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Player grades: Warriors vs. Rockets

Assessing every Golden State player’s performance in the team’s 122-108 victory over Houston.

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors kept it rolling on Monday night, beating the Houston Rockets 122-108 to win their sixth consecutive game. With some key players out (Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., and Nemanja Bjelica), the Dubs struggled to shake free of a pesky Houston team ... until Steph Curry decided to take matters into his own hands.

What followed was pure entertainment but, most importantly, another notch in the win column.

Now let’s grade the players, weighting for our expectations of them.

Andrew Wiggins

34 minutes, 23 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 8-for-14 shooting, 3-for-6 threes, 4-for-4 free throws, +17

Wiggins has been on an absolute tear lately, showing off the entire toolkit while doing exactly what the Warriors have been asking him to do.

He did it all in this game. He took on the role of secondary scorer, and did so efficiently, capitalizing on Curry’s gravity, attacking the rim, and creating openings. He worked well as a playmaker, setting up his teammates while also taking care of the ball. And he locked in defensively, which was extra important in a game where the Dubs were lacking size, and playing Wiggins up a position.

I’ve noticed that lately Wiggins is getting to work more quickly on offense. Instead of holding the ball and letting the defense reset, he makes a read and a decision quickly and attacks, often leading to a high-quality shot for him or a teammate.

It’s been a delight watching him these last few games.

Grade: A

Kevon Looney

26 minutes, 7 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 2 fouls, 3-for-6 shooting, 1-for-1 free throws, +10

Looney’s counterpart, Christian Wood, put up some nice numbers, but I thought Looney still played him really well, outrebounding him despite playing eight fewer minutes, and forcing Wood into six turnovers.

He’s been a rebounding monster lately, and seems to really have a sense of the moment, as it feels like each game Looney grabs a few offensive rebounds that help seal a victory.

Grade: A-

Post-game bonus: Led the team in rebounds.

Steph Curry

38 minutes, 40 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 13-for-23 shooting, 7-for-14 threes, 7-for-8 free throws, +18

Curry had to play 38 minutes against a 14-win team on the front end of a back-to-back. Other than that, you won’t find anything about his game that wasn’t essentially perfect.

It was the epitome of a superstar showing for Steph, but his read of the room was what impressed me the most. He was focused on playmaking early, getting his teammates going to set the tone. When the Dubs blew their lead, Curry started scoring a little bit, making sure that the ship was being steered in the right direction.

And then when the final quarter came around, and the game was still in doubt, Curry flexed his muscles and took total control of the game, scoring a career-high 21 fourth quarter points, while showing off the full offensive arsenal.

There’s no one like him.

Grade: A+

Post-game bonus: Led the team in points, assists, and plus/minus.

Klay Thompson

26 minutes, 14 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, 6-for-15 shooting, 1-for-8 threes, 1-for-1 free throws, +7

Klay’s jumper wasn’t there tonight, but it’s pretty apparent that teams are already back to defending him like the Hall of Famer that he is, as his gravity is creating a lot of opportunities for the offense. He also continues to look more comfortable attacking the rim than ever before.

Grade: B-

Moses Moody

25 minutes, 11 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 fouls, 4-for-7 shooting, 3-for-5 threes, -3

Moody got a surprising start in Porter’s absence, and perhaps even more surprising was that Steve Kerr actually played the No. 14 pick starter minutes.

My favorite part of the game, other than the obvious (the Curry flurry), was Moody knocking in a trio of triples. His three-ball was what figured to be his most NBA-ready trait as a rookie, yet he had struggled mightily with it, shooting just 5-for-34 from distance entering the game.

Perhaps he shot himself out of his slump while putting up gaudy numbers in the G League, or maybe he just benefitted from some steady run instead of the rare, sporadic minutes that he’s had most of the season.

Either way, it was great to see.

He didn’t stand out other than the jumper, but with a rookie that’s usually an impressive sign.

Grade: A-

Jonathan Kuminga

11 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3 fouls, 1-for-3 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 1-for-2 free throws, +6

Kuminga has certainly looked like the better and more ready of the two Warriors rookies this season, but that wasn’t the case in this game, as he really just didn’t provide much.

The No. 7 pick is one of the best athletes in the NBA, but it’s also clear that he at times overly relies on that athleticism — as such, he sometimes seems to struggle against other athletic teams, where he can’t just force his athleticism down their throat. That was the case against Houston, a wildly athletic squad, and it really showed up on the defensive end with Kuminga racking up three fouls in just 11 minutes of action.

Grade: C

Juan Toscano-Anderson

21 minutes, 10 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers, 5 fouls, 4-for-5 shooting, 0-for-1 threes, 2-for-3 free throws, +4

Kind of a weird game for JTA. With Green, Bjelica, and Porter out, it was a given that Toscano-Anderson would see a big chunk of minutes. He was asked to do a lot defensively and for the most part he did a really good job, though he almost fouled out in the process. He didn’t make much of an impact on the glass, but used aggressive offense to make Houston pay for sending all their attention at the shooters.

It was a reminder of the luxury that is having JTA at the back of the bench, but also a reminder as to why he’s not playing 21 minutes most nights.

Grade: B

Damion Lee

9 minutes, 0 points, 4 rebounds, 1 turnover, 2 fouls, -11

Lee did a good job attacking the glass, but otherwise really didn’t do much. It’s been a rough string of games for him lately.

Grade: C-

Post-game bonus: Worst plus/minus on the team.

Gary Payton II

24 minutes, 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 fouls, 2-for-3 shooting, 1-for-2 threes, 3-for-4 free throws, +9

This was just the stereotypical GP2 game. Obscene defense. Quietly impactful and efficient offense. Energy. Vibes. Attitude.

He’s just such a good player.

Grade: B+

Jordan Poole

26 minutes, 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 turnovers, 2 fouls, 2-for-4 shooting, 2-for-3 threes, +13

This feels funny to say given the turnover tally, but it many ways I thought this performance showed a lot of restraint from JP. Sure, it would be great to see him pop off the bench for 20 points every night like a prime Lou Williams, but he’s not there yet, and that’s not what this team always needs. To see him play 26 minutes and be comfortable only hoisting four shots said something impressive about Poole.

That said, he didn’t really have it this game, and there’s not much else to compliment.

Grade: C

Chris Chiozza

1 minute, 0 points, 1 assist, 0 plus/minus

The Warriors had one minute of garbage time, and Chiozza was there for it.

Grade: Incomplete

Monday’s inactives: Nemanja Bjelica, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Otto Porter Jr., Quinndary Weatherspoon, James Wiseman

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