Well that was a bust. A few minutes of fourth-quarter brilliance weren’t enough for the Golden State Warriors, who dropped a 125-113 loss to a Phoenix Suns team that was missing Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton, and had lost six straight games.
Safe to say that’s on the short list for worst losses of the season.
But grade it we must, so on we move with a few backup red pens to get the job done. Grades are weighted based on our expectations for players, with a “B” grade representing a player’s average performance.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Tuesday’s games, league average TS was 57.7%.
34 minutes, 5 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 42.5% TS, -2
Bit of an odd game for Dray. He was lackluster for many portions, but also a key part of the one lineup that did figure out how to play decent basketball. The rebounding was huge, as the Warriors needed it — even so, Phoenix pulled down 12 more boards. He fluctuated between excellent defense and seeming to not care.
I dunno. His stats are Draymondian enough, but it didn’t really pass the eye test in this one.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, tied for the team lead in assists.
21 minutes, 1 point, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 0-for-1 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 26.6% TS, -13
A very rough start to the game for Looney, who got beat up in the opening minutes by 12-year veteran Bismack Biyombo, and was replaced by Andre Iguodala before the 7:30 mark of the first.
He came back in later and did some good things rebounding but it just wasn’t his game.
29 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks, 2 fouls, 5-for-16 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 30.4% TS, -15
Wiggins had a lot of rust after being sidelined for 15 games, and that was pretty clear in this, his second game back. He was awesome in the final minutes, when he racked up steal after steal after steal as the Dubs made a furious rally late.
But beyond that, it was a pretty bad game for him.
31 minutes, 24 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 8-for-22 shooting, 5-for-15 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 50.5% TS, -19
It was so great seeing Curry back on the court after his 11-game absence, and he had a fair share of those magic moments that only he knows how to have.
He was also completely covered in rust. It took him a while to find his jump shot, and he missed layups we’re not used to seeing him miss. His defense and passing weren’t very good in this game, but he looked healthy and not scared of contact, so it was still a big win.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
35 minutes, 29 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 10-for-24 shooting, 6-for-14 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 56.3% TS, -11
Klay’s numbers fell off a bit later in the game, but for much of the contest he was the only player worth watching. In the first quarter, when Phoenix was just starting to torch the Dubs, Klay had 14 of the team’s 26 points. We were well into the third quarter when Thompson had 21 points, and the next-highest Warriors scorer had ... five.
I’d say he kept the Warriors in it but the Warriors weren’t particularly in it.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
13 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 100.0% TS, +2
Only time will tell if Iguodala can regain the magic, but this game was a strong reality check for all the people saying that the Warriors were giving him a roster spot just to be a coach. We saw just how much Steve Kerr values Iguodala, and plans on using him. He was the first player off the bench, springing into action just over four minutes in when Kerr went small. He was in the closing lineup, until getting ejected for picking up a second technical foul after tossing the ball into the stands.
It’s pretty clear that Iguodala is going to play, and he’s going to play important minutes. Now we wait and see what he can do with them.
17 minutes, 8 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 52.4% TS, -7
Funny development in Lamb’s game. Through his first 26 games of the year, he’d attempted just eight free throws. In the seven games since then, he’s attempted 21.
He’s being aggressive, which is important because his jumper has come back to earth. During that same time span he’s shooting 14-for-40 from three-point range, a 35% clip that isn’t bad, but pales in comparison to the 41.3% mark he had been rocking prior.
Either way, his efficiency was mediocre in this one, and he didn’t do much else.
18 minutes, 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-4 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 37.5% TS, 0 plus/minus
Credit to DDV, he’s a player who brings the energy every single night, regardless of what his teammates are doing. Not great stuff in this game, but the energy and defense were pretty solid I thought.
9 minutes, 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2-for-3 shooting, 66.7% TS, +3
Jerome didn’t get much of a chance to show off against the team he spent his rookie year on, but he played really well when he was out there.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
34 minutes, 27 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-15 shooting, 4-for-7 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 72.9% TS, +2
Poole was truly awful in the first half. And he was truly sensational in the second half. The intense rally that almost saw the Dubs overcome a 27-point deficit was at least 50% Poole’s doing. He was the one who caught fire late in the third quarter when the game seemed out of reach, and pulled the Warriors to a non-white towel score. He was the one who made clutch basket after clutch basket in the waning minutes, puffing a deep breath of life into the Chase Center with each one.
It was pretty magical.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists.
Tuesday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Moses Moody
Tuesday’s inactives: JaMychal Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman