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Wizards ride great shooting night to victory against the Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards guard Corey Kispert set a new franchise record for most three-point field goals by a rookie and led the team to a win against the Golden State Warriors.
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Wizards went white hot from three-point range while the Golden State Warriors laid bricks, and that was good for Washington’s 31st win of the season.

Corey Kispert set a new franchise record for threes by a rookie, which he’ll break with every made three the rest of the season. He scored 25 points on 12 field goal attempts — outrageous efficiency that included 6-9 from three.

Kispert’s 180 offensive rating (league average is 111.5) was somehow only the third best mark of the game for the Wizards. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 8-8 from the floor, 3-3 from three-point range and 3-3 from the free throw line en route to a 184 ortg and 22 points on 8 field goal attempts.

And, that was only second best because Anthony Gill was also perfect from the floor. Gill, get the first regular playing time of his NBA career, scored 9 points on 3 field goal attempts, added an offensive rebound and 3 assists, and didn’t commit a turnover. His offensive rating: 227.

By the way, Golden State’s Otto Porter Jr. tied KCP’s 184 ortg. He finished the game with 14 points on 7 field goal attempts, plus 11 rebounds and 2 assists. And his defense was pretty good again.

It was a solid win, even with Stephen Curry out of action. One thing that cannot be said is that the Wizards defended well. When I wrote in the lede that the Warriors laid bricks, I meant it. They finished the game 8-33 from three-point range. According to my count, Golden State was 3-21 on open or wide-open threes. The Wizards contested just 11 of their 33 attempts, and the Warriors made 5. (There was one attempt by Klay Thompson that didn’t have available.)

If Golden State had shot their non-Curry norm, they’d have hit 7 or 8 of the uncontested attempts (instead of 3) and 3 contested threes (instead of 5). That works out to 11 made threes in the game instead of 8 — +9 on the scoreboard in a game they lost by 8.

None of this should be read as saying the Wizards should have lost. Some of those uncontested threes were poor defense, some were the inevitable looks every NBA team will get through no fault of the defense, and still others were by design. Washington’s game plan was clearly to concede three-point shots from Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green and Gary Payton II. That trio went 1-4 from downtown for the evening.

And, none of the preceding paragraph should be read as saying the Wizards played well on defense. With Curry out, Thompson and Jordan Poole were Golden State’s primary offensive weapons. Poole’s one made three was contested. All nine of his misses were open or wide-open looks.

They contested 3 of Thompson’s 13 three-point attempts. One was egregious. Porzingis helped off Green to contest a drive, but when Green got the ball and went into dribble handoff to Thompson, Porzingis languished in lane and watched him shoot. Getting back out to one of the game’s all-time great shooters would have taken some hustle, to be sure. But, good defenders and good defensive teams stay mentally engaged through the end of possession, don’t stop defending because they’ve made one good defensive play, and engage in multiple efforts.

Even with the defensive breakdowns, it was a good win for the Wizards. They’ve strung together consecutive victories for the first time since January 12, a span of 32 games. And they did it with significant contributions from three youngsters (Kispert, Avdija and Daniel Gafford.

Plus, it was good to see Gill making a case for contract with the Wizards next season.

The Four Factors

Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).

I’ve simplified them a bit. While the factors are usually presented as percentages, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.

Four Factors: Warriors 115 at Wizards 123

EFG 0.472 0.619
OREB 13 5
TOV 10 12
FTM 31 19
PACE 100
ORTG 115 123

Key Stats

Below are a few performance metrics, including the Player Production Average (PPA) Game Score (very similar to the one I used to call Scoreboard Impact Rating). PPA is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, playmaking, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls).

Game Score (GmSC) converts individual production into points on the scoreboard in this game. The scale is the same as points and reflects each player’s total contributions for the game. The lowest possible GmSC is zero.

PPA is a per possession metric designed for larger data sets. In small sample sizes, the numbers can get weird. But some readers prefer it, so I’m including PPA scores as well. Reminder: in PPA, 100 is average, higher is better and replacement level is 45. For a single game, replacement level isn’t much use, and I reiterate the caution about small samples producing weird results.

POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.

PTS = points scored

ORTG = offensive rating, which is points produced per individual possessions x 100. League average this season is 111.4. Points produced is not the same as points scored. It includes the value of assists and offensive rebounds, as well as sharing credit when receiving an assist.

USG = offensive usage rate. Average is 20%.

ORTG and USG are versions of stats created by Wizards assistant coach Dean Oliver and modified slightly by me. ORTG is an efficiency measure that accounts for the value of shooting, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. USG includes shooting from the floor and free throw line, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers.

Key Stats: Wizards

Corey Kispert 41 85 25 180 14.0% 225 31.7 16
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 31 65 22 184 17.1% 283 30.2 -3
Anthony Gill 21 44 9 227 10.1% 331 23.8 9
Deni Avdija 28 59 14 123 19.7% 153 14.9 0
Daniel Gafford 16 34 11 142 19.5% 178 10.0 3
Tomas Satoransky 30 63 9 96 19.4% 54 5.6 10
Rui Hachimura 24 50 6 111 10.7% 48 4.0 -2
Kristaps Porzingis 31 65 23 90 43.6% 27 2.9 9
Ish Smith 18 38 4 62 24.1% -84 0.0 -2

Key Stats: Warriors

Otto Porter Jr. 27 56 14 184 13.8% 227 32.4 7
Klay Thompson 37 77 25 121 22.6% 145 28.6 -7
Kevon Looney 24 50 8 173 13.4% 143 18.5 5
Gary Payton II 21 44 5 142 9.2% 123 13.8 4
Draymond Green 26 53 7 103 20.6% 65 8.9 -20
Andrew Wiggins 35 73 23 110 25.3% 43 8.1 -2
Jordan Poole 40 83 26 90 32.0% 22 4.7 -3
Jonathan Kuminga 14 29 4 90 21.1% -38 0.0 -17
Damion Lee 18 37 3 78 15.4% -53 0.0 -7