- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Mavericks beat the Spurs 96-89 to set up a first-round playoff matchup. The Spurs return to the American Airlines Center this weekend to meet the Mavs in the first round for the second consecutive season.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich indicated after the morning shootaround the Spurs would treat this as a routine game. His starting lineup indicated otherwise.
"We just go into the game to play it," Popovich said in the morning. "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."
When it was mentioned that the Spurs might want to avoid the Utah Jazz, which swept the season series against San Antonio, Popovich laughed.
"Did I mention though that Timmy, Manu and Tony [Parker] aren't playing tonight?" Popovich said in a joking manner.
Parker did dress and is expected to play, according to a Spurs spokesman.
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