Time will tell if the Mavericks end up being any good this season, but they already have proved one thing beyond any doubt.
Boring, they are not.

They blew a 21-point lead Monday night in the frostbite capital of the world, yet lived to tell about it with a handful of clutch plays in the final moments, pulling out a 100-98 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves behind a monumental night from Shawn Marion.
The wily veteran had 32 points, the most he’s had as a Maverick. But it was his defense on Kevin Love on the game’s final play that was vitally important. Marion stripped Love as he reared up for what would have been a long two-point shot from the corner.

The Wolves howled for a foul. But no whistle came, which of course meant only one thing.

“It wasn’t a foul,” Marion said.

And so, the Mavericks escaped the sub-zero temperatures in the Twin Cities with a three-game road winning streak, including the first two of this three-game trip that concludes New Year’s Day in Washington.

“He was the key to the game, no question about it,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Marion. “If we’re giving out game balls, that would be two game balls in a row for him. He was active at both ends. Didn’t run a single play for him, and he produced.”
It was only fitting that Marion made the defensive stop at the end. But the big plays were plentiful for the Mavericks down the stretch.
After trailing by three, the Mavericks regained the lead for good on a Marion 3-pointer from the corner that put them up 92-90. Moments later, he hit another triple from the same spot and the lead was five.

Dirk Nowitzki’s jumper made it seven, and from there it was a matter of not making silly mistakes.

On a night when Monta Ellis couldn’t find the basket with a GPS, he made up for it with 10 assists. Not included in that number were two excellent passes he made to Samuel Dalembert after penetrating into the paint in the final two minutes.

Dalembert made three of four free throws to protect the lead, the final points the Mavericks would score.

“I would have been really mad at myself if I’d missed those,” Dalembert said. “When he [Ellis] penetrates, you know you have to be ready for the pass really at the last minute. It’s just working together.”