Grades: San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors – Game #75

The San Antonio Spurs took on the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night without the services of Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, Keldon Johnson or Dominick Barlow. Despite being without those four players due to injury, the Spurs were able to put up a fight before losing by a final count of 117-113.

Out of the gates, San Antonio did really well and gave Golden State a glimpse of why the Spurs entered this contest with a three-game winning streak. By the end of the first quarter, the Spurs were up 34-27. San Antonio was able to retain that lead in the second quarter and entered halftime with a 60-52 advantage.

Unfortunately, the Warriors began the second half with a 14-0 run to grab the lead. It looked like Golden State would be able to coast to a victory from that point — but San Antonio had other plans. 

Trailing 113-102 with two minutes left in the game, Victor Wembanyama hit a three-pointer to kickstart a 9-0 run that brought the Spurs within two points with a minute remaining. While San Antonio couldn’t quite complete the comeback, they battled and never gave up.

Stats: Spurs vs. Warriors

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Spurs vs. Warriors – Final Grades

Victor Wembanyama

It’s difficult to be anything but impressed by Wembanyama stuffing the stat sheet with 32 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. That’s off the charts production in 31 minutes — and he shot it pretty well, too. My only complaint with Wembanyama was his inconsistency within the game. There were stretches where he was floating on both ends of the court. But, hell, the rookie peaked in the fourth quarter once again with 18 points and almost brought the Spurs all the way back. It’s hard to knock a player for being inconsistent when they excel when it matters. Offensively, Wembanyama was aggressive, passed the ball well and played an unafraid brand of basketball. Defensively, while he wasn’t always technically in the right positions, he gave enough effort that the Warriors had to pull out all the stops to try to get away from his long reach.

Grade: A-

Tre Jones

Uncharacteristically, Jones didn’t run the offense well. His decisions were too often wonky, particularly in transition. Scoring-wise, I thought Jones was fine — but his overall impact on offense was negative because his decision-making lacked crispness. Defensively, he was decent. Stephen Curry is difficult for anyone to defend and Jones had a few possessions where he did an admirable job in that matchup.

Grade: C

Julian Champagnie

Champagnie got to play 38 minutes and I was mostly pleased with his play. Defensively, he didn’t always stay in front of his man but he gave effort and avoided being a blatant liability. Offensively, Champagnie exhibited an improving amount of wherewithal. He did his damage from beyond the three-point arc when it came to scoring the basketball but he also moved well away from the action and made a handful of heady passes.

Grade: B

Malaki Branham

The good: Branham wasn’t shy about trying to put points on the board. That level of aggression is needed for him to become a successful NBA player — and it was an important attribute against a Warriors team who was trying to stack up their defense to handle Wembanyama. For a secondary ball-handler, he’s a pretty good passer. The bad: Branham was 1-for-6 from three-point range. His inconsistent shooting from deep continues to hinder his usefulness on a day-to-day basis. Branham also racked up four turnovers, including a couple of head-scratchers. Defensively, he tried hard but the results were iffy most of the time.

Grade: C+

Cedi Osman

Osman was awesome in the first half. He played all but four minutes of the opening two quarters and produced 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-5 shooting from three-point territory. He attacked on the fast break and that single-handedly kept the offense humming. His outside shooting was timely and helped spread the court. Unfortunately, Osman’s production dried up after halftime. He was also much less of a terror in transition, which points to him likely running out of gas.

Grade: B+

Sandro Mamukelashvili

I’ve been on the Give Mamu a Chance bandwagon most of the season so it was fun to see what he could do with 25 minutes against the Warriors. Overall, I thought Mamukelashvili did well. Offensively, his combination of fast processing speed and high basketball IQ makes him a helpful part of an attack. He also nonstop hustles, which adds even more value. Defensively, while Mamukelashvili’s feet aren’t the fastest, against the Warriors he did well on the boards and he rotated promptly. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next if he’s given more playing time.

Grade: B+

Devonte’ Graham

The coaching staff called on Graham’s veteran savvy versus the Warriors. While there were obvious signs of rust, I thought he did fine given the circumstances. He drained a couple threes and played with awareness on defense. If the Spurs continue to be short-handed down the stretch of the season, Graham could keep a spot in the rotation.

Grade: B-

Zach Collins

Collins did pretty darn well against Golden State. In 16 minutes, he had 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Perhaps just as impressive was the fact he had one foul and no turnovers. Offensively, the Spurs needed Collins to step into a larger role and he did that with ease. His perimeter jumper is looking as good as it has all season. Defensively, he played with toughness in the interior and moved with more precision than usual in rotations. 

Grade: A-

Blake Wesley

The good: Wesley pushed the pace well and his passing was good. The second year guard has taken big steps in terms of legitimately becoming a playmaker. The bad: The Warriors took advantage of Wesley’s inexperience and exuberance on defense. Offensively, the youngster needed to put more pressure on the rim. By not doing so, he became just another player the Warriors could basically ignore.

Grade: C


Given the circumstances, I didn’t have any big issues with the rotation. I liked Mamukelashvili getting an extended look. The playcalling was fine and, big picture-wise, it was impressive that the good guys had a chance of stealing a win late in the game.

Grade: B+