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Mavericks off to slow start

Two interesting developments after one quarter at the American Airlines Center.

First, the Mavericks started DeShawn Stevenson at forward. Stevenson didn't play in the comeback victory against Golden State and missed three of the last four games due to a coaches decision. As a starter, Stevenson is shooting 40 percent from the field and averaging 6.7 points per game.

Second, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout 32 seconds into the game because of a blown defensive assignment on Dirk Nowitzki in which he made a 19-foot jumper for the first points of the game. After that timeout, the Spurs went on a 10-0 run to take a 10-2 lead.

In the victory against Golden State, the Mavericks were down 10-0 to start the game and as much as 18 before mounting a comeback.

The Spurs' fast start didn't end with a 10-0 run, after a Tony Parker layup over a clearly overmatched Roddy Beaubois, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called timeout with his team down 21-9, with 4:29 to play.

The Mavericks finished the quarter trailing 30-20 and shooting 40 percent from the field in their last meeting of the regular season with the Spurs. At the start at least, the Mavs don't appear ready.

By the way, a Mavericks victory clinches a playoff berth.