The Golden State Warriors gave it the old college try on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, kicking off a five-game road trip with a 134-126 loss, their ninth consecutive defeat on the road. The optimistic view of the game is that the Dubs were in it from start to finish against a fully healthy and finally clicking Clippers team ... enough to prompt coach Steve Kerr to say that he “wasn’t frustrated” with the defeat. The pessimistic view is that Steph Curry had one of the best games of his career and the Warriors still couldn’t do anything with it.
Either way, we’ve got to grade the folks responsible for the short-handed loss. As always, grades are based on my expectation for each player, with a “B” representing that player’s average performance.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a scoring efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. League-average TS is 58.1%.
35 minutes, 8 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 4 turnovers, 5 fouls, 3-for-7 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 53.8% TS, -5
Dray remains one of the Warriors best players — I’d strongly argue that he’s their second-best — but I can’t in good conscience give him a good grade in this game. Green may be the least of the team’s worries on defense, but for someone generally capable of running a defense all by himself, the team’s awful performance on the road has to reflect on him poorly. As do the four turnovers, since ball security was the one weakness in Golden State’s offensive attack.
But most indefensible was picking up his 16th technical foul, which will result in a suspension for Friday’s game. He’s optimistic that it will get rescinded, and maybe it will, but he still put himself in a position for it to happen. He talked after the game about trying to figure out how the team can do more to support Curry ... it needs to start with being on the floor.
25 minutes, 6 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3-for-8 shooting, 37.5% TS, -10
The Warriors got beat up on the glass, but Looney did his part in trying to keep that from happening. It’s been a common misconception that the Warriors are getting beat up inside on the road ... in reality, they’re getting destroyed at the three-point line.
Looney didn’t do much in this game other than rebound and defend, but he did those things decently enough.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
39 minutes, 50 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 20-for-28 shooting, 8-for-14 threes, 2-for-4 free throws, 84.0% TS, -11
What can you even say about this Curry game? It was one of the most spectacular performances of his career, a 50-piece on the type of efficiency that’s wildly impressive if you’re scoring just 10 points. To dish out as many assists as he did while scoring that much is absurd. To take care of the ball so well while doing so much is absurd. To shoot 8-for-14 on threes and 12-for-14 on twos is absurd.
Steph Curry is absurd. Shame we couldn’t appreciate this performance in a win.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
37 minutes, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 6-for-16 shooting, 3-for-8 threes, 46.9% TS, 0 plus/minus
This is just a game where the Warriors simply needed more from Klay. They needed him to score more. They needed him to shoot better. They needed him to attack more and get layups, free throws, or at least draw the defense away when he was off-ball. They needed him to defend better. They needed him to rebound more.
33 minutes, 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 4-for-10 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 50.0% TS, -12
A solid but forgettable game from DiVincenzo. He did some good things on offense and some good things on defense, but wasn’t particularly a difference maker in either phase.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
19 minutes, 8 points, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 80.0% TS, 0 plus/minus
It was great to see Kuminga back on the court after a three-game absence due to a sprained ankle. Especially since it was the same day that the Warriors announced that Andre Iguodala would undergo surgery that will likely put an end to his career.
Kuminga was a little rusty, as the foul numbers and lack of rebounds would point to. But he definitely did some good things in this game with his energy and athleticism.
16 minutes, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 2-for-2 shooting, 3-for-3 free throws, 105.4% TS, -6
With the Warriors so ridiculously banged up, Green is becoming a very important part of the rotation. His energy and scoring efficiency are vital, though the Dubs need more in the rebounding department.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
1 minute, 0 points, 1 assist, 1 foul, +5
Just garbage time for the Warriors first-round pick.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
25 minutes, 19 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 4 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-11 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 4-for-5 free throws, 72.0% TS, -4
One of Poole’s most efficient games in a while, as he’s been better about picking his spots lately. It’s a small sample size, but Poole is 11-for-23 from beyond the arc in the last four games, and that’s a huge step in the right direction.
Still, the turnovers are killing the Warriors a bit right now, so they need him to be a lot better.
10 minutes, 3 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 fouls, 1-for-1 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 79.8% TS, +3
Is Moody playing his way back into a spot in the rotation, or did Kerr just play him out of necessity in a game where the Warriors were without Iguodala, Andrew Wiggins, Gary Payton II, Anthony Lamb, and Ty Jerome? Who knows, but Moody did well.
Thursday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Anthony Lamb, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins.