The Golden State Warriors had their most satisfying win in arguably a few seasons on Tuesday night, riding a dominant second half to a blowout victory over Kevin Durant, James Harden, and the Brooklyn Nets.
It was a lot of fun, and it probably goes without saying that a lot of people played well. So let’s grade them, weighting for expectations.
29 minutes, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-6 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, +17
This was Draymond at his best. The game might be remembered as the time that Steph Curry stamped his case as the MVP favorite, but it could just as easily — albeit less glamorously — be remembered as the time that Green stamped his case as the DPOY favorite.
Green was the biggest reason for the Warriors holding Durant to 6-for-19 shooting — about as much as you’ll ever see KD struggle to score the ball. He dished out assists, pushed the offense, and was a willing — but selective — scorer. The total package.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
22 minutes, 19 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-11 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, +10
It was the third time in the last four games that Wiggins has had a hyper-efficient scoring performance, and the team’s offense greatly benefitted from it once again. He also played a role in quieting KD, putting together one of his best defensive performances of the season.
And his back-to-back threes to end the first half were arguably the turning point in the game.
15 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 2-for-2 free throws, +11
Looney’s been playing more minutes lately, and often partaking in the closing lineups, but in this game he went back to his early-season role. That was no fault of his own — playing small was just the move vs. Brooklyn.
Still and all, Looney managed to make an impact when he was on the court.
29 minutes, 37 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 12-for-19 shooting, 9-for-14 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, +16
Unreal. Curry is unreal.
We’ve known this for a long time, but games like Tuesday’s are such a fun reminder.
Curry was on the road, facing one of the best teams in the league, and two of the best players in NBA history, including the player who entered the game leading the league in scoring (Durant).
At the end of the game, the crowd was chanting “M-V-P!” for Curry.
MVP chants for Steph in Brooklyn pic.twitter.com/y02qvVCgDX— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 17, 2021
That says it all.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and rebounds.
28 minutes, 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 5 fouls, 6-for-13 shooting, 0-for-7 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, +4
It’s a testament to the growth in Poole’s game that he can shoot 0-for-7 from beyond the arc and still feel like someone who positively impacted the game. Yes, his three-point stroke was absent, and yes, he turned the ball over way too many times. But he was also electric when attacking the basket, making all six of his shots from inside the arc, getting to the free throw line regularly, and dishing out a nice handful of assists.
12 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, -12
It was the second straight game in which Bjelica failed to make a field goal attempt. Part of that is due to limited minutes — with Jonathan Kuminga entering the rotation, Beli just isn’t playing much right now.
He still shows off his fit though. The ball moves well with him on the court, and he does a strong job taking care of the basketball and battling on the glass on both ends of the court.
Just not his game.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
19 minutes, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, +5
Kuminga received a heavy dose of meaningful minutes, and it’s clear that he’ll continue to earn them going forward. He’s electric, and to his credit, his defense is far better than it was in Summer League or in the G League last season.
There are growing pains: 3 turnovers and 4 fouls is a lot for a role player in 19 minutes. But efficient scoring, quality defense, and attacks on the glass are more than what the Dubs were hoping to get from Kuminga this early in his career.
19 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, +10
Iguodala is a player known more for how he helps the team play than for any particular plays that he makes. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday, as his third quarter buzzer-beater felt like a hand-delivered death sentence to Brooklyn’s chances.
Otto Porter Jr.
17 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +14
Porter feels like quite the weapon against a team like Brooklyn. He has the size to allow Golden State to play larger small-ball lineups (the Dubs out-rebounded the Nets 53-38!), but is athletic enough, and a good enough shooter, to keep Brooklyn from being able to play big.
Blake Griffin was a non-factor in this game, and LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t play until halfway through the third quarter. Porter was a big reason for those things.
His stat line was mediocre, but his impact was felt.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, -8
A game after getting a DNP, JTA played only in garbage time against Brooklyn. There will be games where he’s needed on the court, but with Iguodala’s return, the addition of Porter and Bjelica, and the earned role of Kuminga, there’s not much of a place for Toscano-Anderson on a regular basis.
He still plays a huge role as a leader, and it’s clear that he stays ready for when his number is called. He’s a crucial part of the team, even if it’s not always on display on game day.
22 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 3-for-5 free throws, +21
I don’t really remember Lee playing in this game, despite the fact that he played for nearly half of it, and ... I think that’s a good thing?
He’s a high quality role player, and while sometimes that means pouring in the points, sometimes it just means playing your role, and letting the team thrive.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
8 minutes, 0 points, 1 block, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, -12
Moody mostly played in garbage time, but he also got some rotation minutes for the first time in quite a while. He didn’t look lost, but he didn’t leave his mark at all, either.
It’s a tough role, being a rookie with very sporadic minutes.
Post-game bonus: Lowest plus/minus on the team.
Gary Payton II
16 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 2-for-2 shooting, 2-for-4 free throws, +14
It’s games like this that make you wonder how the Warriors ever planned to survive without GP2. Can you imagine if it were Avery Bradley out there instead of Payton? Yikes.
Giving up pounds to one and inches to the other, Payton got tasked with defending both Harden and Durant, and fared admirably in both matchups. His peskiness contributed to Brooklyn’s offensive off-night, and he was once again a force to be reckoned with on the glass, despite being one of the smallest players on the court.
Tuesday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Jeff Dowtin, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman