- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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DALLAS -- San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he has no interest in trying to dictate Western Conference playoff seedings by resting starters during Wednesday night's regular-season finale against the Dallas Mavericks.
A Spurs loss would guarantee that the Interstate 35 rivals would meet in the first round for the second consecutive season. The Mavs would be the second seed and the Spurs the seventh.
"We just go into the game to play it," Popovich said after the Spurs' morning shootaround at American Airlines Center. "There are other factors that help determine what seed you're going to be that you don't control, so the best thing to do is just continue to try to be the best team you can be by the time the playoffs start.
"If it's Dallas, it's Dallas. If it's somebody else, it's somebody else. You really can't control everything, so there's no sense trying. Just do your best. That's what you can control."
If the Mavs lose, they'd leave the door open for the Utah Jazz to seize the second seed by beating the Phoenix Suns at home. The Jazz swept the season series against the Spurs, who are 1-2 against the Mavs.
The Suns would be the third seed if they beat the Jazz.
The Mavs, who expect Caron Butler to return after missing a game with a strained right hip flexor, are determined the finish the regular season with a five-game winning streak and clinch the highest possible seed.
"It's an important game for seeding and all that," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's a game we want to play well and win."
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6dMatt Walks, ESPN.com