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Player grades: Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from their 104-101 loss to Memphis.

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors lost their first game of the season on Thursday night, a 104-101 overtime defeat at the hands of the pesky and entertaining Memphis Grizzlies. The game started out beautifully, but 23 turnovers — as well as another scoreless fourth quarter for Steph Curry — quickly capsized things.

So let’s see how the players did in their first loss by grading each and every one of them, weighting them for their expectations.

Draymond Green

38 minutes, 4 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 5 blocks, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, +3

All of the good and all of the bad was on display with Draymond in this game. On the one hand, he gobbled up rebounds and dished out assists, made hustle plays, and put forth some of the best defense you can find in the league (the ridiculous eight stocks don’t even tell the whole story there).

On the other hand he provided essentially nothing in the way of scoring the ball, which was costly in that it didn’t take the burden off of Curry’s shoulders. He turned the ball over five times, including on one of the biggest plays of the game: an un-pressured eight-second violation with just over a minute remaining.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Andrew Wiggins

37 minutes, 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 7-for-15 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 0

I think it’s safe to say that this was the best defensive performance of the year from Wiggins, who has been slow out of the gates on that end of the court.

Offensively he was one of the team’s best players, but that’s more an indictment of their offensive performance than praise of Wiggins. 16 points on 16 shooting possessions, with twice as many turnovers as assists isn’t quite what the doctor ordered.

Grade: B

Kevon Looney

11 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, +2

It was clear from the start that Looney wouldn’t be playing much in this game. The Grizzlies have a big center in Steven Adams, and with Looney being a little undersized at the position, the Warriors usually turn to small ball matchups when facing centers like that.

And that’s what they did, leaving Looney’s impact on the game relatively minor.

Grade: B-

Steph Curry

41 minutes, 36 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 11-for-29 shooting, 7-for-20 threes, 7-for-7 free throws, +12

One of the big talking points after the game was Curry not returning in the fourth quarter until the 4:31 mark, partially because Steve Kerr waited a while (after riding Curry hard in the first half), and partly because the game didn’t stop earlier to get him in.

But as Curry said after the game, “that’s not why we lost.”

Curry, in general, wasn’t the reason why they lost, but it was far from his best game. After having a vintage start he went cold in the second half, failing to score in the fourth quarter (or overtime) for the third straight game, while turning the ball over five times, often in inexplicable or inexcusable manners.

He was still the Warriors best player, as he almost always is. But the Warriors still needed more from him tonight.

Grade: B-

Post-game awards: Led the team in points, rebounds, and +/-.

Jordan Poole

24 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 6 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-9 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, -12

Poole will want to forget this game in a hurry. He struggled to score the ball, even when benefitting from Curry’s gravity, and didn’t provide any of the second-unit boost that the Dubs are counting on him for.

He had one of the plays of the game, and his defense still looks improved, but it’s slim pickings for finding bright spots in his performance.

Grade: D

Nemanja Bjelica

14 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, +3

Bjelica had one of the best performances of the night, so it’s a bit odd that Kerr turned away from him as the game went on. I would have loved to see him get more than 14 minutes, as his playmaking was exceptional, and the offense seemed to flow well with him on the court, even if his shots weren’t falling.

Grade: B+

Andre Iguodala

25 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0-for-2 free throws, -9

Iguodala’s usage was also a little curious in this game. He wasn’t playing nearly as well as he had in his first three games of the year, yet Kerr leaned on him for big minutes, and made him part of the closing lineup in regulation and overtime.

It seems that Iguodala’s going to be on the court far more often than not as the games wind down, but it might not have been the ideal strategy on Thursday, when he just didn’t quite seem to have it.

Grade: C

Otto Porter Jr.

20 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, 3-for-4 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 0

Porter went off a bit in the first quarter, and it was all kinds of fun to see.

After that he had a pretty quiet game, but honestly, quiet is good relative to what everyone else did. He was one of only three Warriors to not register a turnover, and didn’t seem to contribute to the sloppiness that doomed the Dubs.

Grade: B+

Juan Toscano-Anderson

14 minutes, 4 points, 3 assists, 1 foul, 2-for-2 shooting, -6

JTA was one of the other players to not have a turnover (Bjelica was the third), and it’s hard to argue with anything he did. He didn’t have a game where you noticed him much ... but in a game where you only really noticed the Warriors for the wrong reasons, that’s not a bad thing.

Grade: B+

Damion Lee

33 minutes, 14 points, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-12 shooting, 4-for-9 threes, -13

Lee’s numbers certainly won’t blow anyone away, but he continued a season-long trend of making some of the biggest shots of the game, so much so that the Warriors turned to him for the game-tying shot in the final seconds of overtime — and he came so close to delivering.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Lowest +/- on the team.

Gary Payton II

9 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, +5

GP2 has been a little bit of an offensive revelation this year, but this game was more what the Warriors envisioned getting out of him: he didn’t take a shot or do too much playmaking, but my goodness the perimeter defense was ludicrous, at a time when the Dubs really needed it.

Grade: B+

Thursday’s DNPs: Moses Moody

Thursday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Jeff Dowtin, Jonathan Kuminga, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman

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