The Mavericks were 0.3 seconds from taking a 20-game winning streak into Monday. That measure of time is all that was left on the clock when Zach Randolph hit an improbable shot Sunday in Dallas. The Mavs' other loss in the last 20 games came on the shot at the buzzer Feb. 10 in Denver.
Most teams wouldn't lose sleep over an 18-2 stretch, and while the Mavs aren't fretting over what happened in one game, they realize they let one slip away.
Dallas was up 17 at halftime and cruising to its ninth straight win. The Mavs relaxed in the third and the Grizzlies rallied, turning a would-be blowout into anyone's ballgame down the stretch.
"There's a lot of positive aspects to the last 20 games or whatever, but I think there's got to be some perfectionist inside a team that's trying to get where we're going," Carlisle said. "And if that's the case, then you can't let happen what happened (Sunday) night."
Stepping on teams when they're down is something the Mavs have struggled with at times for years, including this season. It bit Dallas against Memphis, but the Mavs didn't let Monday night's game at Minnesota slip away late.
"I just think we're clicking," Brian Cardinal said. "Everybody's playing hard, playing well. I think we're understanding what we need to do on offense, who needs to get the ball and where people's shots are going to come.
"At the same time, I think we're dialing in our defense and playing better on (defense). With the playoffs coming up here within a month or so, we just have to stay after it and keep building on what we've done."
Dallas (46-17) is back on the road Wednesday for a trip to Southwest Division rival New Orleans.
MAVERICKS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 105: Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 in 27 foul-plagued minutes as Dallas overcome several second-half deficits to fend off feisty Minnesota on the road Monday. Brian Cardinal filled in nicely during Nowitzki's absences with 12 points off the bench. Jason Kidd added 13 points and nine assist for Dallas, which won for the 19th time in 21 games.
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