Well that’s certainly a lot better. The Golden State Warriors finally put an end to their losing streak, and they did so in emphatic fashion, beating the brakes off the Los Angeles Clippers en route to a 112-97 win that was not nearly as close as the final score suggested.
It was needed, and it was fun, and not just because Jackie Moon made an appearance.
Now let’s grade the players — Moon excluded — and weight them for our expectations of each.
Note: League average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.2% entering Tuesday’s games.
31 minutes, 14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 5 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-14 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 50.0% TS, +14
Wiggins got off to a very slow start en route to his 13th straight game with fewer than 20 points, and he’s still shying away from easy shots at the rim, and trips to the free throw line.
These types of shots have been at the heart of Andrew Wiggins' plummeting efficiency over the last 5 weeks pic.twitter.com/Ro2aT2r7a8— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) March 9, 2022
But he did catch fire briefly in the third quarter, with a quick burst of seven points, after just five in the entire first half.
That was kind of his game in a nutshell: a lot of good and a lot of bad. Inefficient, low-volume scoring, with some timely bursts of offense. A season high in rebounds, but also a season high in turnovers. Some good defense, but some recklessness and ball-stopping, as well.
Weird performance all around.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, tied for the lead in plus/minus.
21 minutes, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 foul, 3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 44.4% TS, +8
The Kevon Looney passing revolution continues, and it’s honestly so fun. For a while, when Steph Curry would pass to an unguarded Looney after being trapped, you thought Looney would fumble the ball or miss a layup. Then he proved capable of rolling and finishing with authority and finesse. And now he’s proved capable of passing out of it when the defense adjusts, and finding the open man.
He didn’t show off the scoring much in this game, but my goodness that passing was fun, and the defense was very strong.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists.
35 minutes, 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-12 shooting, 1-for-6 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 54.5% TS, +6
Bit of an odd game for Curry, though he just seemed happy that the Warriors finally won — it was their first victory since February 24, after all.
Curry seemed content to play a quiet role in this game, as the Warriors didn’t really need him to be a superstar. Still, normally when Curry is quiet it comes with some nice efficiency and limited turnovers, but that wasn’t the case in this game.
He did become the franchise’s all-time leader in steals, though!
34 minutes, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 1 foul, 9-for-23 shooting, 2-for-9 threes, 43.5% TS, +6
As has been the case for much of the season since returning from injury, Klay fired, and fired, and fired some more. And while he started ice cold, he did hit some key buckets down the stretch as he started to find his rhythm.
Still, it was a bad offensive night for him on the whole. But it was a stellar night for him defensively, as he looked vintage on that end of the court — with Steve Kerr revealing that Thompson has asked to guard the best offensive player on any given night.
Steve Kerr called Klay's game "a really great defensive performance" -- said Klay asked to be put on the best perimeter offensive player going forward— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) March 9, 2022
Klay’s still got some time to get his offense in rhythm before the postseason starts. Let’s hope he’s able to get where we all know he can get.
30 minutes, 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 77.6% TS, +6
Moody’s emergence has quickly turned into one of the best storylines of the season. Sure, he won’t play 30 minutes a night when Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, and Otto Porter Jr. return, but do you ever find yourself worried when Moody, a rookie, steps on the court? I’m guessing the answer to that is “no.”
He’s just turned himself into a super solid, almost entirely mistake-free NBA player, in a shockingly short amount of time. He did everything on this game: he attacked, he made open shots, he dished out some nice passes, he crashed the glass, and he defended well.
MOOOOODY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 9, 2022
19 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 50.0% TS, +12
This was one of Bjelica’s best performances in a while, and it came just one night after I (incorrectly) declared that he was out of the rotation. Playing 19 minutes certainly suggests otherwise!
He held his own defensively, which is the key to staying on the court — if he can do that, it allows him to show off his passing ability on the other side.
26 minutes, 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 foul, 7-for-12 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 71.7% TS, +10
Everyone who thought, back in October, that Kuminga would be putting up 21, 6, and 6 on absurd efficiency for a contending Dubs team raise your hand. Now you, over there, with the hand raised — lying is bad, and you should be ashamed.
JONATHAN KUMINGA FROM THE RAFTERS pic.twitter.com/7iysMbNUCN— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 9, 2022
Kuminga is maintaining his explosiveness and efficiency, but now he’s adding to it by cutting back on the mistakes and the tunnel vision. No turnovers and a single foul in this game are a sign as to just how much he’s grown, in a very short period of time.
He’s a weapon, in nearly every facet of the game.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, tied for the lead in assists.
11 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 foul, -1
JTA’s role is all over the place these days, as it fluctuates based on the opponent, and also based on who is healthy for the Dubs. As always, I appreciate how great of a job he does staying ready, and making sure he can contribute when his name is called — especially on defense.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
1 minute, 0 points, 1 foul, 0 plus/minus
After an awesome game on Monday when everyone was resting, Weatherspoon only snuck onto the court in this game during garbage time.
30 minutes, 20 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 8-for-13 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 76.9% TS, +14
That’s now four straight dynamic games for JP after a few stinkers. In those four games, Poole is averaging 24.5 points per game, while shooting 61.0% from the field and 59.4% from three-point range.
As has been the case lately for Poole, he showed off everything in this game, beating defenders off the dribble, getting to (and finishing at) the rim, moving brilliantly off the ball, and burning the nets down with his three-point stroke.
Jordan Poole— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 9, 2022
He was a huge part of the Warriors dominant second quarter, when he put up 13 points to lead the Dubs to a 33-15 advantage in the frame.
There’s no putting to words how dangerous of a bench weapon Poole is if he can keep this up.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.
1 minute, 0 points, 2 assists, 1 foul, 0 plus/minus
Just garbage time for Chiozza, though he was able to sneak a pair of assists in.
Tuesday’s DNPs: Damion Lee
Tuesday’s inactives: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., James Wiseman