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Player grades: Warriors vs. Lakers

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance from the team’s 113-105 loss to Los Angeles.

Steph Curry holding the ball over his head while defended by Dennis Schroder Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Sunday was a mixed bag for the Golden State Warriors. On the one hand, Steph Curry returned, and even played a regular workload. Heck, Andre Iguodala even returned! On the other hand, their five-game winning streak came to a screeching halt as their road woes reared their ugly heads, and they dropped a game 113-105 to a Los Angeles Lakers team that was without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell.

So let’s grade the players who kicked off a brand-new losing streak. As always, grades are based on my expectations for each player, with a “B” grade 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 this year is 58.0%.

Draymond Green

31 minutes, 15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 7-for-11 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-3 free throws, 60.9% TS, +6

Draymond’s scoring is probably going to get the attention from this game, but I think the real story was the defense. It’s no secret that the Warriors defense has not been up to par this year, especially on the road. And while Green is the least of the team’s problems on that end of the court, he’s also the player with the best ability to turn it around.

I thought he played excellent defense on Sunday. The Lakers still had a decent-enough offensive game: their 113.7 offensive rating in the contest was nearly identical to Golden State’s defensive rating of 113.9 this season, and the Lakers were, again, without LeBron.

But that also came with Anthony Davis having one of his best games of the season, while Kevon Looney struggled more than usual.

Watching Green play defense on Sunday made it easy to see how the Warriors could return to their defensively elite ways when Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II return.

And the scoring certainly didn’t hurt!

Grade: B+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Kevon Looney

20 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 75.0% TS, -26

Looney has been the most consistent player on the Warriors this year, but this was easily one of his worst contests. Mind you, there’s no shame in getting beat up by Davis, who had 39 points on 14-for-25 shooting, but still ... Looney just didn’t bring his A-game to Los Angeles.

Grade: C-

Steph Curry

32 minutes, 27 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 8-for-20 shooting, 5-for-13 threes, 6-for-6 free throws, 59.6% TS, -12

Curry had a little bit of rust, but not as much as I expected given that he hadn’t played in a month. It took him a little while to find his rhythm and his shot, but by the fourth quarter he looked just like himself.

And that was great to see.

Grade: B+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in scoring, tied for the team lead in assists.

Klay Thompson

32 minutes, 22 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 8-for-18 shooting, 4-for-10 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 58.3% TS, -27

Not Klay’s best game, but not a particularly bad one, either. I thought he just looked a little bit sluggish in this game ... didn’t spring free quite as often as we’ve come to expect over the last two months, and didn’t play his best defense.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.

Donte DiVincenzo

37 minutes, 11 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 3 fouls, 2-for-8 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 5-for-5 free throws, 53.9% TS, +2

Steve Kerr mixed it up for this game. While Jordan Poole is usually the player who gets starts when someone is injured, DiVincenzo stayed in the lineup to replace Wiggins as Curry returned. Given the defense that DiVincenzo has played lately (and the fact that the Dubs love Poole as a second-unit spark plug), it was a defensible decision. And I thought that it was one that looked pretty good.

DDV is mired in a little bit of a shooting slump at the moment — he’s 5-for-21 and 4-for-15 from deep in his last three games — but he’s doing everything else so, so well. Rebounding, playmaking defending ... he’s shaping into a more and more important player every single day.

Grade: B

Jonathan Kuminga

13 minutes, 5 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 2-for-10 shooting, 1-for-3 threes, 25.0% TS, -15

Loved seeing Kuminga’s athleticism and dedication to rebounding in this game. He did revert to some old habits a little bit though, as he was trigger-happy with a not-great selection of shots. And his defense wasn’t particularly good, either.

Grade: C+

Andre Iguodala

14 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 foul, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 0.0% TS, +11

This was about what I expected from Iguodala. No real stats of note, but he looked comfortable when sharing the court with Curry, Green, and Thompson, and the team played well with him out there.

Never underestimate the impact of a low-stats guy who simply knows how to fit the Warriors system.

Grade: B

JaMychal Green

4 minutes, 3 points, 1 block, 1 foul, 1-for-2 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 75.0% TS, 0 plus/minus

I suspect JMG’s minutes will be very scattered for the rest of the year. Some games like this where he only plays a few. Some games like Friday where he plays a massive role off the bench.

Very dependent on matchups, as well as the performance and foul trouble of his teammates.

Grade: B

Anthony Lamb

27 minutes, 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 2-for-5 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 60.0% TS, +17

Remember for the first few months of the year, when the bench was beyond dreadful? Seems those days are (mostly) in the rearview mirror. Even with the team not fully healthy, the bench has been putting together lots of excellent performances, and Lamb has been at the center of many of them.

This was, however, his 50th game, which is the limit for two-way players. He’s still under contract even if he met the limit, so he can continue to practice and travel with the team. He just can’t play unless they convert him to a normal contract, which they’ll likely do.

Ty Jerome has five games remaining.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in plus/minus.

Jordan Poole

28 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 3-for-11 shooting, 3-for-10 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 42.1% TS, +4

Poole started the season as the team’s sixth man, but this was just his fifth time coming off the bench in the last three months.

I think it’s safe to say the Warriors do not want him to have this ratio of twos and free throws to threes. They need him to be more aggressive, especially against teams lacking in perimeter defenders.

Grade: C

Sunday’s DNPs: Patrick Baldwin Jr., Moses Moody, Lester Quiñones

Sunday’s inactives: Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins

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