Warriors Observations: Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II Power Win Vs. Pistons

What we learned as JP leads shorthanded Warriors past Pistons originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

With four key players out for the Warriors against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, Golden State's young players got a prime opportunity to get some major minutes. 

Not only did they get a lot of court time, but they got the win as well, beating the Pistons 105-102 at Little Caesers Arena, dodging several chances by Detroit in the final seconds. 

When it was announced that Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. would miss the game, all attention turned to Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and Gary Payton II. 

How would they -- and players such as Juan Toscano-Anderson, who have fallen out of the rotation -- respond with the onus to win put on their shoulders. 

Of course, veteran players contributed as well. Andrew Wiggins finished with 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting, five rebounds, two steals and one block. But, it was about which of the role players and young guys would be able to step up and make an impact. 

Here's a look at how several of those players did as the Warriors improved to an NBA-best 14-2 this season:

The Poole File

With no Curry, the Warriors needed Poole to do his best impression of the two-time NBA MVP. And he didn't disappoint. 

Poole finished the game with 32 points, 22 of which came in the first half. He did it on 13-of-22 shooting and registered a plus-18 net rating.

Poole showed every offensive skill in his arsenal, getting going beyond the 3-point line -- he shot 4-for-8 from distance -- and using his speed to his advantage by attacking the rim with ferociousness. 

The most encouraging takeaway from Poole's performance was how well he took on being the No. 1 scoring option and facing tougher defenses than when he shares the court with Curry. 

The GP2 File

Starting his first game in a Warriors uniform, Gary Payton II made his two-way presence felt. 

On offense, he put up 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three.

The three 3-pointers he hit are a season-high from beyond the arc for Payton and was the first time he has hit more than one 3-pointer since the Warriors' third game of the season against the Kings, when he had two.

On defense, Payton was up to his usual ways, getting one block and two steals. And as always, his defense went far beyond what shows up in the stat sheet, being a best for Detroit all night long. 

Payton's mere presence made it difficult for his opponents, and he played a key role in keeping a cap on Detroit's guards Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall draft pick this year. 

Payton finished the night with a plus-18 net rating, a good illustration of his impact 

The Rookie File

Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody were two players who were expected to get a big opportunity in the wake of the Warriors resting four of their rotational players. But instead of having a breakout moment, both lottery picks fell far under the radar. 

Moody failed to get past an eight-minute stint early in the game, finishing with four points on 2-of-3 shooting.

Kuminga's stat line was quiet as well, with six points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field, but going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.  

Kuminga was active as soon as he stepped on the court, continuously attacking the rim, though he did struggled to finish all night long. 

He was not afraid of absorbing contact, so Kuminga ended up at the free-throw line a lot, but the game went on, though, the rookie lost some of that tenacity, not getting to the line once in the second half.

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