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Sunday, April 17, 2011
DeShawn Stevenson sets tone early

By Calvin Watkins

The Mavericks' players of the game were Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki. But DeShawn Stevenson should get a little credit for setting the tone early for the Mavericks.

With Rodrigue Beaubois out with a sprained foot, coach Rick Carlisle started Stevenson at shooting guard. Stevenson scored just five points in 18 minutes but tallied the first bucket of the game, when Carlisle called the first play for him. Stevenson also made a 3-pointer to push the Mavericks to an early 10-5 lead.

"Yeah, coach gave me the first play and I was lucky to get it," said Stevenson, who averaged 6.5 points per game in 54 regular-season starts. "I'm just out there playing, and my role is to play defense until [Jason Terry] gets in there and knock down open shots. That's my role and that’s what I'm going to do."

Overall, the Mavs' guards did a good job controlling their Portland counterparts. Brandon Roy scored just two points in 26 minutes off the bench. Wesley Matthews and Andre Miller, the starting backcourt, combined for 20 points with Matthews taking just three shots.

"We just went out there and try to cut off Matthews' shots," Stevenson said. "Miller got off on a couple of shots."