What Porter being doubtful for Warriors-Mavs Game 4 means


DALLAS -- The Warriors are one win away from a return to the NBA Finals, but they likely will be without a key piece Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals at American Airlines Center. 

Steve Kerr on Monday told reporters that Otto Porter Jr. currently is being listed as doubtful as the Warriors try to complete the series sweep in Dallas. 

Porter was seen limping, grimacing and holding his left foot early in the second quarter Sunday night in the Warriors' 109-100 Game 3 win. Shortly after the second half began, Porter was ruled out for the rest of the game with left foot soreness. X-rays came back negative.

"He wasn't feeling terrible this morning, but we'll obviously be cautious with him," Kerr said. "If it's a close call, we won't be playing him." 

Considering what the results could have been, Kerr said Porter's diagnosis is "definitely good news." Porter even ran down the hallway following the game to test out his foot after looking to be in real pain when he was forced to leave early. That's huge, too.

Porter previously missed the second half of the Warriors' Game 5 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round with right foot soreness and missed all of Game 6.

Even if Porter can't go for Game 4 of this round, the Warriors will need him going forward in their hopes for another title. 

In the first two games of the conference finals, Porter averaged 10.5 points and 6.5 rebounds and was a combined plus-27. Over 13 games this postseason, including the seven minutes he played Sunday night, Porter is a plus-91. 

Once Porter came out, Kerr turned to a player who has received six DNPs this postseason and whose only extended run has been during the Warriors' 39-point blowout loss to the Grizzlies in Game 5 of the last round. Juan Toscano-Anderson found himself on the biggest stage he has ever been a part of, and though he produced zeroes across the board aside from one turnover in five minutes of play, Kerr was happy with Toscano-Anderson's play, despite being a minus-7 in plus-minus. 

"Juan was good," Kerr said Monday. "He's aggressive defensively, made some really nice plays offensively. He helped free up some shooters, and he plays with such great energy and intensity. 

"It was fun getting him out there. It's been a rough go for Juan. In the postseason he hasn't really had much of a chance. I loved seeing him have that opportunity and come in and do a good job." 

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Kerr isn't always concerned with his guys making highlight-reel plays or stuffing the stat sheet. He wants energy and winning basketball, and believes Toscano-Anderson gave that to Golden State while being thrust into a tough situation. Kerr isn't afraid to throw less-experienced players on the floor if he believes they've earned it. 

Rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody both have found themselves playing key minutes at different times this postseason. Perhaps Toscano-Anderson is the next man up, showcasing yet another case of the Warriors' strength in numbers mantra.

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