The Golden State Warriors bounced back. After starting the season with three double-digit losses to the Phoenix Suns, and after an ugly three-game losing streak on the road, the Dubs knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night, and followed it up with an emphatic 123-112 win over Phoenix on Monday.
Even with key players sidelined, the Warriors continue to look like championship contenders when they’re at home. They have shown no ability to travel with that, but that’s a problem for another day. And by “another day” I mean “Wednesday.”
For now, let’s grade the dudes who got the job done. As always, grades are based on my expectations for each player, with a “B” grade representing the average performance for each Warrior.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. League-average TS is 58.1%.
30 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 66.7% TS, -5
Honestly, the main thing I was thinking about with Dray during this game was how much fun it would be if the Warriors and Suns met in the playoffs so we could see Dray defend Kevin Durant. That would be all kinds of fun.
Until then, the Warriors were able to win despite Green not having his best game. It wasn’t the offensive performance we’ve seen from him lately, though the defense was, as you would expect, pretty darn good.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
27 minutes, 9 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 fouls, 4-for-6 shooting, 1-for-4 free throws, 58.0% TS, +10
The fact that Looney can just casually throw up five assists without a turnover, despite the offense never running through him, is remarkable. Sure, having the best-shooting backcourt in NBA history to pass out to helps, but still ... it’s pretty incredible.
Just a super strong game from Looney. Deandre Ayton got the better of him with some regularity, but Looney was solid, as we’ve grown accustomed to.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
33 minutes, 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 turnovers, 4 fouls, 7-for-13 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 73.5% TS, +14
You can never say enough about Curry’s unselfishness. It’s truly remarkable that a player who is probably one of the three greatest offensive players in NBA history can so happily defer to his teammates when they’ve got hot hands.
But the fact that Curry does that not only allows the Warriors to capitalize on those hot hands, but it helps those players get the hot hands in the first place.
He’s a special player to score that efficiently ... and then willingly tell Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole to steal the show.
The turnovers have been an issue since returning to the lineup, but other than that, he’s clicking on most of his cylinders right now.
Sometimes I really love this team.
Gary KNEW it was good ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/yBY4NeFMZq— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 14, 2023
34 minutes, 38 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 14-for-23 shooting, 8-for-14 threes, 2-for-5 free throws, 75.4% TS, +4
The biggest development for the Warriors in this game was the first-quarter performance. During their recent five-game winning streak, the Warriors routinely fell behind huge in the first quarter, only to claw their way back in as the game went on. During their recent three-game losing streak, they fell behind huge in the first quarter and didn’t have the firepower to overcome it.
In this game they jumped out to a massive first-quarter lead, ending the frame with a commanding 43-21 lead. And Klay’s 18-point quarter was the catalyst behind it.
33 points in the first half— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 14, 2023
Captain Klay ☔️ pic.twitter.com/EZzQ9sFsgu
We’d seen his strong offensive performances fall off a little since Curry returned, but it bounced back in a huge way on Monday.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
30 minutes, 10 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 4-for-9 shooting 2-for-6 threes, 55.6% TS, +5
It’s a little shocking to see DiVincenzo, such a good rebounder all year, have a donut in that column. Then again, you’ll excuse him if he was a little preoccupied defending Devin Booker.
DDV hasn’t been a perfect defender, but with Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II sidelined, and Klay looking more comfortable guarding slashing wings than ball-dominant guards, DiVincenzo has stepped up to be the point of attack defender night in and night out and done a truly admirable job.
16 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, 69.4% TS, +19
If anyone was wondering why the Warriors have been hanging on and waiting for Iguodala all year ... this. This is why they’ve been hanging on and waiting for Iguodala all year.
You can still think it was a bad move. You can be skeptical about whether it will work out for the final month of the season and the postseason.
But if you watched this game, then it’s pretty clear why they still wanted him around.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
21 minutes, 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 76.5% TS, +1
Green’s performance the last few games has been a reminder that depth isn’t just about who plays on a nightly basis. It’s also about who fills in when needed.
His role has been very sporadic lately, but Green has had to step into bigger minutes since Jonathan Kuminga has been out. He’s responded very well.
He also got into it with Damion Lee which, considering everything, was hilarious.
Draymond and Steph laughing off the JaMychal-Lee scuffle pic.twitter.com/FI931Xbcia— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 14, 2023
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
2 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, -4
Just a little bit of garbage time for PBJ.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
30 minutes, 20 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls, 8-for-16 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 60.8% TS, +14
What an awesome bounce-back game from Poole, who looked like his 2021-22 version in this game. He was aggressive attacking the hoop, and there were stretches were Phoenix simply didn’t have an answer for him ... he even ran Lee off the court by continually blowing by him.
That opened up his game from distance where — surprise surprise! — the better shots led to better results.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
15 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-3 three throws, 31.7% TS, +5
Good to see Moody back in the rotation in this game. His efficiency was poor, but I liked the way he attached the rim instead of settling for threes, and though he did good things in the other areas of the game.
Monday’s inactives: Ty Jerome, Jonathan Kuminga, Anthony Lamb, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins