Against all odds — and I mean all odds — the Golden State Warriors ended their five-game road trip on a high note, shocking the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-114. What a game!
Let’s grade it. As always, grades are weighted based on my expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a measure of scoring efficiency that accounts for threes and free throws. League average entering Friday’s games was 57.8%.
27 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 fouls, 4-for-9 shooting, 2-for-2 threes, 0-for-2 free throws, 50.6% TS, +8
A really strong performance for Kuminga in his return to the court, after missing eight straight games. He really played in control ... the 5 assists without a turnover, and just 2 fouls in 27 minutes is a massive win for him.
Kuminga— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
I thought he played smart and composed on both ends of the court, while still being aggressive, with really good defense.
32 minutes, 4 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 foul, 2-for-4 shooting, 50.0% TS, +10
What a game for Looney against a two-big lineup of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. The Warriors shockingly dominated Cleveland on the glass, and Looney was the biggest reason ... he had more rebounds than Mobley and Allen combined, despite them both being in the top 20 in rebounds per game this season.
17 rebounds! 4 assists with 0 turnovers! 4 stocks with just 1 foul!
Elite performance from Looney.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
35 minutes, 17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-13 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 4-for-6 free throws, 54.4% TS, +12
What a luxury DiVincenzo is. He’s become one of the best bench players in the league, capable of stepping into any bench role no matter how big or small. And just as importantly, he’s proven capable of expanding that role when a player is injured or resting and he has to start.
Steal itttt— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
He’s similar to Jordan Poole in that regard ... a quality starter when given that opportunity, and a beast of a bench player the rest of the time.
Struggled with turnovers and not his most efficient game this time out (though some of the shots were bailing out the offense late in the clock), but just played in such control, with tremendous defense.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
41 minutes, 22 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 9-for-13 shooting, 3-for-4 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 81.6% TS, +3
I’m fairly certain Jerome set the NBA record for most made push shots in a post-internet game in this one. The hardwood legends of the 50s and 60s would have been so proud of him. And then he also had one of the most important shots of the game, a three inside two minutes that ended a 12-2 Cleveland run.
Making movesss— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
Sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story but sometimes they do. There’s no need to overcomplicate this one. Jerome, who has been inactive for the last few games, stepped into the starting lineup and scored 22 points on an efficiency that Steph Curry would be stoked to have, with 8 assists to just 1 turnover. Those stats accurately tell the story.
By the way, it was just the seventh time this season an NBA player has had at least 22 points and 8 assists on 80% or better true-shooting with only 1 turnover. The other six? Curry, Nikola Jokić, Jimmy Butler, Darius Garland, De’Aaron Fox, and T.J. McConnell.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
41 minutes, 32 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 5 fouls, 10-for-23 shooting, 5-for-12 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 60.3% TS, +6
One of the silver linings of seeing these games where the starters sit is getting to watch Poole be The Man. There are still some issues when he’s put in that position ... he seems to become a worse playmaker, and he had a few maddening turnovers.
But he also put the team on his back at multiple turns, both with his scoring and with his emotions. It was a whole lot of fun to watch.
3 for 3— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
» https://t.co/RHUZLxzr0w pic.twitter.com/fteJV9ryfy
Does anyone else think he’s gotten a lot better defensively in the last few weeks?
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
16 minutes, 13 points, 8 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-10 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 65.0% TS, -4
Green hadn’t played in a game since December 18, and he looked like it. Not in the sense of being rusty, but in the sense of having a whole lot of pent up energy. Every time he took the court he looked like he’d just snorted a line of pixie sticks and chugged a Red Bull. He was relentless attacking the rim as a driver, cutter, and rebounder, and also made it rain from distance.
Donte JaMychal ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/HOQn1MA19J— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
He was a lot of fun in this one.
25 minutes, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-for-8 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 75.0% TS, 0 plus/minus
The birthday boy splashed in a quartet of long balls, and each one felt like it was perfectly timed to stop a Cleveland run.
Yeah Lamb!— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 21, 2023
He didn’t do much outside of that, but the timeliness of his shots cannot be underestimated.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
9 minutes, 7 points, 1 turnover, 2-for-4 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 71.7% TS, -6
Every time Baldwin takes the court these days, my only thought is, “I can’t wait until he’s a part of the rotation next year.”
I’m starting to see a lot of Michael Porter Jr. in his game, and while he’s not ready to be a part of the rotation this year, I think he could be something very special next season.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
14 minutes, 3 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 75.0% TS, +1
That Moody could only get 14 minutes of playing time in this game kind of tells you everything you need to know about how Steve Kerr views him right now. He wasn’t bad in those minutes, and I loved the way he attacked the glass, but he’s still just not doing very much.
Friday’s DNPs: Ryan Rollins
Friday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman