Wow. What a win. The Golden State Warriors took the momentum gained from their recent road winning streak — just their second of the year — and applied it to a massive home game on Friday night, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 120-112 to earn perhaps their biggest win of the season.
It gave the Dubs a three-game winning streak. It gave them a crucial win in the standings on a night where the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Utah Jazz all lost. And it was a reminder that the Warriors can not only beat the best teams in the NBA, but beat the biggest, as they withstood 46 from MVP candidate Joel Embiid en route to the victory.
Let’s grade the folks 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 that player.
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, 10 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers, 3 fouls, 5-for-11 shooting, 0-for-5 threes, 45.5% TS, +15
Dray was aggressive on offense early, and it paid dividends in the first quarter. His overall scoring efficiency ended up rather mediocre because he fired up a fair amount of threes, but he certainly wasn’t forcing the issue (and some were low in the shot clock).
But the Warriors don’t pay him to score. They pay him to play all-world defense and make all-world passes, and he did those things in spades on Friday. The turnovers were a stain on an otherwise phenomenal performance from Dray.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
30 minutes, 6 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 5 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 100.0% TS, +4
I’m not going to blame Looney at all for Embiid’s superstar performance. Good offense beats good defense, and Embiid did much of his work on cross-matches or in the few minutes where Looney was not on the floor. Looney out-rebounded Embiid in eight fewer minutes, made life very difficult on the MVP candidate, and had seven assists. Seven!!
What a player he has turned into.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
38 minutes, 29 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 10-for-18 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 67.4% TS, +20
Curry picked his spots in this game. He was differential for much of the contest, but attacked relentlessly as soon as his team needed a bucket. Embiid was the most dominant player on the court, but you can make a strong case that Curry was the most impactful.
"May I have this dance" - Stephen (probably) pic.twitter.com/Pxv3y7l3bW— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 25, 2023
What’s left to say about Steph? As long as he’s this good, the Warriors have a chance.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.
36 minutes, 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 7-for-17 shooting, 6-for-13 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 58.7% TS, 0 plus/minus
It was a fairly quiet 21 points that Klay had, but that’s the value of having one of the greatest shooters in NBA history on your side. Klay just went about business, pulling the defense out, opening up space for others, and then capitalizing when the ball landed in his hands.
MAKE EM MOVE KLAY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 25, 2023
19 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, -4
DiVincenzo is in a bit of a slump at the moment. Not just with his impact, but with his overall game. He might have played a bigger role in this contest if James Harden had been healthy, since DiVincenzo could have been the on-ball defender there, but as it stands he just had no impact on this game at all.
16 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 fouls, 1-for-7 shooting, 1-for-5 threes, 1-for-4 free throws, 22.8% TS, -14
Kuminga has been playing the best basketball of his life lately, but this game was pretty rough. He just looked overly trepidatious. He didn’t seem to trust his decisions, and was more comfortable standing in place or moving backwards than moving towards the hoop. He got worked on defense, though he was matched up with Embiid a bit, so you can’t blame him there.
It was a bad game. Bad games happen, especially for 20 year olds. He’ll shake it off and be good on Sunday.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
14 minutes, 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 foul, 4-for-5 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 102.0% TS, +4
What a weapon Green has turned into. When he fits a matchup, he comes in and puts up a point every minute and grabs a rebound every other minute. When he doesn’t fit a matchup, he’s a happy cheerleader.
He showed Philly’s defense a different look by stretching the floor and, as is often the case, was a burst of energy. The way he attacked the glass was a big part of the Warriors winning the rebounding battle by a whopping 11 boards against a significantly larger team.
Great stuff all around.
12 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 foul, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 25.0% TS, -4
It shouldn’t be surprising if Lamb’s minutes dwindle a little bit down the stretch. The emergence of Kuminga, the recent solid play of JMG, and any good game by Jordan Poole will cut into Lamb’s minutes, and that’s before we mention that Gary Payton II might return this weekend.
Either way, Lamb will make an impact in some games with his good play, and he won’t in others, either because of bad play or a lack of minutes. In this game it was bad play, and he got worked on defense.
32 minutes, 33 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 10-for-19 shooting, 6-for-11 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 73.3% TS, +13
In a fourth quarter where the Warriors turned a nine-point deficit into an eight-point win, Poole had 19 points and completely took the game over.
33 PTS | 10-19 FG | 6-11 3FG— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 25, 2023
POOLE PARTY ☔️ pic.twitter.com/NpoLEGvp9n
That’s all you need to know about his remarkable performance. Well, that and the fact that he’s had just one turnover in his last two games.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
8 minutes, 3 points, 3 rebounds, 2 fouls, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 75.0% TS, +6
Moody had played less than two minutes when the fourth quarter rolled around, but Steve Kerr — needing a spark plug and some spacing — inserted him into the lineup to start the fourth, and he stayed there for more than half of the quarter.
Always ready!— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 25, 2023
He stays ready, and that’s darn impressive.
Friday’s DNPs: Lester Quiñones
Friday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Gary Payton II, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins