They took an odd and at times infuriating route to get there, but the Golden State Warriors did what they needed to do on Friday and beat the San Antonio Spurs 130-115, behind a whopping 91 points from their high-scoring guard triumvirate.
A win was mandatory and, thankfully, found. So let’s grade the players that did it. As always, grades are based on my expectations 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%.
29 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 block, 6 turnovers, 4 fouls, 1-for-4 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 41.0% TS, +19
Green gave us a scare in this game when he came up limping after a collision and went to the locker room. But he returned, and was an absolute ball of energy.
The turnovers were a large reason why the Warriors were losing to an injured lottery-bound team for much of the first three quarters, but the playmaking and defense were a big part of why they won the fourth quarter 43-27.
THIS DIME >>>@StateFarm || Assist of the Game pic.twitter.com/bvlZgwKcPK— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists and plus/minus.
27 minutes, 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 8-for-11 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-3 free throws, 69.0% TS (nice), -4
Kuminga got the start for the second straight game. Is this the lineup the Warriors are going with for now, or is it just a second consecutive game where a smaller lineup was the right matchup?
Time will tell, but one thing is clear: Kuminga’s athleticism is a problem for most teams to deal with. And the game has slowed down considerably for him lately, and it’s allowed him to wield that athleticism even more dangerously.
JK's bounce is unreal.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
Loved seeing the high rebounding total in this one.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
33 minutes, 33 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 11-for-21 shooting, 7-for-11 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 72.5% TS, -3
This was almost a comical game from Curry. He hummed along in the first while the team fell behind. Then he went ballistic in the second as the Dubs took the lead. Then he hummed along in the third while the Warriors fell behind. Then he went ballistic in the fourth when the team needed it.
A little overly dramatic, don’t you think, Steph?
DO YO' DANCE, @StephenCurry30 pic.twitter.com/Qon48sVXYR— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
34 minutes, 31 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 11-for-18 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 82.1% TS, +10
Klay was having a quiet game for a while until all of a sudden he was not having a quiet game anymore.
NBA league leader in threes— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
Klay's heating up
He leads the NBA in threes made, and after what he’s been through the last few years ... that should put a gigantic smile on your face.
20 minutes, 1 point, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 0-for-4 shooting, 0-for-4 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 10.3% TS, +1
DiVincenzo’s offense continues to be hiding, but he was masterful setting up teammates, and watching him and Gary Payton II share a backcourt on defense is an absolute delight.
Defense to offense in a flash ⚡️— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
29 minutes, 6 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 3 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 free throws, 55.2% TS, +10
It doesn’t matter whether Looney starts or comes off the bench. He plays so ridiculously well and he’s so ridiculously good, and it’s just an absolute joy.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
23 minutes, 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 foul, 1-for-5 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 20.0% TS, +17
Lamb had some maddening moments in this game, such as when he put his head down, put his foot on the gas, and tried to go full speed at the rim on a 1-on-3 fast break. And he couldn’t buy a bucket even with that nice new salary he got.
But he did so many little things well. At times it felt like he was moving twice as fast as anyone on the court. He was a pest rebounding and playing defense, and seemed to be involved in every loose ball. His block was one of the highlights of the game.
HUSTLE— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
He started the year as a guy who made threes and did little else, and now the script has kind of flipped.
Patrick Baldwin Jr.
1 minute, 0 points, 1 assist, -1
Garbage time for PBJ.
Gary Payton II
18 minutes, 7 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 64.3% TS, +13
In Payton’s first game back with the Warriors on Sunday he looked decent. In his second game on Tuesday he struggled. And in his third game? He looked exactly like the guy who was a vital part of last year’s championship run and one of the league leaders in most advanced metrics.
Gary Payton II— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
HEART & HUSTLE pic.twitter.com/zaiBUTfIyZ
He rebounded like an absolute menace (8 rebounds in 18 minutes for a guard is ridiculous as is, but he also had numerous rebounds that he kept alive for teammates to grab). He used his athleticism on offense with cuts and getting out in transition. And he played the type of defense that makes me glad my dream of being a score-first NBA guard failed.
I’m starting to think that when we talk about why the Warriors defense is so much worse this year than last year, we should spend more time mentioning the fact that GPII was on last year’s team.
27 minutes, 27 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-17 shooting, 6-for-13 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 68.7% TS, +15
Jordan Poole went off in the second half. Absolutely went off as though he knew the Warriors needed to win and he wasn’t going to let them.
Jordan Poole— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 1, 2023
through the contact pic.twitter.com/H3YkxXGBeW
He was so good. 2021-22 good. $123 million extension good. “Oh yeah, that’s part of why they were so much better last year” good.
1 minute, 2 points, 1-for-1 shooting, 100.0% TS, -1
Just garbage time for Moody, but as Fitz and Buike always say, he stays ready.
1 minute, 0 points, 1 rebound, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, -1
Quiñones got to make his NBA debut! Very exciting and well deserved. His teammates were encouraging him to shoot, but his first career points will have to wait for another day.
Grade: A+ for the feels
Friday’s DNPs: JaMychal Green
Friday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins