But since the final two games of the second-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Blair has been virtually glued to the bench.
He did not play in either of the first two games of the Western Conference Finals and only entered Game 3 when the Thunder led by 23 in the fourth quarter.
Before Game 4 on Saturday night, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Blair.
“You know, you can't play everybody, but maybe he'll be somebody that plays,” Popovich said. “We'll see what the game brings.”
Blair entered in the third quarter with the Thunder leading 68-58 and gave the Spurs an immediate spark, scoring the first time he touched the ball.
San Antonio outscored the Thunder 17-7 during Blair's stretch on the floor. He finished with two points, two rebounds a steal and a block in 9:36 of playing time.
ADJUSTING TO ADJUSTMENTS
Popovich figured Thunder coach Scott Brooks would mostly stick with what worked for Oklahoma City in Game 3 instead of anticipating his countermoves.
“I'm going to guess that if things work, you pretty much stick with them,” Popovich said. “We'd expect they might switch the pick-and-roll again like they did last night or the night before. Usually, that's not going to change too much if it's working pretty well.”
The Thunder did stick with a lot of what worked in the Game 3 win, especially early, though Kendrick Perkins was much more involved on the offensive end.
The Thunder had a 9-0 lead in fast-break points in the first half and did not score any in the second half to finish with a 9-3 advantage. ... OKC out-rebounded San Antonio 41-31 and had a 13-9 advantage in second-chance points. ... The Spurs scored 14 of their first 19 points in the paint and outscored the Thunder there 52-48 for the game.