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Player grades: Warriors vs. Suns

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 118-96 win over Phoenix.

Phoenix Suns v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Just three days ago I wrote an article with this exact same title, after the Golden State Warriors dropped a close contest to the Phoenix Suns. Now, after the Dubs took back the first seed with a 118-96 win over the Suns, stopping Phoenix’s 18-game win streak in the process, it’s time to run it back.

As always, players grades are weighted based on expectations.

Draymond Green

30 minutes, 9 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, +25

Silent dominance. That’s the best way to describe Green’s game. You didn’t notice him all that often, yet he was seemingly involved in every good thing that happened to the Dubs. And then you look at the stat sheet and your eyeballs pop out: 9 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists, and 9 stocks?!


I don’t think it’s particularly controversial to say that Dray was the Warriors best player on Friday.

Now put him in the All-Star Game already.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, assists, and plus/minus.

Andrew Wiggins

30 minutes, 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-16 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, +24

Just a solid, if not particularly noteworthy performance from Wiggins. The defense was spectacular, though there was a fair bit of fouling. The scoring was decent, and the team played much better with him on the court. Quality stuff.

Grade: B+

Kevon Looney

15 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 4 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, +7

Looney fared much better in his showdown with Deandre Ayton than he did on Tuesday, though it’s still abundantly clear that the matchup does Looney zero favors. He had a hard time keeping Ayton from getting to the rim, and picked up fouls pretty frequently. He also faced up for a mid-range jumper which was ... odd.

Grade: C+

Steph Curry

33 minutes, 23 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 8-for-20 shooting, 6-for-11 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, +10

Curry was substantially better than in the first matchup, when he shot just 4-for-21, but it’s pretty clear that Phoenix plays better defense against him than most teams do. I don’t think we’ll see a team this year play Curry better than Phoenix has, so I guess it’s a testament to him that he still whips out 23, 5, and 5 in those conditions.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

Jordan Poole

32 minutes, 14 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 6 fouls, 5-for-12 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +24

Poole was all over the place in this game. He didn’t score efficiently, yet it seemed like every shot made was a huge one. He dished out 5 assists ... but matched that total in turnovers. The Warriors dominated Phoenix when he was on the court, but he ultimately got taken off it after fouling out.

Just a funny game.

Grade: B-

Nemanja Bjelica

15 minutes, 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 4 fouls, 3-for-8 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, -1

It felt like Bjelica played more than 15 minutes, and while the plus/minus numbers don’t bear it out, it certainly felt like the Warriors played a lot better when he was on the court.

That seems to be a theme with him.

Grade: B

Otto Porter Jr.

24 minutes, 3 points, 6 rebounds, 4 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, -3

After Porter made his only shot of the game, I tweeted about how good he’s been in the last few games, so I take full responsibility for his rough outing.

Plus/minus is such a funny stat though, even if it doesn’t really mean anything here ... Porter played half the game, and the Suns outscored the Warriors by 3 points in the half Porter played, and were outscored by 27 in the half he didn’t play.

Grade: C+

Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team

Juan Toscano-Anderson

26 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-8 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, +16

An absolute superstar bench performance by JTA, who did everything you could possibly want him to do, and then some.

Toscano-Anderson is often called baby Draymond, so let’s combine the two players’ numbers to see what they got from their tough-as-nails, ultra-talented, do-everything undersized bigs: 26 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists, 7 steals, 4 blocks, 13-for-16 shooting.

Come on, dude.

Grade: A+

Damion Lee

8 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +2

Lee didn’t play much or contribute much, but it was just good to see him back on the court. Between a hip injury and the birth of his child (congrats to Damion and Sydel!), Lee hadn’t played since November 24.

Grade: B-

Gary Payton II

26 minutes, 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 7-for-9 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +7

So in addition to providing First-Team All-Galaxy defense, it seems that GP2 really and truly is a quality offensive player. What an amazing development.

Grade: A+

Friday’s DNPs: Andre Iguodala (still injured, suited up to be mandatory 11th man)

Friday’s inactives: Chris Chiozza, Jeff Dowtin, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Klay Thompson, James Wiseman

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