Wow. That was a whole bunch of fun. The Golden State Warriors crushed the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals, winning 142-112 to take a 2-1 lead in their series.
It was a dominant, emphatic, and, frankly, ruthless performance by the Warriors, and you’re going to see a lot of good grades in this one, so I’ll keep it short. As always, I’m based on our expectations of each player.
Note: League-average true-shooting percentage (TS) was 56.6% this season.
27 minutes, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-2 free throws, 64.4% TS, +19
Green’s turnovers continue to be a bit of an issue in this series. The Warriors were very sloppy in this game – their 17 turnovers were the only weakness in this one. Dray has been uncharacteristically sloppy, and it sets the tone.
But his offense was still really good. After two games of stagnating the ball a little bit, Green really got the offense in its flow on Saturday. He pushed at every chance, and was aggressive with the ball in his hands. He got the Dubs in their actions quickly, and preyed on a Memphis defense that rarely had time to set.
Add in the kind of defense, energy, and intangibles that we can rely on from night to night and it was a very good game for Dray.
Grade: B +
Post-game bonus: Led the team in assists.
18 minutes, 18 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, 4 fouls, 8-for-10 shooting, 2-for-4 threes, 90.0% TS, -2
Kuminga’s first stint in this game, which was his first career playoff start, didn’t go well. His defense was poor, he made a few disaster plays on offense, and did more harm than good.
But his later stints were rather brilliant, and he got to a point where he was feasting on Memphis with his athleticism. It’s hard to give anyone a scoring point for a perfect grade than the other hyper-efficient shooting splits, but his early mistakes hold him back a bit here. Still a very good game from him.
Grade: B +
Post-game bonus: Worst plus / minus on the team.
26 minutes, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 5 fouls, 7-for-10 shooting, 2-for-2 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 81.4% TS, +3
In my opinion, this was one of Wiggins’ best games as a Warrior. The stat sheet might not pop out at you, but he did everything the Warriors wanted him to do. Save for an early contested step back mid-ranger, Wiggins was excellent with his shot selection, attacking the rim, cutting without the ball, and spotting up for open threes.
He was excellent on defense, and I thought he did tremendous work on the glass, even if the rebound numbers didn’t reflect that. He boxed out, kept numerous offensive rebounds alive, and generally outworked a Memphis team that rarely gets outworked.
It was exactly what Golden State wants from him.
35 minutes, 30 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 7-for-14 shooting, 2-for-8 threes, 14-for-14 free throws, 74.4% TS, +21
The Grizzlies play more than any other team in the league, in my opinion. But after two so-so games (by his All-World standards), Curry broke out in a huge way. Save for a slightly cold first 10 minutes or so, Curry’s fingerprints were all over this game. He took over, determined the flow, and delivered numerous death blows to the Grizz.
Most impressive was his ability to attack the defense. Curry earned 14 free throws and, truthfully, could have been awarded more. He showed off his usual wizardry at the rim and, despite the team’s general sloppiness, had only one turnover.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in points.
35 minutes, 21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 foul, 8-for-13 shooting, 4-for-6 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, 78.1% TS, +22
After two rough games to start the series, Klay arrived in a big way on Saturday. He was quite a sniper in this one … It really felt like every shot he took was going in.
He also crashed the glass in a huge way. The Warriors won the rebounding battle yet again – and quite handily at that – and Thompson played more than his role.
Not only did he play like a star, but you could see his energy and theatrics lifting up the entire team.
Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.
4 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover, 1 foul, +4
Bjeli is out of the rotation, for now at least. But nice to see him get some garbage time to stay fresh. He’ll be called at some point, I think.
Otto Porter Jr.
24 minutes, 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 5-for-7 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 92.9% TS, +30
There are only two things you need to know about Porter’s game.
First, he played half of the game. The Warriors outscored the Grizzlies by 30 points in the half that he played, and tied the Grizzlies in the half he didn’t play.
Second, that feels like an accurate representation of how he played.
Grade: A +
5 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 0-for-2 shooting, 0.0% TS, -1
JTA got a brief amount of time on the court meaningful, primarily for his defense, before settling into the garbage time lineup.
17 minutes, 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 fouls, 3-for-3 shooting, 100.0% TS, +7
Steven Adams returned for the Grizzlies, but still didn’t play meaningful minutes. Yet even so, Looney found himself playing a big role in this game, and he was 100% up to the task. He was super smart on offense, rolling to the basket, dishing the ball, and setting strong screens. And his defense was very good.
15 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 foul, 0-for-2 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 0-for-1 free throws, 0.0% TS, +10
There was a time where Lee’s only role was to score. But in this game he didn’t score at all … yet made a positive impact with his hustle, energy, and ball movement. Really valuable minutes from Lee, who cited a strong case for more playing time.
Grade: B +
31 minutes, 27 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 foul, 11-for-17 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, 2-for-2 free throws, 75.5% TS, +33
No one in this game had a sense of the moment like JP. When he first entered the game, the Dubs were struggling, and it felt like every shot started to the right. Then, when the Warriors had a strong lead, it felt like every shot was a debilitating gut punch that reminded Memphis that they had no chance.
It was straight from Curry’s playbook of total and utter ruthlessness, and I’m 100% here for it.
He unfortunately became a source of controversy after the game, as his hand appeared to grab – very inadvertently, to my eye – Morant’s knee shortly before Memphis’ superstar left the game with a knee injury. The Grizzlies are upset, though it doesn’t seem like anyone outside of Memphis saw it as a dirty play by Poole. Either way, hopefully Morant is OK.
Post-game bonus: Lead the team in plus / minus.
4 minutes, 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 foul, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-1 threes, 83.3% TS, +4
Garbage time for Moody, who played really well in his few minutes.
Saturday’s inactives: Andre Iguodala, James Wiseman