In front of a record-setting crowd at the Alamodome on Friday night, the Golden State Warriors had their best road game of the season, beating the San Antonio Spurs 144-113.
It was a whole lot of fun, and most of the players deserve praise for their performance. So let’s do exactly that, by grading the performances. As always, we’re grading based on expectations for each player, with a “B” grade representing the average performance by that player.
Note: True-shooting percentage (TS) is a measure of scoring efficiency that accounts for threes and free throws. Entering Friday’s games, the league average was 57.7%.
29 minutes, 6 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 3-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 60.0% TS, +20
A clinic from Draymond. It felt like every shot the Spurs took was contested by Dray, and rebounded by Dray, resulting in a fastbreak led by Dray.
In my eyes, Green is the most important player on the team for this five-game road trip. The Warriors are third in the league in defense at home, and 29th on the road. If they want to turn around their road woes — this was just their fourth win in 20 road games — it starts with defense. And for as long as Dray is a Warrior, their defense starts with him.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the team lead in plus/minus.
21 minutes, 14 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 3 fouls, 6-for-7 shooting, 2-for-3 free throws, 84.1% TS, +6
Looney has seen his minutes drop a little bit since Andre Iguodala returned, even with JaMychal Green and James Wiseman sidelined. It seems Steve Kerr feels more comfortable going to small ball when Iguodala is around.
But Looney remains fantastic in the minutes he’s given. When the Warriors went small, they thrived. And when they went big, Looney was there to score efficiently, gobble up rebounds, and play strong defense (Jakob Pöltl shot just 2-for-9). The fact that he had the team’s worst plus/minus is not an indictment of him, just a sign of what lineups worked best against San Antonio.
Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
27 minutes, 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 7-for-17 shooting, 2-for-8 threes, 47.1% TS, +18
Wiggins struggled with efficiency a little bit, but I still thought this was his best game since returning to the lineup. The scoring may have been a little out of rhythm, but he was aggressive in every facet of the game, and played some exquisite defense.
23 minutes, 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 3 fouls, 6-for-12 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 60.3% TS, +12
It’s kind of hilarious that Curry can score 15 points in just 23 minutes, at substantially better than league average efficiency, and the first thought we all have is “well he’s still shaking the rust off.”
But that’s how good he is. The trio of assists don’t accurately depict how well he quarterbacked the offense, although the donut in the turnover column does.
Watch out, folks. He’s just warming up again.
23 minutes, 16 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 7-for-10 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, 80.0% TS, +19
Klay had arguably the most important performance in this game. Outside of the first two minutes, the only time where the Warriors did not feel in control of the game was at the beginning of the second half. The Dubs had a few turnovers in the opening minute (one was admitted by Thompson), and the Spurs made a few shots. It felt like San Antonio was about to get into the game.
And then Klay turned it on and put a swift end to any hopes and dreams that San Antonio had.
One of his best performances of the year. He is really finding his rhythm.
18 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 83.3% TS, +16
Iguodala’s third game of the season was his best without a doubt. He showed he still has some athleticism and he showed he can still play defense. Most importantly, he showed that a small ball lineup featuring him can still thrive. And, as was the case in his first two games, he’s proving to those who thought he was just a glorified assistant coach that he’ll be playing actual minutes.
24 minutes, 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover, 4 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 3-for-4 threes, 92.9% TS, +18
I was honestly surprised to see that Lamb “only” made three shots from downtown, because it felt like he had at least five. He was a huge difference maker in the first half as the Warriors turned a small lead into a blowout.
The fouls aren’t ideal, and a sign of sometimes being out of position, but everything else about his game was absolutely fantastic.
25 minutes, 22 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-17 shooting, 4-for-12 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, 58.4% TS, +20
Anyone still doubting the offseason addition of DiVincenzo? No?
I didn’t think so.
It was fitting that DDV showed out at the Alamodome, the same site where he put on an incredible performance while leading Villanova to an NCAA championship. He did everything in this game. Seriously, everything.
Post-game bonus: Tied for the best plus/minus on the team.
31 minutes, 25 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-16 shooting, 2-for-6 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, 64.0% TS, +19
The team that DiVincenzo faced in that national championship game at the Alamodome? Poole’s Michigan squad. So it was only fitting that they were the two leading scorers in this game. Some things just make sense.
This contest was everything you think of when you imagine a beautiful Poole performance. It was equal parts flashy and substantive. He’s just so fun.
JP was so efficient, while putting on a show with a brilliant inside-out game. When the defense cut off his threes, he drove. When they cut off the lane, he stepped back. When they took away his shot, he found the open man.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points and assists.
18 minutes, 12 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 4-for-7 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 2-for-4 free throws, 68.5% TS, +7
I thought this was one of the best games of Moody’s career, full stop.
I often point out that Moody doesn’t do all that much, for better and for worse. He doesn’t make many mistakes, but he doesn’t make many plays, either. In this game he changed the latter … while keeping the former. He was aggressive on offense, not just settling for threes, but penetrating, drawing contact, finishing, and finding open teammates. And he did it all without committing a turnover or a foul.
More of this, please!
Friday’s inactives: Patrick Baldwin Jr., JaMychal Green, Ty Jerome, Jonathan Kuminga, Ryan Rollins, James Wiseman