Acting GWS captain Toby Greene kicked a monster 67-metre goal and got reported as the Giants condemned Carlton to a season-high 36-point loss.
In Saturday’s earlier matches, the Brisbane Lions survived a stern test to beat North Melbourne by 23 points and Port Adelaide outclassed Gold Coast in a 50-point triumph.
Five straight goals either side of half-time propelled GWS to a 39-point lead on its way to a 16.6 (102) to 9.12 (66) win at Giants Stadium, which lifted them one spot to ninth on the ladder and within two points of eighth-placed Richmond.
The Blues, who slumped to a third straight loss and are being subjected to a mid-season review by an external panel, looked toothless in the first half when they kicked just three goals.
They showed much more fight and better ball movement after the early stages of the third quarter.
They kicked four straight goals and got to within 12 points in the third and fourth quarters, but fell away badly in the final stages, a depressingly familiar pattern for Carlton fans.
Key forward Harry McKay, who did not touch the ball in the first quarter and just twice to half-time, was prominent in the Blues’ fightback.
He kicked three goals, a few days after the Coleman Medal leader signed a contract extension.
But GWS had more weaponry up forward and kicked five of the last six goals.
Jeremy Finlayson kicked five goals and Greene four.
Greene sent the majority of the small crowd into raptures after the first-quarter siren, when he hit the target with a booming kick from just inside the centre circle.
He was reported for striking Nic Newman in an off-the-ball incident early in the third quarter, appearing to make contact with his opponent’s ribs.
Midfield bulls Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto were very productive and effective for GWS.
Underlining McKay’s lack of early impact, he took a mark inside the Blues forward 50, but fumbled the ball over the boundary line after he played on quickly.
All of Carlton’s first three goals came from free kicks awarded to Matthew Owies and Lachie Fogarty in the first quarter, and McKay in the second.
GWS made 37 more tackles and proven tagger Matt de Boer limited the influence of Carlton’s midfield big guns Sam Walsh and Patrick Cripps, although each won 11 contested possessions.
Eddie Betts tallied just five disposals and was held goalless, while former Giant Zac Williams recorded just 11 disposals.
Adding to the Giants’ pleasure were first AFL goals for both Isaac Cumming and Kieren Briggs, with the former doing it in his 23rd match and the latter in just his second.
Owies kicked two goals, the fifth time this season he has booted two or more in a match.
Lions outlast Kangaroos
Chris Fagan has celebrated his 100th match as Brisbane Lions coach as his side solidified their spot in the top four with a grinding win over North Melbourne in Hobart.
Lincoln McCarthy provided a spark in attack as Jarryd Lyons, Hugh McCluggage, Zac Bailey and Lachie Neale did much of the grunt work around the packs in the Lions’ 9.14 (68) to 6.9 (45) victory.
McCarthy stepped up in big moments, kicking the second of his two goals at the start of the final term to give the Lions valuable breathing space in a low-scoring affair.
They held the Kangaroos to just two goals in the second half as they dominated contested possession, clearances and forward entries after the main break.
Small forward Charlie Cameron had just five kicks but finished with 2.3 in a dangerous cameo for the Lions, whose win gave Fagan an even 50-50 record from his 100 matches at the helm.
The 59-year-old reached the milestone in his first showdown with Kangaroos counterpart David Noble, his former right-hand man.
While Fagan’s team started hot favourites, they were forced do it the hard way in cold and wet conditions.
The Kangaroos’ Nick Larkey was an aerial threat in attack before half-time and kicked two goals in a run of four straight to help give his side the upper hand early in the second term.
But the tall forwards lost their point of difference after the main break as heavy rain fell and turned a scrappy contest into an out-and-out slugfest.
Eric Hipwood provided a rare highlight in time-on of the third quarter when he clung to a big contested mark over Shaun Atley and bombed a goal from 50 metres to give the Lions a lead they never relinquished.
Larkey finished with three majors and Cam Zurhaar two as Ben Cunnington and Jy Simpkin worked hard for a midfield unit that was overpowered in the end.
Kangaroos vice-captain Luke McDonald returned from a long lay-off with a pectoral injury and got through his first full match of the season, finishing with 17 disposals.
Gray injured as Power slam Suns
Robbie Gray’s 250th AFL match lasted less than two quarters in Port Adelaide’s convincing win over Gold Coast in Carrara.
The Suns’ struggles were laid bare in a 12.9 (81) to 4.7 (31) thumping that was a formality thanks to seven straight Port Adelaide goals in the first half.
Ollie Wines (44 disposals) was one short of Peter Burgoyne’s club record for disposals in a match, while Charlie Dixon, Aliir Aliir and Connor Rozee toyed with a Suns side that turned the ball over 78 times.
Gray exited midway through the second quarter of his milestone appearance with a reported strained medial ligament in his left knee.
Suns captain David Swallow (head knock) was also a casualty at quarter-time as Gold Coast failed to respond after last weekend’s limp loss to Fremantle.
It was the Suns’ (4-9) fifth loss from their last six matches since defeating Collingwood at the MCG, leaving them three wins outside the eight and still searching for a maiden finals appearance.
The Power’s bounce-back victory after a loss to Geelong last week leaves them in fifth place on the ladder and three wins clear of ninth.
Rozee led the goal kicking for the Power with three majors for the match.
Dixon (two goals) was formidable up front for the visitors, his dominance helped by key defender Sam Collins’s (ankle) late scratching in what was supposed to be his injury return.
Mitch Georgiades and Steven Motlop each kicked two goals for the Power, while Ben King slotted a brace for the Suns.
The Suns’ Touk Miller battled for his 31 disposals and midfielder Matt Rowell (21 disposals) showed glimpses in his second match back from a long-term knee injury.