After a first-half hiccup, the Golden State Warriors kept the good times rolling on Tuesday night at home, outscoring the Portland Trail Blazers 75-40 in the second half en route to a wild comeback win.
Despite the extended and indefinite absences of Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins, the Warriors have strung together a three-game winning streak, and are suddenly out of the play-in tournament, and in honest-to-goodness playoff seeding. Keep it up, fellas!
Now let’s grade the dudes who were responsible for falling behind by 23 and also responsible for overcoming that deficit to win by 18. As always, grades are weighted based on expectations, with a “B” grade representing the average performance for a player.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. League average TS is 58.0%.
32 minutes, 12 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, 88.8% TS, +26
Green returned to the lineup after a brief scare with his knee, and he was quick to remind us all of three things.
First: on any given night, he can still be the best defensive player on the planet.
Second: he doesn’t need Curry around to make an impact as a playmaker.
And third: he can still score!
The total package was on display from Dray, who was aggressive on both ends of the court, overflowing with energy, and ready to take the game over.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds, assists, and plus/minus.
23 minutes, 14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 7-for-8 shooting, 87.5% TS, +16
We’re at the point where excellence should no longer surprise us with Looney. He’s just that good now. With Jusuf Nurkić sidelined, no one in Portland was any match for Looney, who controlled the paint on both ends of the court, keeping the Blazers from getting easy shots, and scoring with ease inside.
35 minutes, 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 6 turnovers, 1 foul, 8-for-21 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 50.5% TS, +7
After being a world beater the last few games, and single handedly carrying the offense past the finish line in the last two wins, Klay took a day off from scoring with hyper efficiency.
But he filled in with some strong work in other areas of the court, crashing the glass, setting up teammates, and playing some of the best defense that we’ve seen from him this season.
The first half was ugly, and responsible for his mediocre shooting numbers and brutal turnover count. But the second half was pure championship Klay brilliance.
33 minutes, 21 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 8-for-11 shooting, 5-for-7 threes, 95.5% TS, +15
What. A. Performance.
Anytime a player scores that many points on that few of shots, and it’s not even the most impressive thing they did, then you know they played well.
But for all his offensive excellence, DiVincenzo’s biggest impact came on the other end of the court. With Wiggins sidelined, DDV became the point of attack defender against Damian Lillard, who is in the midst of arguably his greatest season, and just two days removed from dropping 71 points in a single game.
Donte made life miserable for Dame. Mind you, Lillard still got his, as superstars do — he finished with 25 points and 7 assists — but he wasn’t very efficient, and I’m struggling to remember a single decent look that he had all night. Credit Steve Kerr for the great defensive schemes — which featured, among other things, a box-and-one — and Green for his roving defensive brilliance. But more than anything, credit Donte DiVincenzo.
33 minutes, 29 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 10-for-24 shooting, 3-for-10 threes, 6-for-7 free throws, 53.6% TS, +25
Like Klay, Poole’s brutal offense was a big part of the team entering the halftime locker room trailing by 17. But no one’s offensive contributions in the second half were bigger than Poole’s, and he was the primary catalyst for the 18-2 third-quarter run that got the Dubs right back in the game.
He showed off and he showed out. There were still a few of the unnecessarily low-percentage shots — which even the broadcast and Kerr are mentioning now — but still. You live with that, to an extent.
I never know how to grade games like this. Poole’s first half was dreadful and his second half was magical. So I guess I’ll land in the middle, even though we’ll remember the good a lot more than the bad.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
25 minutes, 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 8-for-10 shooting, 0-for-1 free throws, 76.6% TS, +4
Kuminga is starting to play a lot bigger. Don’t let the rebound total fool you: he was banging in the post in this contest. His size, strength, and athleticism were on full display, and Portland often didn’t know what to do with it.
I thought he defense was strong, and you always get bonus points when you do stuff like this ... especially when it’s at a critical juncture in the game.
5 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-2 shooting, 50.0% TS, -11
This wasn’t a particularly good matchup for Green, and with Kuminga, Looney, and the other Green playing so well, there weren’t a lot of minutes for him, either.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
28 minutes, 4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 40.0% TS, +12
Lamb isn’t scorching the net with triples like he was earlier in the season, but I think he’s playing a lot better basketball. He’s traded in some points for defensive rotations, assists, and screens. And he’s gotten more aggressive scoring when his shot isn’t falling.
360 dribble move to the lay-in— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 1, 2023
He’s just playing super solid basketball right now.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
6 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, 0 plus/minus
For the second game in a row, Baldwin was ahead of Moses Moody on the depth chart, which is not something I expected to happen this season. He didn’t really do much in this game, but still fun to see him playing meaningful minutes in a crucial game.
16 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 50.0% TS, -3
Lamb looks to have the edge over Jerome in terms of having his two-way contract converted, but Ty is still doing excellent things off the bench and helping the Warriors win games. Six assists in 16 minutes is freaking awesome.
2 minutes, 0 points, -1
Only garbage time for Moody who is, sadly, back in Kerr’s doghouse.
Tuesday’s inactives: Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins