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Player grades: Warriors vs. Mavs

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 116-113 loss to Dallas.

Steph Curry and Dwight Powell get their arms tangled as a loose ball flies away from them Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors got involved in an entertaining battle with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night, losing 116-113. It wasn’t a great performance from the Warriors, or even a particularly good one, but they still almost pulled out a W against a team that’s been sensational at home all year.

Time to pull out the red pen and grade the Warriors players, and for the first time all year, the bench is gonna get a better grade than the starting unit. As always, grades are weighted based on my expectation for each player, with a “B” representing the expected performance.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is shooting percentage weighted for three-point shooting and free throws. Entering Tuesday’s games, league average TS was 57.4%.

Draymond Green

33 minutes, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-10 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 60.0% TS, -5

In a total reversal of the season to date, the starting lineup was awful in this game, and the second unit was fantastic. Green is currently tasked with being the bridge between the two lineups, so, unlike his fellow starters, the team did well a lot of the time that he was on the floor.

Not his best passing game, but he did a masterful job quarterbacking the second-unit defense, and he scored in double figures for the ninth time this season, after doing so just 12 times all of last year.

Grade: B+

Andrew Wiggins

27 minutes, 10 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 4-for-11 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 42.1% TS, -23

The minutes tell you everything you need to know about Wiggins’ performance. Despite it being a close game, and despite not having any foul issues, Wiggins played six minutes fewer than his season average, and about 10 minutes fewer than he normally does in close games. He wasn’t playing well, and Steve Kerr adjusted accordingly.

It was a bad performance across the board for Wiggins. The offense was passive and inefficient. He was useless as a rebounder, and did very little as a playmaker. His defense was pretty poor, though there’s only so much you can punish someone for not playing good defense against Luka Dončić.

Just a stinker.

Grade: D

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

Kevon Looney

18 minutes, 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 foul, 4-for-4 shooting, 3-for-3 free throws, 103.4% TS, -15

I shudder when I think of where the Dubs would have been in this game without Looney. Eight minutes into the contest, Looney had scored six points ... and no one else on the Warriors had scored.

Golden State didn’t lean on Looney much, but when they did he played pretty well.

Grade: B+

Steph Curry

38 minutes, 32 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 11-for-24 shooting, 5-for-14 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 60.1% TS, -12

It certainly wasn’t the scoring performance that the Warriors were hoping for, but Curry wasn’t to blame for that. After a slow start, Curry caught fire, and helped the Dubs close the gap at the end of the first quarter after falling behind by 17.

The biggest hit on Curry’s game was the turnovers. The Dubs were sloppy, and he was a huge part of that. The most costly turnover came with 10 seconds left in the game, when he traveled trying to get off what would have been the go-ahead three-pointer.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

Klay Thompson

31 minutes, 5 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-9 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 27.8% TS, -21

An awful shooting night for Thompson, though he kept from forcing the issue, which is a step in the right direction. Despite being ice cold, the Dubs ran the final play of the game for him, getting him an open three to tie the game at the buzzer, but he couldn’t get it to fall.

He did a decent job making an impact elsewhere. It was one of his best rebounding games of the year, and I thought his defense when switched onto Dončić was pretty solid.

Grade: C-

Jonathan Kuminga

26 minutes, 14 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-8 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 1-for-4 free throws, 71.7% TS, +21

A day after I published an article highlighting Kuminga’s excellent free throw shooting, he went just 1-for-4 from the charity stripe. And that was the only part of his game that wasn’t excellent.

Kuminga was absolutely exceptional in this game. It was the type of game where the Warriors vision for him became very clear. His athleticism was on display in the unglamorous parts of the game, as he exploded to the rim for rebounds, flew to the perimeter to set screens, and used his agility and strength to play really, really good defense.

It’s the defense that will solidify his spot in the rotation, but it was still great to see the improvements on the offensive end. The tunnel vision and poorly-selected threes were gone. He was aggressive but with purpose in this game, and only took one three: a wide open, corner shot that proved to be a huge bucket down the stretch.

He was on the court towards the end of each half, and for good reason. Phenomenal performance. The best of his career in my opinion ... and in Kerr’s.

Grade: A+

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

JaMychal Green

8 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 61.5% TS, -2

The coaching staff seems to trust Green, but is also hesitant to play him too many minutes. He brought a ton of energy the moment he stepped on the court, and helped shift the flow of the game. Great first-half stint, mediocre second-half stint.

Grade: B

Anthony Lamb

16 minutes, 11 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 85.4% TS, +13

I published my article on unique Warriors stats just in time. Not only did Kuminga stop making free throws after I highlighted his excellent percentage, but Lamb, after I pointed it out on Monday, broke through and attempted his first free throw of the year on Tuesday.

It was one of many things he did well. He brought so much energy and ball movement, and continued to rain in open looks. He rebounded ferociously, and played solid defense.

It’s a long season, and Lamb has been a little inconsistent. But if the playoffs were to start tomorrow, he’d be a lock to be converted to a regular contract so that he could play.

Grade: A

Donte DiVincenzo

17 minutes, 6 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 44.4% TS, +15

Another poor shooting night from DiVincenzo, but I thought he was masterful at everything else. He really put his athleticism on full display in this one, and used it to gobble up seven rebounds ... despite playing just 17 minutes, and being one of the smallest players on the court.

He’s really increasing his offensive aggression, and doing a good job getting past the first line of defense, where he usually is able to make a high-level pass. I thought his defense was perhaps the best it’s been all year. All that was missing were the shots.

Grade: A-

Jordan Poole

27 minutes, 9 points, 2 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 4 blocks, 3-for-9 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 45.6% TS, +14

Speaking of missing shots, Poole again was clanking the rim. But my goodness did he have some unreal passes in this game ... passes that made you want to grab the remote and rewind the game.

Unfortunately he also turned the ball over like it was going out of style.

Grade: C+

Tuesday’s DNPs: Moses Moody

Tuesday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman

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