Well that was a fun way to spend a Tuesday night.
The Golden State Warriors shook off a string of rusty, poor performances, and absolutely took it to a surging Dallas Mavericks team that entered the game with 11 wins in their last 13 contests. In fact, here’s a fun stat about the 130-92 win, which I think makes both teams look good.
The Warriors beat the Mavericks tonight by more points than all of the Mavs' losses over the last month combined, which I think is an impressive achievement by both teams?— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) January 26, 2022
It was one of the Dubs’ best wins of the year, and it was a total team effort. So let’s grade the performances, weighting for expectations.
Otto Porter Jr.
20 minutes, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, +11
In the last two games, Porter has played 51 minutes and has not had a turnover, while committing just a pair of fouls. He’s been the definition of disciplined, all while doing the important things on both ends of the ball that help the system flourish.
One silver lining of Draymond Green’s injury is seeing Porter get to take on a larger role, and thrive in it.
26 minutes, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, +15
Wiggins continues to mirror Steph Curry with the three-point struggles, as he’s shot just 10-for-35 from distance in his last six games.
But other than that? Great game for Wiggins, who was 4-for-6 from inside the arc (with a few fouls drawn), played superb defense, and did a good job of not letting the ball stagnate.
22 minutes, 0 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 fouls, +14
Few players stick within their role as much as Looney does. He was perfectly content not taking any shots against Dallas, but he still made his presence felt. He gobbled up rebounds, as he has done so much of lately, and played a huge part in holding Kristaps Porziņģis to a 4-for-15 night.
Great stuff all around from Looney, who is playing the best basketball of his career right now.
29 minutes, 18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 7-for-16 shooting, 2-for-10 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, +23
Like Wiggins, Curry continues to struggle from three-point range in a big, big way, but performed well from inside the arc, shooting 5-for-6 on two-pointers. His passing was brilliant, even if he had his highest turnover total since the Milwaukee Bucks game, and for the first time in a little while, he just seemed in command of the offense in the way that we’re used to.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
26 minutes, 15 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 turnover, 6-for-12 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, +26
What a difference a few days makes. After sitting out Sunday’s game due to knee soreness that had us all worried, Klay returned on Tuesday with far and away his best performance of the year.
On offense he looked fully comfortable, picking his spots, moving well without the ball, and simply looking settled in in a way that he hadn’t before. On defense he showed so much of his All-Defense self, and Steve Kerr entrusted him with the Luka Dončić assignment. And it was even vintage Klay after the buzzer sounded in the post-game interview, saying he wasn’t the captain but the “sea captain,” insisting he’d take his boat to a game when the weather is better, and shooting down a comparison of his passing performance to Steph Curry, insisting it was more like Magic Johnson.
Perfection all around.
18 minutes, 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, +18
Bjeli’s performance was just the 18th time this season that a player has recorded a double-double in under 20 minutes, a stat that’s admittedly skewed by the fact that the available population is really just bench players. Still, it was a sign as to how good of a bench performance it was, and how good of a bench player he is.
He’s getting more and more looks at the basket, and his passing continues to be at times eye-opening, even if sometimes there are some turnovers to worry about.
Just a total bench weapon.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
18 minutes, 22 points, 5 rebounds, 1 turnover, 8-for-9 shooting, 4-for-4 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +16
There are still games where Kuminga looks raw, and not yet ready to contribute to a contending team. That’s to be expected from a 19 year old with 430 career minutes to his name.
This, however, was not one of those games.
This was a game that made you think that Kuminga will need to be in the rotation in the playoffs, and might win the Dubs a game or three along the way. He absolutely forced his athleticism on a hopeless and unsuspecting Mavericks squad. I mean, just look at this violence:
And on top of that, he showed how quickly his three-pointer has come around by making all four of his attempts. In his last eight games he’s shooting 11-for-24 from beyond the arc, and perhaps more importantly, his mechanics just look more fluid.
He made plays on defense, made plays handling the rock, and didn’t try to do too much.
Be excited about this dude. Be really, really excited.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
7 minutes, 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, +6
Even with Green injured, JTA has really seen his role dissipate, in large part because of how well Kuminga has played, along with the super solid performances of Porter and Bjelica. But he certainly stays ready, and even though he didn’t score efficiently in this game, he helped the team when his number was called.
24 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, +29
I often caution against looking into single-game individual plus/minus, but I’m willing to bet that when a player plays big minutes and their team outscores the opponent by more than a point per minute, then that player played well.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
Gary Payton II
11 minutes, 7 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, +12
GP2 showed off his defensive toolkit in this one. He didn’t play many minutes, but when he did, he was often tasked with defending Dončić — an MVP candidate who is about four inches and 40 pounds bigger. But Payton was more than up for the task, and managed three stocks in just 11 minutes of action, all while continuing to prove that he’s an offensive weapon now, too.
26 minutes, 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 6-for-10 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, +9
I’m not sure anyone on the Warriors team has been tasked with a harder role this year than Poole, who has had to fluctuate between starting shooting guard and inconsistent-minutes bench spark plug, often on a game-by-game basis.
It hasn’t always been smooth, which one would expect from a third-year pro still coming into their own. But some nights it has been downright dynamic, and Tuesday was one of those nights. Poole had the type of performance you come to expect from the perennial Sixth Man of the Year contenders, with a burst of scoring, some gorgeous playmaking, and tough defense. He was a perfect 4-for-4 from inside the arc, and the team’s third-leading scorer.
7 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, +6
Moody just got in the game for garbage time, but it was very nice to see him drop in a three-pointer. The three-ball figures to be one of his biggest strengths, but he’s struggled drastically with his shot in the sporadic minutes he’s received this year. Prior to Tuesday’s make, he was just 4-for-33 from distance.
Every shot counts, and it was good to see one drop for the No. 14 pick.
5 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, +5
Garbage time minutes for Chiozza, who showed off how well the Dubs played by having the team’s worst plus/minus ... at +5.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
Tuesday’s inactives: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Quinndary Weatherspoon, James Wiseman