MINNEAPOLIS -- A couple of weeks ago the Dallas Mavericks probably would have folded up the tent and lost a game like the one they played Monday night at the Target Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In fact, the Mavs actually did lose one of these type games less than two weeks ago at home. That's when Dallas led the Toronto Raptors by 19 points on Dec. 20, only to lose the game in overtime, 109-108.
Before that, the Mavs blew out to an 18-point lead against Golden State on Dec. 11, but wound up losing that game, 95-93.
And way back on Nov. 29, Dallas rolled to a 17-point lead against Atlanta, but couldn't hold on and ended up losing to the Hawks, 88-87.
But on Monday, after building a 21-point lead against the Timberwolves early in the third quarter, the Mavs held their ground and withstood a rally that eventually saw Minnesota hold a three-point lead with just six minutes left in the game. The win enabled the Mavs (18-13) to pad their record to 2-0 on this three-game road trip and ended all doubts about their abilities to hang on and win after blowing a huge lead.
"We're growing, we trust one another down the stretch and we stayed together,'' guard Monta Ellis said. "This is the NBA, they make a lot of runs, but through adversity that's when we come together as a team.
"And I think we're building that team chemistry where we can do that, and we stayed with it and got the win.''
-- Dwain Price
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