The Golden State Warriors put in one of their best performances of the season on Wednesday night, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 124-107. Sure, the Clippers were playing without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but it was still a stellar performance by Golden State…and not as close as the score suggests, with Los Angeles tightening the deficit in only the final moments of garbage time.
Let’s rate the players on the field. As always, we weight our expectations of players, with a “B” being the way we expect them to perform.
Note: The average True League Shooting Percentage (TS) entering Wednesday’s games was 57.2%.
33 minutes, 9 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-on-4 shooting, 1-on-1 triple, 112.5% TS, +21
Dry wine. Dray is quite vintage. The death was outrageous – words cannot adequately describe how elite he is at this end of the court. And his aggressive transition to the collar and cut—resulting in some easy buckets—was reminiscent of his action earlier in the breed, when he was anything but an offensive charge.
The big news from the game was that Steve Kerr used Green to anchor the second unit, with the result that the Warriors defense really toughened up when they switched to the reserves (his playmaking also helped the second unit). This might be a classic where the bench ruins a good thing the rookies devised, but Green played a big part in not letting that happen.
Post-game reward: He led the team in assists, and tied for the team lead in rebounds.
32 minutes, 31 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 3 fouls, 12-for-18 shooting, 6-for-10 three-pointers, 1-for-1 free throws, 84.1% TS, +28
An absolute star performance from Wiggins, who scored his highest point total for the year. His attack was amazing, and while a big part of that was shooting 60% from outside the arc, I want to highlight something more sustainable: the hustle of getting to the hoop.
Wiggins beat the Clippers on the field with a transition. He hit them half court with a back door wound. Move relentlessly and get easy shots.
After the match, Steve Curry was asked if Wiggins deserved to be an All-Star. He made a silly face, indicating that the question was silly.
After this kind of performance, who could disagree?
Post-game reward: He led the team in points and plus/minus.
17 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 5 fouls, 4-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 free throws, 84.6% TS, +7
Looney continues to play excellent basketball, although he has been having some serious problems. It was his fourth game this year with at least five fouls, and he only needed 17 minutes to get there.
Everything was great though. Move to open areas beautifully and play great defense. Los Angeles center Ivica Zubac – who’s been having a great year – isn’t pulling anything off.
32 minutes, 22 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 turnover, 9-for-20 shooting, 4-for-10 triples, 55.0% TS, +18
Not Curry’s most efficient game but his fleeting brilliance continues. I pointed out during the game that Curry is having the best season of his career from a passing standpoint, and the numbers back him up. He is having one of his most productive seasons in the industry, and has the lowest turnover of his career by a mile.
It’s just in full driving. And in games like Wednesday, where other players are ahead, he knows how to run the offense in a more traditional way.
27 minutes, 18 points, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 1 fumble, 5-for-10 shooting, 3-for-7 triples, 5-for-6 free throws, 71.2% TS, +11
Clay was a star in the first quarter, scoring 15 points and only missing one shot. It was nearly his second straight game with a 20-point first quarter.
He calmed down after that, but Warriors fans wouldn’t care. They will care about the fact that he didn’t force anything while calming him down. There were a lot of forced shots in the early weeks of the season, and Clay really cut it. There’s no shame in getting you out of the way early and then playing second fiddle while players like Wiggins take over.
14 min, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fumbles, 3-for-7, 0-for-3, 42.9% TS, -7
Another ineffective offensive game for JK, although I thought there were some improvements this time around. He fell behind taking bad triples and driving through traffic less in this game. There was more nuance, more court reading, and more selflessness, though bad shots and readings remain an issue.
I also thought he played a very good defensive game for the second game in a row. This should help him earn more minutes.
12 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-5 Shooting, 1-for-2 three, 60.0% TS, 0 +/-
Green had to come on early in the second half after Looney had a serious problem, and I thought he played well. He played bigger than his body in defence, and was an absolute threat on the glass. He continues to do a good job of cutting to the edge for an effortless look, and his energy is important to the second unit.
21 minutes, 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-on-1 triple, 87.5% TS, +14
I was curious if Lamb would have lost his place in the rotation after a few short days last week, but he hasn’t, and he wasted no time explaining why Kerr believes in him.
Lamb put his fingerprints all over this game. His passing was powerful, he moved well off the ball, and made some easy looks over the edge. He fought like heck on the glass and played solid defense.
He played almost the entire second quarter because he was playing so well. Just excellent bench performance.
Post-game reward: Tied to lead the team in rebounds.
Patrick Baldwin Jr
4 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-3 score, 50.0% TS, -14
Garbage time the first round, and I have to say, the rumors are true: It’s a pretty good-looking jump shot.
Post-game reward: The worst plus / minus in the team
17 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 Shooting, 2-for-3 three-pointers, 100.0% TS, +6
This was probably Divincenzo’s best game as a warrior. He played a great role at turning the bench unit, thanks to his great energy. And he continues to make the second unit attack flow by showing off amazing passing ability after overwhelming the initial line of defence.
Only this game he added to it through his jump shots, and the use of his athleticism on the glass.
22 minutes, 8 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 3-for-15 shooting, 0-for-8, free throws 2-for-3, 24.5% TS, +19
You won’t see these numbers often next to the real shooting ratio, I’ll tell you a lot. Paul couldn’t find his shot on this one. To his credit for not forcing too much… Most appearances have been good, and he still has a good assist-to-turnover ratio. But the skill that earned him a nine-figure contract is scoring, and he simply couldn’t find a way to do the game.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 block, 0 vs 1 shooting, 0 vs 1 triple, 0.0% TS, -10
I’m not particularly sure why Moody’s is completely out of the loop at the moment.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0-for-3 Shooting, 0-for-2, 0, 0.0% TS, -10
I love Rollins and think he has a bright future. But I had to laugh when he entered the game and immediately fired three unwise people, prompting announcer Mark Jones to quip, “Rollins with heat check no heat.”
idle on wednesday: Andre Iguodala, T Jerome, James Wiseman