The Warriors' game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Wednesday night was one of those games they had to win.
They were coming off a horrendous loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and facing a team on a 17-game losing streak. If the Warriors had lost, it would have been full panic mode.
But they didn't, as Golden State walked away with a 108-94 victory over the Rockets (11-28). The Warriors (21-20) can take a small exhale for getting back on the winning track, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get where beating the team with the second-worst record in the Western Conference isn't a big deal.
Either way, a win is a win, and there were several things to takeaway from it.
Surviving without Steph
Steph Curry scored 18 points before exiting the game at the end of the third quarter after tripping on the short metal stairs next to the Warriors' bench and suffering a tailbone contusion.
Curry was attempting a fadeaway 3-pointer to beat the buzzer, back pedaled out of bounds and fell backwards onto the edge of a step. He walked gingerly to the locker room.
And at that point, the Warriors had a comfortable 18-point lead, and the Warriors didn't let up. Golden State's supporting cast continued to build on their lead, putting the game far out of reach from the Rockets.
Other Warriors were playing well even before Curry went down, with five players finishing in double-digit scoring.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 19 points and Andrew Wiggins added 17 apiece, while Jordan Poole had 23 points and Draymond Green finished with a 16-point, 12-rebound 10-assists triple-double.
This was a nice change from the Lakers game a few nights before when no one but Curry could score the ball for the Warriors.
The Warriors don't always need to see five players score double digits, but they do need a more even distribution of scoring throughout the roster.
Jordan Poole confidence continues
In his fourth game with the Warriors, the biggest difference in Poole's game since his stint in the G League remains clear: his confidence.
He's playing with conviction, which is leading him to shoot better, attacking the rim, and, most importantly, playing like he belongs.
Poole gave the Warriors' second unit a much-needed boost in the second quarter when he scored 15 points. He's now scored in double digits in a single quarter in four of the five last games, and since his return, he has 81 total bench points on 29-of-53 shooting, including 14-of-31 threes.
Against the Rockets, he finished with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including a career-best six made threes.
There aren't many games where both Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins were hot. Wednesday's game was one of the few.
In Houston, the duo combined for 38 points.
Both players have shown what they can add to this team when they are on, and it always seems to come when the other is having an off night. So to see that change is a sweet sight for Golden State.
And it's what the Warriors need from their wings -- especially on a night when Steph Curry is off his game, as he was against the Rockets.
If Oubre and Wiggins can get going at the same time more often, the Warriors will have far better chances of being a competitive and winning team.