Blair makes first start at center

DALLAS -- DeJuan Blair is starting at center Monday night for the Dallas Mavericks against the Denver Nuggets.

Blair is making his first start of the season because Samuel Dalembert is dealing with painful bruised ribs.

Dalembert, who has started all but one game this season, is dressed out. However, he is coming off his worst outing of the season in Saturday's loss to the Nuggets, when Dalembert had season lows of three points and three rebounds in 22 minutes before being asked to be removed from the game.

The 6-foot-7, 270-pound Blair is averaging 8.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game off the bench.