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Player grades: Warriors vs. Kings

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 119-97 win over Sacramento.

Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole high five Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

They took a circuitous and at times infuriating route to get there, but the Golden State Warriors did indeed handle their business on Friday night, doing what they needed to do and beating the rest-filled Sacramento Kings 119-97. With the win, the Warriors will now enter Sunday’s season finale against the Portland Trail Blazers knowing that a win will secure them a playoff spot ... and a loss will guarantee that they’ll fall to the play-in tournament, instead.

So let’s grade the dudes who got the job done. As always, grades are based on my expectations for each player, with a “B” representing the average performance for that player.

Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a shooting efficiency metric that accounts for threes and free throws. League-average TS is 58.2%.

Draymond Green

33 minutes, 4 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 5 turnovers, 5 fouls, 2-for-5 shooting, 0-for-2 threes, 40.0% TS, +30

Draymond is playing a type of basketball that is equally encouraging and infuriating. He’s showing flashes off his superstar level of play, while also being aggravatingly careless and unwilling to turn on said play.

The encouraging element is that I genuinely believe that he’ll just turn it on to 10 full time for the playoffs. The infuriating element is that they would have a few more wins — and not sweat out games like this so much — if he would just do it now.

Grade: C

Kevon Looney

29 minutes, 6 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 75.0% TS, +17

Suffice to say, Looney’s return to the starting lineup was a success. How many centers not named “Nikola Jokić” or “Domantas Sabonis” are putting up seven assists with just one turnover?

I initially posed that question not meaning for it to be answered, but then I got curious. This was just the 25th time this season that an NBA center has had seven or more assists and one or fewer turnovers. 15 of the previous 24 times were by Jokić or Sabonis.

Anyway, Looney is freaking awesome.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Steph Curry

33 minutes, 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 turnovers, 1 foul, 8-for-14 shooting, 3-for-7 threes, 6-for-7 free throws, 73.2% TS, +33

I’m struggling with a grade for Curry. On the one hand, he had an obscenely efficient 25/7/6. The Warriors outscored the Kings by a whole point per minute during his 33 minutes, while getting outscored by 11 points in the 15 minutes he sat.

On the other hand, in a game the Dubs absolutely needed to win, Curry turned the ball over five times, each time seemingly more aggravating and unnecessary than before.

He didn’t seem very serious in this game, which is a huge demerit. And yet he still dominated, which is a testament to how good he is.

I dunno.

Grade: B-

Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.

Klay Thompson

35 minutes, 29 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 11-for-19 shooting, 5-for-8 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 72.9% TS, +28

Klay is finding that January rhythm again, and at the perfect time. Are the Warriors weaknesses still a concern? 100%. Would I want to face them with Klay heating up? Absolutely freaking not.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.

Donte DiVincenzo

29 minutes, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 7-for-10 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 90.0% TS, +33

DiVincenzo’s play has been sporadic lately, but he was a star on Friday. Not a star for him. Not a star for a role player. A star. Period.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists, tied for the team lead in plus/minus.

Jonathan Kuminga

19 minutes, 15 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 4-for-5 shooting, 2-for-2 threes, 5-for-6 free throws, 98.2% TS, -15

Kuminga’s offense was absolutely awesome in this game. It’s amazing how much the game has slowed down for him. His picking his spots, making great decisions, unleashing his athleticism at the right moments, and showing off the total package.

On the other hand, the other parts of his game were sorely lacking. He wasn’t rebounding, and his defense was highly mediocre. So make of that what you will.

Grade: B

Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.

Anthony Lamb

4 minutes, 2 points, 1 turnover, 1 foul, 1-for-1 shooting, 100.0% TS, -2

Lamb has kind of lost his role with the return of Gary Payton II combined with Steve Kerr’s sudden trust in Moses Moody. Add in Andrew Wiggins’ impending return, and Lamb might be relegated to emergency bench depth for the playoffs.

That’s a good thing. Lamb had a good season, but he’s probably better served in that role.

Grade: Incomplete

Patrick Baldwin Jr.

2 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, 0 plus/minus

Speaking of players who won’t have a role during the playoffs...

Grade: Incomplete

Gary Payton II

21 minutes, 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers, 5 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 100.0% TS, +11

Seeing how Payton and DiVincenzo have been playing, it’s abundantly clear that there’s no reason the Warriors shouldn’t be elite defensively in the playoffs. Assuming Wiggins returns, the only thing standing between them and an exceptional defense is just taking things seriously.

Payton helps on that front, too.

Grade: B+

Jordan Poole

19 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 0-for-10 shooting, 0-for-6 threes, 8-for-9 free throws, 28.7% TS, -9

I do want to applaud Poole for getting to the free throw line, and for his assist total. We’ve been begging all year for him to work his way to the line when his shot isn’t falling, and to find other ways to impact the team when his shot isn’t falling. His shot wasn’t falling in a big way, and he did prioritize those things.

But scoring is why Poole is on the Warriors, and why they signed him to an extension that costs roughly a third of what Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the team, and there’s really no way to sugarcoat a score-first player taking 10 shots and making none of them.

And it’s not like all of his decision-making was sound after the shots weren’t falling. On the radio broadcast, Jim Barnett called one of his mistakes “inexcusable,” which prompted Tim Roye to follow up with “inexcusable and unprofessional.”

Grade: D

Moses Moody

10 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound, 1-for-3 shooting, 33.3% TS, -14

Good to see Moody getting some trust and run lately, even if he didn’t play very well.

Grade: C

Lester Quiñones

4 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, -2

I’m curious to see if Quiñones is given one of the two-way spots for next season. He would seem to be a favorite.

Grade: Incomplete

Friday’s DNPs: JaMychal Green

Friday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, Ty Jerome, Ryan Rollins, Andrew Wiggins

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