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Player grades: Warriors vs. Celtics

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 121-118 overtime loss to Boston.

Steph Curry picking up the basketball as Marcus Smart dives for it Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors lost a bittersweet game to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, dropping a 121-118 overtime contest in a rematch of the 2022 NBA Finals. It was perhaps the best road performance of the year for the Dubs, and they held a lead for almost the entire game. But against the team with the best record and net rating in the league, it wasn’t quite enough, as a Jaylen Brown three tied the game in regulation, and Boston took control in overtime.

So it’s time to grade the players. As always, grades are relative to my expectations for each player, with a “B” grade representing their average performance.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a measure of scoring efficiency that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Thursday’s games, league average TS was 57.8%.

Draymond Green

37 minutes, 11 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 81.4% TS, -4

As I’ve written about and podcasted about a million times, the Warriors first, second, and third-biggest problems on the road this season have been their defense, their defense, and their defense. So in a game where they finally showed up on that end of court, Green deserves a lot of credit.

He anchored a strong defensive effort, scored with excellent efficiency (including another fourth-quarter three!), and almost messed around and got a triple-double.

Amazing performance.

Grade: A

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds and assists.

Andrew Wiggins

40 minutes, 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-18 shooting, 3-for-8 threes, 5-for-8 free throws, 46.5% TS, -7

It was a tale of two sides of the court for Wiggins. I wouldn’t say his defense was quite at the level that it was during the NBA Finals, when he defended Jayson Tatum about as well as anyone ever has, but it was still an impressive and strong defensive showing for him. One of his best in a long time.

Unfortunately it was another rough offensive showing for him. He’s struggled so much to score since returning from injury: in the six games since coming back, he’s shot 32-for-91 (35.2%) from the field, 10-for-41 (24.4%) on threes, and 9-for-16 (56.3%) on free throws. He started the game off on a bad offensive foot, with a horribly telegraphed turnover and a missed uncontested layup, and never seemed to recover.

Grade: B-

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

Steph Curry

43 minutes, 29 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 9-for-25 shooting, 6-for-18 threes, 5-for-5 free throws, 53.3% TS, +9

Not what we’ve come to expect from Curry from an efficiency standpoint, but he still felt like he was controlling the game for large stretches of it. What he lacked in efficiency he made up for with quarterbacking, gravity, and defense.

Unfortunately he settled for a pretty difficult shot (even by his standards) at the end of regulation.

Grade: B

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

Klay Thompson

36 minutes, 24 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 foul, 3 turnovers, 6 fouls, 8-for-16 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 67.6% TS, +2

Klay was electric out of the gates, dropping in some early threes and finishing the first half with 20 points. He cooled off substantially after that, but still kept his efficiency at a very high level. I thought this was one of his best defensive performances of the season. He’s definitely looking like his old self.

Grade: A-

Jordan Poole

43 minutes, 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 10-for-25 shooting, 2-for-10 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 46.4% TS, -7

Poole got the nod in the starting lineup over Kevon Looney, and when you watched the Warriors get out in transition and beat Boston’s bigs down the court, you could see why.

Unfortunately, Poole could never really find his offensive rhythm in this game, even though he flirted with finding it on multiple occasions. He again had some tough turnovers, and settled for difficult jumpers when it would’ve been nice seeing him drive.

Grade: C

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

Kevon Looney

20 minutes, 2 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 100.0% TS, +3

There are some players who would pout or not give it their all after being moved to the bench for a matchup, but not Looney. He has one mode and one mode only, and that mode is “do everything possible to help the team win.”

He gobbled up rebounds and played strong defense when he was on the court. His offense has regressed a bit recently, but he still played really well.

Grade: A-

Anthony Lamb

18 minutes, 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 25.0% TS, -7

Lamb is a fascinating player to me, because when I mention him on the Golden State of Mind Twitter account (or even when I don’t mention him) everyone responds telling me how unplayably bad he is, and when I mention him in articles everyone responds telling me how great he is.

He’s been the latter more than the former lately, but he certainly wasn’t in this game.

Grade: C-

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

Donte DiVincenzo

28 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 fouls, 2-for-6 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 50.0% TS, -4

DiVincenzo had one of the biggest shots of the game, a corner three with about 30 seconds left in overtime that, against all odds, gave the Warriors a chance.

Other than that, it was a fairly nondescript game from him. I thought his defense was quite strong, but he didn’t do much of anything else.

Grade: B-

Thursday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Moses Moody

Thursday’s inactives: JaMychal Green, Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Jonathan Kuminga, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman

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