103 preseason victory over the Yao Ming-less Houston Rockets.
Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson each added 16 points, and Tim Duncan had 13 for the Spurs (4-3) in their preseason finale.
"The game was just coming to me," Blair said. "I was taking my time and letting the game come to me. Not thinking, just playing. I tend to think too much. I just got to keep rolling."
Blair's performance all but overshadowed Kevin Martin's scorching effort as he led the Rockets (4-3) with 21 points in just over 17 minutes.
Martin scored 11 of Houston's final 17 points in the first period to help lift the Rockets to a 28-19 lead. He made 4 of 5 3-point attempts and all seven of his free throws.
Yao wasn't in uniform for the Rockets, and Chuck Hayes and Jared Jeffries also missed the game. Houston coach Rick Adelman said before the game that he wanted to rest Yao, expected to play Friday night in Dallas in the Rockets' final preseason game.
San Antonio had 12 turnovers in the first half.
"We had a rough start, starting with me, with turnovers," Parker said. "The second quarter we played better and made a run at the end, and the second half we played better defense and made some shots."
Blair made a layup and completed the three-point play to give the Spurs their first lead, 82-79, with 9:58 to play in the contest.
"DeJuan was great," Parker said. "He did what he does best: rebound, hustle plays, staying in the play. He played great tonight."