For the second time in 11 days, the Dallas Mavericks blew a huge lead to an opponent. The first time the Mavs had a 19-point lead over the Toronto Raptors only to lose the game in overtime 109-108. On Monday night, the Mavs built a 21-point lead early in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves only to watch it disappear as well.
After building their lead up to 66-45 at the 10:23 mark of the third quarter, the Mavs watched the Timberwolves finish the quarter on a 36-15 run to tie the game at 81 heading into the fourth. Luckily for the Mavs, an unlikely hero stepped up to save the day. Shawn Marion threw in 32 points to lead Dallas past the Timberwolves for the first time this season.
Dallas did walk away with a win, but there has to be some concern in the fact that they keep blowing big leads to these teams. Dallas missed the playoffs last season after 13 years in a row of making the postseason. This is a team that wants to get back into the playoffs but also contend for a title. However there are certain teams that you should beat if you get a big enough lead and the Raptors are one of them. The Timberwolves should be another team if you have playoff aspirations.
The one good thing through all of this is the fact that Dallas was able to find a way to win the game. Every team will make a run in the NBA at different times during the contest. The question isn’t about the run itself but how you deal with the adversity associated with the run. Good teams find a way to stop the bleeding and win the ball game. I’m not sure if we can label the Mavs as a good team yet, but for one night they did what a good team would do and they found a way to win.