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Player grades: Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 122-120 win over Memphis.

Klay Thompson smacking his chest John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors won a thrilling game over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, swapping leads for 48 minutes with a team that may or may not be their rival.

It was pretty wild, pretty dramatic, and pretty fun. So let’s grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each player. As always, a “B” grade represents the average performance for the player.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Wednesday’s game, league average was 57.9%.

Draymond Green

32 minutes, 8 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 5 turnovers, 5 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 2-for-4 free throws, 84.0% TS, +2

Something tells me that if the Warriors are able to turn their season around, it will start on defense. And wow, what a defensive showing it was from Green, who was an absolute monster on that end of the court.

Green really showed off the entire package in this game, rebounding like a menace which was necessary with the team’s smaller lineup, scoring efficiently, and dishing out some dreamy dimes. He was certainly a part of the team’s massive turnover issue, but other than that, Green was spectacular.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, tied for the team lead in assists.

Jonathan Kuminga

24 minutes, 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 5-for-6 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 94.5% TS, -16

Efficiency notwithstanding, Kuminga’s statline doesn’t look very good, but I don’t think it tells the story. Despite the turnovers and fouls, I thought he had good composure in this game. It’s stunning to see how much the action has slowed down for him compared to earlier in the season.

Still, the turnovers and fouls were inexcusably high, and the rebounding total inexcusably low. But despite the bad plus/minus, I thought he did a lot to help the team win, and the efficiency is phenomenal.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.

Steph Curry

35 minutes, 34 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 10-for-19 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 10-for-11 free throws, 71.3% TS, -3

Curry’s game started out horribly, with the two-time MVP picking up a pair of fouls in the first 59 seconds, and then committing an awful turnover. It also ended horribly, with Curry getting ejected from a tied game. Say what you want about the ref’s decision to eject Curry (very weak), but he’s been thrown out twice before, and each time it was for throwing his mouthguard. So it’s not like he should have been blindsided here.

But in between? Brilliance, pure brilliance, and nothing but brilliance. His passing was special, despite the low assist totals. His efficiency was absurd, and that’s before we get to the fact that at least four of his nine missed shots should have been whistled as fouls.

The plus/minus may be a negative, but this is a blowout loss without Curry, egregious mistakes and all.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

Klay Thompson

34 minutes, 24 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 9-for-23 shooting, 5-for-10 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 50.3% TS, +6

This game ebbed and flowed and went in a million different dramatic directions, with tempers flaring all around, but through it all Klay was calm, collected, and steady.

His efficiency ended up being fairly mediocre, but he had his fair share of big shots, shooting the Warriors back into it on a few occasions, and making the go-ahead three with 14.1 seconds remaining.

With Andrew Wiggins out, Klay had to play really strong defense in this game, and he answered the call.

Grade: B

Jordan Poole

31 minutes, 21 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 8-for-14 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 66.6% TS, +15

Let’s start with the most notable play of the game: Curry’s ejection. It came after Poole launched a deep three immediately after the Warriors grabbed an offensive rebound, and had a chance to milk the clock a little bit. It was a bad shot. And Curry was livid about it, which led to throwing the mouthpiece.

Now let’s make a few things clear. First off, Poole is not responsible for Curry throwing a fit, nor for the ref having the thinnest of thin skin. And Poole and Curry are, very much, good.

And yet we rarely see Curry that fired up at teammates. Poole has been making a bunch of poor mistakes and turnovers lately, and between this and Steve Kerr yelling at him, it’s starting to feel like the Warriors are pretty tired of it.

But other than those poor decisions? Poole was electric in this game, playing quarterback for the first three quarters, and then having one of his most explosive offensive quarters of the season in the final frame, which he capped off by making the game-winning shot.

Poole may have frustrated in this game but ... damn, he was good. I also was very impressed by his defense.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in assists, best plus/minus on the team.

JaMychal Green

10 minutes, 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-3 shooting, 3-for-3 free throws, 57.9% TS, -2

One interesting wrinkle in this game, was Green playing some time at the 4 alongside Kevon Looney, which we haven’t seen much of this year. Perhaps the Warriors are buying his resurgence as a three-point shooter, even though he didn’t take any attempts in this one.

Pretty meh game from him, though there were some good things.

Grade: B-

Kevon Looney

20 minutes, 4 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 foul, 2-for-4 shooting, 50.0% TS, -6

Looney is near the bottom of the list of things that are wrong with the Warriors, yet he’s still been bumped from the starting lineup as Kerr searches for any magic combination to get the team going. I’m just so impressed with Looney’s demeanor and attitude.

Be like Kevon, everyone. Be like Kevon.

Grade: B

Anthony Lamb

19 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 fouls, 2-for-6 shooting, 0-for-3 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 36.3% TS, +7

This game was kind of the inverse of what I’ve grown accustomed to seeing with Lamb. He couldn’t make a three to save his soul, but he did a lot of the little things well.

Value is value!

Grade: B

Donte DiVincenzo

34 minutes, 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 57.1% TS, +7

It’s a sign of how trustworthy DiVincenzo has become that, in a game where Curry, Poole, and Thompson were all playing, DDV was second on the team in minutes played.

It’s not hard to see why when you watch him. At this point he’s having a strong impact on how the offense and defense are played. His defense was stellar in this game.

Grade: B+

Wednesday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Moses Moody, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman

Wednesday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Andrew Wiggins

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