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Player grades: Warriors vs. Mavs Game 5

Assessing every player from Golden State’s 120-110 win over Dallas.

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors - Game Five Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Well folks, the Golden State Warriors did it. For the sixth time in eight years — and the sixth time in six years when healthy — the Dubs have won the Western Conference, and will play June basketball for a title.

Feels good.

With a 120-110 win over the Dallas Mavericks — in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate — Golden State made it three series down, one to go. They’ll face the winner of the Boston Celtics vs. the Miami Heat (which the Celtics lead 3-2), and they’ll have home court advantage.

Game 1 is Thursday night. But before we get there, we need to talk more about Game 5 ... and that means grading the players, weighting for our expectations.

Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) this season was 56.6%.

Draymond Green

31 minutes, 17 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 6-for-7 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 97.0% TS, +11

This was as vintage Dray as it comes. He was everywhere on both ends of the court. It was far and away his best defensive game of the series, and he played a huge role in holding Luka Dončić to a rough night.

He displayed all his point forward skills, and he scored in a way that was reminiscent of the Warriors early Finals runs. Plus, he added to some very cool stats.

Just a wholly spectacular performance from a wholly spectacular player.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists.

Andrew Wiggins

40 minutes, 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 7-for-16 shooting, 0-for-7 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 50.9% TS, +9

Wiggins really struggled with his jump shot in this game. But other than that? It was an excellent performance from someone who looked so happy to see his hard work pay off with a trip to the biggest stage in the sport.

Good things happened when Wiggins cut or drove. He rebounded with authority — he’s been phenomenal on the glass lately — and played a massive role in Dončić shooting 10-for-28.

This series has been some of the best basketball that Wiggins has ever played.

Grade: A-

Kevon Looney

31 minutes, 10 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 foul, 5-for-8 shooting, 62.5% TS, +11

It’s hard not to be ecstatic for looney. After all these years of limited minutes and injury concerns, he put together a full 82-game season, and is now getting more minutes than he’s ever seen in his career.

And he’s absolutely making the most of them.

Looney had 18 rebounds — the entire Mavs team had 34. Looney had seven offensive rebounds — the entire Mavs team had six.

He controlled the paint. It won’t get easier in the Finals, when he’ll face better competition at the center position. But right now Looney is an enormous part of the team’s success.

And he keeps passing, keeps finishing, and keeps avoiding turnovers and fouls.

Pay the man.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds

Steph Curry

35 minutes, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-17 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 40.9% TS, +11

It was an off night shooting the ball for Curry, but he won’t remember it for that. He’ll remember it for clinching a sixth trip to the NBA Finals, and winning the first ever Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP award.

Curry twisted his ankle in the first quarter, and while he stayed in the game, it feels huge that the Dubs were able to close it out in five games instead of taking a risk with game six. He now gets six days off before having to play again, and that’s a big, big win.

He also did a very good job running the offense, even when he wasn’t scoring.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists.

Klay Thompson

37 minutes, 32 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 12-for-25 shooting, 8-for-16 threes, 64.0% TS, +18

I think we’re all Steve Kerr right now.

If you didn’t feel emotional watching Klay put on a show, and then show his excitement after the team had won, then you are heartless. Sorry, that’s just how it goes.

Thompson had huge shots all game long. It’s not a coincidence that the Warriors have made the NBA Finals the last six seasons that he was healthy.

I will cry if I see Klay get to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy this year. I will cry many, many tears.

Grade: A+

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

Nemanja Bjelica

22 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 62.5% TS, +4

Bjelica was glued to the bench for the first three games of the series. In Game 4, with the Warriors facing a seemingly insurmountable deficit, Kerr put Bjelica in with some other bench players, while Dallas still had their starters on the court. And Bjeli played brilliantly.

And after that, Bjelica got all of Otto Porter Jr.’s minutes in Game 5, after Porter missed his second straight game.

It turned out to be a very good decision. Not only did Bjelica do the things we’ve come to expect — make open shots, make brilliant passes, and keep the offense running smoothly — but he also had numerous high-quality defensive plays, including a few on Dončić.

Who knows if he’ll play in the Finals (I would assume he’ll get a little run after this performance), but his first-half stint in this game was one of the main reasons the Warriors ran away with this game.

Grade: A+

Jonathan Kuminga

2 minutes, 0 points, 1 foul, -3

I was curious whether Bjelica or Kuminga would get Porter’s minutes. Kuminga only played in garbage time so there’s the answer.

Grade: Incomplete

Juan Toscano-Anderson

2 minutes, 0 points, -6

Also garbage time for JTA, but he ends up with a worse plus/minus than the other players on the back of the bench because he was on the court for a defensive possession earlier in the game.

Grade: Incomplete

Post-game bonus: Tied for the worst plus/minus on the team.

Damion Lee

2 minutes, 0 points, -3

Also garbage time for Lee, who’s back to being out of the rotation.

Grade: Incomplete

Jordan Poole

28 minutes, 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-8 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 85.8% TS, -6

What a remarkably balanced game for Poole. Scoring from the perimeter? Check. Scoring with aggression? Check. Passing? Check. Rebounding? Check. Defense? Check.

Don’t let the plus/minus fool you. Poole was sensational in this game.

Grade: A

Post-game bonus: Tied for the worst plus/minus on the team.

Moses Moody

11 minutes, 7 points, 1 block, 1 foul, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, +4

Moody is unlikely to have a big role in the NBA Finals, but it certainly looks like he’ll have a role, and that’s a testament to how steady and mistake-free he is as a player.

He plays with with wiseness and maturity beyond his years. That was on display in this game with a huge bucket he created when the shot clock was about to expire.

Grade: A

Thursday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., James Wiseman

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