Saturday, January 29 2022

The Golden State Warriors flexed their defensive muscles in the second half against the Charlotte Hornets en route to a 114-92 win at the Chase Center. Despite an underwhelming performance from the usually-dominant Steph Curry, the Warriors got production from other parts of their roster to stave off a 32-point night from Miles Bridges.

The Warriors are now 6-1 on the season thanks to inspired performances from guards Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II. Each guard essentially took over a quarter during the game, propelling the Warriors to victory. Payton led the Golden State defense in the second half, stifling LaMelo Ball for multiple possessions. Golden State held the Hornets without a field goal for nine minutes at one point in the third quarter, according to the ESPN broadcast.

Not only did they defend, but the Warriors also hit their shots for the most part. They were 48.8% from the floor and 40% from three-point range Wednesday. They held the Hornets to just 27.8% from deep and allowed just nine bench points on the night.

They also moved the ball well, surpassing that 30 assist benchmark once again. They did struggle with turnovers early in the game but cleaned it up as the game moved on.

The 22-point win is their largest of the young season so far, narrowly edging out Saturday’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here are some player grades from the win.

Steph Curry: B-

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Wednesday, Curry was the leading scorer in the NBA with 28.7 points per game. That honor is likely to move into someone else’s hands for a bit as Curry put up just 15 points against the Hornets. Coming into the fourth quarter, he only had five points on 2-for-9 shooting. He put up a further 10 in the final quarter, but it was not his night shooting the ball.

Curry flirted with a triple-double, which would have been his second of the season, as he also had nine rebounds and eight assists on the night. He struggled with some turnovers early as well, but curtailed that as the night progressed. He did do a good job using his offensive threat to help out teammates once again, drawing defenders to open up scoring lanes.

Draymond Green: A-

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Forward Draymond Green has really kicked it into a new gear the past few games on offense. He is attacking chances and creating for his teammates when the opportunity presents itself. He did not quite get the scoring he did against the Thunder this past weekend, but he distributed the ball well.

Green finished two assists away from a double-double as he reined in 10 rebounds and threw eight dimes Wednesday. Even when he did not have the ball in his hands, he helped create chances with effective screens to open up space for threes.

The only marks against him were his three turnovers, a technical foul and going 1-for-3 from the free-throw line.

Andrew Wiggins: B-

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Wing Andrew Wiggins did not have a great shooting night this time around, failing to secure his first field goal until the second half. Overall he shot 4-for-13 with a pair of made threes. He served his role as a secondary scorer, even if it was not the most efficient night.

He also defended well, grabbing five defensive rebounds. He made a play on a Gordon Hayward shot in the fourth quarter before cashing a three on the other end – his highlight of the night.

Jordan Poole: A+

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan alumnus stepped into the Curry role and filled it well on Curry’s off night. He put up 31 points with seven threes in a standout performance. He shot the lights out in the first half, putting up 22 points before the halftime buzzer.

Poole was just attacking the Hornets from all angles, driving into the lane at times and losing his man for catch-and-shoot looks at other times. He used his speed and off-the-ball movement to create shots. He also picked up four steals and three defensive rebounds as well.

Kevon Looney: B+

Bob Levey /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Center Kevon Looney did his job once again, going 3-for-3 with six boards and a steal. He did not take up too many shots and rebounded the ball during his 15 minutes of playing time. He did go 1-for-4 from the line with three turnovers, though, hence the imperfect grade.

Nemanja Bjelica: A-

Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

Forward Nemanja Bjelica had a rock-solid night for the Warriors. He went 3-for-4 with two made threes, two boards, two assists and two steals. He passed the ball extremely well, aside from a small snafu off an in-bound in the first quarter when he gave the ball away to Gordon Hayward.

Damion Lee: A-

AP Photo/Nate Billings

Guard Damion Lee has been incredibly solid this year and Wednesday was no different. This was his sixth-straight double-digit point performance to open the season, as he put up 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting with three three-pointers. He also grabbed four boards and a steal in the win. His shooting efficiency off the bench will be a massive asset for the Warriors going forward if he can maintain it.

Gary Payton II: A+

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Payton was simply on another level defensively Wednesday. After starting his night with an absolute hammer of a dunk in the first quarter, Payton steamrolled the Hornets in the third quarter.

He had not scored more than 10 in a game in two seasons but put up 14 on 6-for-9 shooting. He kept finding himself under the basket for easy buckets in the win. He also grabbed five boards, picked up three steals and a block.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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