For the third time this postseason, the Golden State Warriors had a chance to close out a playoff series on the road, and failed. And for the second time this postseason, they had a chance to sweep a playoff series, and failed.
They have three more chances to win the Western Conference Finals, but Tuesday’s game was ugly, with the Warriors losing to the Dallas Mavericks 119-109 in a game that wasn’t that close. Props to the back of the bench for turning a blowout loss into something slightly dramatic.
Though you never wish for the Warriors to lose, it was hard to be upset about the game, given the senseless tragedy that unfolded on Tuesday a few hundred miles from American Airlines Center. Basketball just isn’t that important.
But it is a good thing for people to get lost in when they need a distraction, so let’s grade the play from the Dubs, weighting for our expectations of each player.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) this season was 56.6%
26 minutes, 10 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-8 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 2-for-5 free throws, 49.0% TS, -18
Not really sure what to make of Green’s performance. The numbers look fine, and kind of in line with what we expect from him. But it does feel like his defense hasn’t been at a great level in the last few games, and, fair or not, he’s the first person we turn to when the team is lacking in energy.
Mind you, there were plenty of non-basketball reasons to be lacking in energy, so giving Dray all the blame certainly isn’t fair.
Just kind of a ho-hum performance, I guess.
31 minutes, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 54.7% TS, -20
Wiggins has been exceptional in this series, but this game was rather pedestrian. He had a few possessions where he took low-percentage shots, but also had a few times where he attacked the rim when other players were unwilling to do so.
He’s had better performances defending Luka Dončić, but this wasn’t a bad game on that end of the court.
20 minutes, 3 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, 1-for-3 shooting, 1-for-3 free throws, 34.7% TS, -20
After two games of being a star, Looney was something of a non-factor in Game 4. Mind you, it’s harder for him to do good things on offense when the stars are struggling, but still. Looney looked a bit clunky on the offensive end of things, and didn’t dominate the interior ... which was part of why Dallas outrebounded the Warriors for the first time this series, after the Dubs had won the rebounding battle by 43 boards through three games.
33 minutes, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 7-for-16 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 4-for-5 free throws, 55.0% TS, -23
Curry is still the Warriors best player even on his off nights, but this was definitely an off night (goodness, what I’d do to put up 20 points and 8 assists on an off night). But he really wasn’t able to control the game the way he so often does.
He did some cool things, but it wasn’t Curry’s world that we were all living in, as it so often is.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists, worst plus/minus on the team.
28 minutes, 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 57.5% TS, -22
Klay just seemed off in this one. His efficiency was fine, but he wasn’t able to get all that many shots off. His defense wasn’t good. He didn’t do much in the way of assists or rebounds.
He just looked like someone ready to go back to San Francisco and end the series there.
15 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 2-for-2 shooting, 100.0% TS, +18
With a loss all but guaranteed, the Dubs turned to Bjelica in garbage time, as he got on the court for the first time this series.
And it went ... really, really well?
Bjelica is a very talented player, but this series doesn’t particularly suit him. I doubt Steve Kerr gives Bjeli minutes even after this performance, but it was still a wonderful thing to see. The carefree offense flowed well when he was on the court.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
22 minutes, 17 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 6-for-8 free throws, 58.5% TS, +9
Kuminga, on the other hand, very well might get a good chunk of minutes on Thursday, especially if Otto Porter Jr. remains sidelined. The rookie had a few moments in this game where you were reminded as to why Kerr hasn’t been playing him in this series ... but mostly his play reminded you as to how exceptional of a player he could develop into.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
7 seconds, 0 points, 0 plus/minus
Even with the game looking like a blowout for much of it, Kerr only gave JTA seven seconds of action.
15 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3-for-6 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 50.0% TS, +15
Lee was truly awful in Game 2, and that cost him a chance to play in Game 3. So it was really nice to see him have a bounce back game and play some decent basketball.
29 minutes, 14 points, 4 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 6 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 64.3% TS, +7
I thought Poole had a really rough defensive game in this one, and not just because he fouled out in only 29 minutes of action. His defense just got taken advantage of a bit.
But he did have an efficient game, albeit a low-volume one.
23 minutes, 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 4-for-7 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, +4
The rookie just keeps impressing with how steady he is. No big mistakes. No glaring holes or weaknesses. No selfishness.
Just quality basketball when his number is called. And I think it’s very safe to say that his number will soon be called again.
Tuesday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., James Wiseman