Shawn Marion gets first crack at Durant

DALLAS -- It comes as no real surprise that Mavericks small forward Shawn Marion will start the game guarding Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant.

DeShawn Stevenson, who actually had the most success guarding Durant this season, limiting him to 6-of-19 shooting, will start off on super-quick point guard Russell Westbrook and Jason Kidd will take shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha.

"With him, we've probably got to do the same thing we did to Kobe [Bryant], give him different looks," Stevenson said prior to the Mavs' morning shootaround. "He's a terrific shooter and can put the ball on the ground."

Stevenson averaged 24.0 minutes in three regular-season games against OKC, easily his high minute-mark against Western Conference opponents. Part of that was to keep his defense on either Westbrook or the spindly, 6-9 Durant -- who overall shot 33-of-63 this season against Dallas -- and part of that was due to Dallas' injury situation.

In the third meeting, Stevenson played 35 minutes with Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler out. He played 20 minutes in the second meeting when Nowitzki went down early in the second quarter.

The 6-foot-5 Stevenson is averaging less than13 minutes in the playoffs, down about four minutes from the regular season. He doesn't know if this series bodes well for him to see increased floor time.

"We'll see what happens," Stevenson said. "In the playoffs you can never know what's going to happen."

When battling Westbrook, Stevenson knows the drill is to keep him out of the paint and force him to take perimeter jumpers. He also knows how he'll attempt to guard Durant when called upon.

"What I try to do is try to get up under him, even though he has that foul move [called the rip move], I think with his length there's no way you can bother him being off him," Stevenson said. "That's what I try to do, try to put a body on him. Same thing that [Memphis guard] Tony Allen did. I think Tony Allen did a great job on him. You've got to be physical with him. He's thin, long and I think putting Trix [Marion] on him, somebody long and physical will help that out."