And just like that, the Golden State Warriors have 18 wins in their first 20 games. After eking by the Los Angeles Clippers, at home, in the second game of the season, the Warriors showed off their improvement with a convincing 105-90 road victory over LA on Sunday afternoon, setting up quite the showdown with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday (and again on Friday).
But before we focus on that game, let’s dole out some grades for all of Sunday’s players, weighting for expectations, as always.
30 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 2-for-4 free throws, -3
You could make the case that this was one of Green’s least impactful games of the season. Yet even so, he was pretty clearly a positive force on the court, and that shouldn’t be a surprise: anyone who’s watched Golden State this year should be able to see how clear it is that Green is once again one of the league’s most valuable players (can we please see him back in the All-Star Game this year?).
So consider this a Draymond Green appreciation blurb, reminding you that even when he has an off night, he’s still damn good.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
36 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 4-for-12 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 2-for-6 free throws, +8
Wiggins has been substantially more efficient lately, but went backwards in this game, needing 12 shots and 6 free throws just to net 12 points.
But you know what? If he’s playing that kind of defense on Paul George, you can live with the offense.
14 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 free throws, -4
Looney didn’t do much of anything in this game, to be honest. Not much good, not much bad.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team
35 minutes, 33 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 12-for-22 shooting, 7-for-13 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +14
This was Steph Curry at his most theatrical. At his most arrogant. At his most competitive.
He was showing off, getting angry, and showing people up.
And he was, as he has been on most nights this year, the best player on the floor by a comfortable margin.
With all due respect to the great Kevin Durant, at the quarter mark of the season Curry is pretty clearly the league MVP. And that he’s playing this level of defense now, with the scoring we’re accustomed to?
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
31 minutes, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 6-for-16 shooting, 4-for-10 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, +1
Not a very efficient game for JP, but he’s continuing to look more and more comfortable. His performance no longer comes and goes with his shot — now he’s just a solid player regardless.
12 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, +10
Beli is a better scorer than Andre Iguodala, but he’s quickly finding his seat (among many Warriors with the same beautiful seat) in the Andre Iguodala School for Impacting a Game Far Beyond the Box Score.
3 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2-for-2 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, -1
A short stint in garbage time usually results in me giving a player an incomplete grade, but Kuminga made the most of his trio of minutes, attacking on both ends of the court, while also remaining in control.
Otto Porter Jr.
26 minutes, 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 5-for-8 free throws, +22
I’ve wanted the Warriors to find a way to get Porter on their team for about five years now, and games like this are why. He can be an electric bench scorer who also attends the Andre Iguodala School for Impacting a Game Far Beyond the Box Score.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and plus/minus.
22 minutes, 4 points, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, +14
Hey, was someone mentioning the Andre Iguodala School for Impacting a Game Far Beyond the Box Score?
3 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-1 shooting, -1
Uninteresting garbage time minutes.
Gary Payton II
12 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, +4
GP2 is now averaging one basketball theft every 9.5 minutes. Can’t believe this dude almost didn’t have an NBA contract.
19 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, +11
I’m enjoying seeing Chiozza get a good run of minutes due to the team’s injuries, and it’s particularly interesting to see him share the court with Curry. This wasn’t Chiozza’s best game, but the offense still functioned pretty nicely with him on the court.
Sunday’s inactives: Jeff Dowtin, Andre Iguodala, Damion Lee, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman