The Golden State Warriors put together one of their best performances of the season on Wednesday night, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 124-107. Sure, the Clippers were playing without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but it was still an excellent performance by Golden State ... and it wasn’t nearly as close as the score would indicate, as LA only tightened the deficit in the final moments of garbage time.
Let’s grade the players on the court. As always, we’re weighting for our expectations of players, with a “B” grade representing how we expect them to perform.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) entering Wednesday’s games was 57.2%.
33 minutes, 9 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 112.5% TS, +21
Vintage Dray. Absolutely vintage Dray. The passing was outrageous — words can’t adequately describe how elite he is on that end of the court. And his aggression moving to the hoop and cutting — resulting in some easy buckets — was reminiscent of his work earlier in the dynasty, when he was anything but an offensive liability.
The big news from the game was that Steve Kerr used Green to anchor the second unit, and the result was that the Warriors defense really stiffened up when they turned to the reserves (his playmaking also helped the second unit). This could have been a classic game where the bench ruins a good thing that the starters created, but Green played a huge role in not letting that happen.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists, tied for the team lead in rebounds.
32 minutes, 31 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 3 fouls, 12-for-18 shooting, 6-for-10 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 84.1% TS, +28
An absolute superstar performance from Wiggins, who tallied his highest points total of the year. His offense was spectacular, and while a large part of that was shooting 60% from beyond the arc, I want to highlight something more sustainable: his hustle in getting to the hoop.
Wiggins beat the Clippers down the court in transition. He beat them in the halfcourt with backdoor cuts. He moved relentlessly and got himself easy shots.
31 PTS | 12-18 FG | 6-10 3FG— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 24, 2022
Andrew Wiggins was BALLIN' tonight. pic.twitter.com/VU5ilEudeP
After the game, Steph Curry was asked if Wiggins deserves to be an All-Star. He made a silly face, suggesting the question was ludicrous.
Following that kind of a performance, who could disagree?
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and plus/minus.
17 minutes, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 5 fouls, 4-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 free throws, 84.6% TS, +7
Looney continues to play excellent basketball, though he’s been having some foul troubles. This was his fourth game this year with at least five fouls, and he only needed 17 minutes to get there.
Everything else was awesome though. He moved to open spots beautifully and played wonderful defense. LA’s center, Ivica Zubac — who has been having a great year — never got anything going.
32 minutes, 22 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 turnover, 9-for-20 shooting, 4-for-10 threes, 55.0% TS, +18
Not Curry’s most efficient game but his passing brilliance continues. I averred during the game that Curry is having the best season of his career from a passing standpoint, and the numbers back it up. He’s having one of his most prolific playmaking seasons, and has the lowest turnover rate of his career by a mile.
He’s just fully in command. And on games like Wednesday’s, where other players are stepping up, he knows how to run the offense in a more traditional point guard manner.
27 minutes, 18 points, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 1 foul, 5-for-10 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 71.2% TS, +11
Klay was a superstar in the first quarter, registering 15 points and only missing one shot. It was almost his second straight game with a 20-point first quarter.
He cooled down after that, but Warriors fans won’t care. They’ll care about the fact that he didn’t force anything as he cooled down. There were so many forced shots in the opening weeks of the season, and Klay has really cut them down. There’s no shame in getting your scoring out of the way early, and then playing a secondary role while players like Wiggins take over.
14 minutes, 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 42.9% TS, -7
Another inefficient offensive game for JK, though I thought there were some improvements this time around. He defaulted to taking bad threes and driving into traffic less in this game. There was more nuance, more reading of the court, and more selflessness, even though bad shots and reads remain an issue.
I also thought he played a pretty good defensive game for the second game in a row. That should help him earn more minutes.
12 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 60.0% TS, 0 +/-
Green had to come in early in the second half after Looney got in foul trouble, and I thought he played pretty well. He played larger than his body on defense, and was an absolute menace on the glass. He continues to do a good job cutting to the rim for easy looks, and his energy is important for the second unit.
21 minutes, 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 87.5% TS, +14
I was curious if Lamb might have lost his spot in the rotation after a few clunkers last week, but he didn’t, and he wasted no time showing why Kerr has faith in him.
Lamb put his fingerprints all over this game. His passing was strong, and he moved well without the ball, getting a few easy looks at the rim. He fought like heck on the glass, and played solid defense.
He played almost the entirety of the second quarter because he was playing so well. Just an excellent bench performance.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in rebounds.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
4 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 50.0% TS, -14
Garbage time for the first-round pick, and I gotta say, the rumors are true: that’s one pretty looking jump shot.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team
17 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 100.0% TS, +6
This might have been DiVincenzo’s best game as a Warrior. He’s played a huge role in turning around the bench unit, thanks to his great energy. And he continues to make the second-unit offense flow by showing off an amazing passing ability after beating the initial line of defense.
Only this game he added to it by making his jump shots, and using his athleticism on the glass.
22 minutes, 8 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 3-for-15 shooting, 0-for-8 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 24.5% TS, +19
You won’t often see those shooting numbers next to that true-shooting percentage, I’ll tell you that much. Poole just could not find his shot in this one. Credit to him for not forcing it too much ... most of the looks were good, and he still had a nice assist-to-turnover ratio. But the skill that earned him a nine-figure contract is scoring, and he simply couldn’t find a way to do that this game.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 block, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, -10
I’m not particularly sure why Moody is fully out of the rotation at the moment.
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 0-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, -10
I like Rollins and think he has a bright future. But I had to laugh when he entered the game and immediately fired up an ill-advised three, prompting broadcaster Mark Jones to quip, “Rollins with a heat check with no heat.”
Wednesday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, James Wiseman