It’s wild to say, but the Golden State Warriors have their first winning streak of the season, after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-101 on Friday night at Chase Center.
It was an electric and highly-entertaining game, in which the Dubs picked up their best win of the season, taking down one of the top teams in the league.
Now let’s get to the game day tradition and grade the players, weighting for our expectations of each player, with a “B” representing their average play.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.9% entering Friday’s games.
32 minutes, 2 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists, 1 steal, 5 fouls, 1-for-5 shooting, 20.0% TS, +2
This was really the first time all year that Green’s scoring was back to what it’s been the last few years, and you know what? The Dubs will take it. Because this was vintage Green. It was his best defensive performance of the year, by a landslide, and he dished out a whopping 13 dimes, too.
A clutch late-game floater helped the Warriors win, but prevented Dray from being just the fourth player in NBA history to have a scoreless double-double.
When Green plays defense like that, the Warriors become contenders.
Post game bonus: Led the team in assists, tied for the team lead in rebounds.
37 minutes, 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-13 shooting, 1-for-4 threes, 3-for-3 free throws, 69.8% TS, -3
Quiet excellence from Wiggins in this one. A strong defensive game from him, as he bounced between All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, and generally looked strong doing so.
Efficient offense within the confines of the system is exactly when the Dubs are asking out of him.
Post game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.
30 minutes, 7 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 3-for-4 shooting, 1-for-1 free throws, 78.8% TS, +6
The Warriors held their own on the glass against Cleveland’s two-center starting lineup of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, and Looney was the biggest reason why they did that. He even got out and beat them in transition!
But the most important part of his game was that he played 30 minutes and looked effective doing so. With James Wiseman out of the rotation, and the Warriors hesitating to give Green too many small-ball 5 minutes at this point in the season, Looney being able to play true starter’s minutes without fading is huge.
Post game bonus: Tied for the team lead in rebounds.
34 minutes, 40 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers, 4 fouls, 15-for-23 shooting, 6-for-11 threes, 4-for-6 free throws, 78.0% TS, +7
Before the game, I noted that Curry is averaging the most points per game of his career, on the highest true-shooting percentage of his career, with the lowest turnover rate of his career.
It’s pretty safe to say that that stat will hold true for another day, at least.
And after the game, Steve Kerr said something that I’m taking as a personal shot at me. And an accurate one, at that.
“You run out of adjectives to describe Steph’s game,” Steve Kerr says.
— Madeline Kenney (@madkenney) November 12, 2022
Curry had yet another vintage performance, using an 18-point fourth quarter to pull the Dubs to victory. He did a little bit of everything, from shaking opponents, to turning to Cleveland’s bench while a game-tying three was in air, to hitting the entire arena with his patented night-night move.
He’s been the best player in the NBA this year, and his numbers are video game level.
Steph Curry’s games this year:
33 points, 63.6% TS
34 points, 65.9% TS
33 points, 69.4% TS
21 points, 54.7% TS
33 points, 75.0% TS
31 points, 60.7% TS
32 points, 57.2% TS
23 points, 71.0% TS
39 points, 80.6% TS
47 points, 86.8% TS
40 points, 78.0% TS
— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) November 12, 2022
He got in a tiny bit of foul trouble early, and missed two free throws down the stretch. When those are literally the only nits to pick, you know you’re doing something right.
And Steph Curry is doing a lot of things right.
Post game bonus: Led the team in points and plus/minus.
29 minutes, 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 3-for-13 shooting, 2-for-7 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, 32.4% TS, +3
Klay continues to struggle with his offense, and still looks quite a ways away from returning to his All-Star form.
At the same time, the team continues to play better when he’s on the court. His defense was pretty bad early in this one, but he really stepped it up with some strong D against Mitchell late in the game.
4 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 0-for-3 shooting, 0.0% TS, -1
Kuminga entered the game in the first quarter and quickly struggled. His offense was very stagnant, and he once again forced shots when he should have been playing hot potato. Three missed shots and two turnovers in four minutes is definitely not what the Warriors are hoping he’ll do, and after his brief stint in the first quarter, he didn’t play again.
On the one hand, I feel like the Warriors aren’t giving him enough time to work through some of these things. On the other hand, it’s been very tough going for him out there.
24 minutes, 10 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 2-for-5 threes, 71.4% TS, +6
I’ve been pretty critical of Lamb, but there’s no possible way to critique his game in this one. He was just what the doctor ordered. He moved a lot off ball, and kept the ball flying when he caught it. He brought a bunch of energy, which played out decently on the defensive end of things.
I certainly didn’t see him supplanting Kuminga, Moses Moody, and JaMychal Green in the rotation, and it probably won’t last forever, but it sure is remarkable right now.
16 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 0-for-1 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0.0% TS, +3
DiVincenzo had a little bit of rust after not playing in almost three weeks. It was mostly apparent on the defensive side, where he had a few bad fouls.
But I thought he showed why the Warriors invested in him this offseason. Even without the stats, DiVincenzo just helped the bench unit — so bad all year — play functional basketball. He stated on Wednesday that his goal was to help get Jordan Poole going, and it was pretty clear in this game that he was a big part of why Poole did, indeed, get going.
That, in and of itself, is worth the money.
34 minutes, 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 fouls, 6-for-13 shooting, 4-for-8 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 64.9% TS, +2
Ahh, there we go, JP. Amazing how some competent defense and a Poole Party make the Warriors instantly look like contenders again.
Poole ended up with strong numbers, but his biggest impact was keeping the offense afloat in the second quarter when Curry ran into foul trouble. That’s exactly what the Warriors need him to be, and down the fourth quarter stretch they couldn’t take him off the court.
Friday’s DNPs: JaMychal Green, Ty Jerome, Moses Moody, James Wiseman
Inactive Friday’s: Andre Iguodala