--F Brandon Bass loves to play against his old team. Bass sat on the Hornets' bench for two seasons before coming alive for the Mavs the past two seasons.
He's been playing well of late and really turned up the intensity Friday, especially on the boards. Bass had 10 rebounds in the fist half and he finished with a career-high 13, including a career-high six on the offensive glass. He also had eight points, several on huge dunks, all coming in the first half when the Mavs built their lead.
The Mavs are in New Orleans on Sunday, so Bass, a native of Baton Rouge, should be super-motivated once again.
"Going back home my family gets to see me play," Bass said. "But, I'll feel a lot better if we get the win."
--G J.J. Barea is playing as big a role as any Mavs player is during a stretch of five wins in six games. Barea had done an excellent of slicing through the lane and attacking.
"I always like to finish at the rim," Barea said. "That's what I enjoy the most. But, in this league, you have to pick your spots."
He's also keeping his turnovers down, which helps coach Rick Carlisle stick with Barea longer and in crucial situations. After going for 18 points and nine assists in Wednesday's win over Utah, Barea was having a light scoring night Friday.
He had no points in the fourth quarter and his playing time was cut to 12 minutes (he had been averaging 23 in the past six games), but he canned a 3-pointer midway through the period to push the lead back to 18, another dagger in the Hornets.
--F Josh Howard is giving the Mavs plenty of reasons right now to be happy they never traded the player when fans might not have objected. Howard is playing his most explosive ball of the season at both ends of the floor.
He had 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavs' catalyst in Friday's win over the Hornets. He played 31 minutes, slightly more than coach Rick Carlisle would prefer in order to protect his left ankle, but there's not much choice at this point.
"He's been real active and is playing real well, beyond the scoring and the shot making and those things," Carlisle said. "He's definitely a key guy for us. I'm hoping to keep him as healthy as we can."
One thing's for sure: Since his return, the Mavs have looked like a different team.
--G/F Jerry Stackhouse (right heel) is out indefinitely.
--G/F Devean George (right knee) is out for the rest of the season.