For your holiday enjoyment: Mavs tidbits

Three statistical tidbits for those of you who don't want to take a Christmas Day break from thinking about the Dallas Mavericks:

*How many of you, coming into the season, expected Dallas to be a top-five defensive team?

Neither did we.

But the Mavs are indeed fifth in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing just 101.7 points per 100 possessions.

The Los Angeles Lakers entered Friday's play at a league-leading 98.1 points allowed per 100 possessions, followed by the Charlotte Bobcats (99.1), Boston Celtics (99.3), Milwaukee Bucks (101.3) and then Dallas.

*Dirk Nowitzki awoke Christmas morning as the league's fifth-most proficient player at drawing fouls, according to the following chart:


*The San Antonio Spurs' home victory Monday over the Los Angeles Clippers was its 14th consecutive regular-season triumph against the Clips. That's the longest such streak in the league, but the Mavs have one of three active 13-game win streaks: San Antonio over the New Jersey Nets, the Houston Rockets over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Mavs next play the Wolves on Feb. 5 at home.