Steph, Draymond laud Porter after clutch play late vs. Suns


Steph Curry finally overcame his struggles on Christmas Day, but Otto Porter Jr. was the player who came up the most clutch for the Warriors down the stretch of their thrilling win over the Phoenix Suns.

The veteran wing scored 10 of the Warriors' final 12 points in the 116-107 win over the Suns at Footprint Center. After the victory, both Steph Curry and Draymond Green went out of their way to praise Porter for his efforts with the Warriors so shorthanded on the wing.

"People have cast him out the last couple years and he's come in here and really made an impact and he took over down the stretch in that fourth quarter," Steph said during his postgame interview with ABC.

"Otto Porter, huge shots, but not only that, Otto all year, has been incredible on the glass and for someone that they said was a lousy defender, he's been one of the better defenders on our team and you can't say enough about how that guy is stepping up to the challenge and answering the bell night after night after night," Draymond said postgame on ESPN radio.

With the Warriors missing Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Damion Lee and Moses Moody due to COVID-19, Porter started and played over 29 minutes on Christmas Day. The 28-year-old finished with 19 points and six rebounds on 8-for-13 shooting.

After checking in for rookie Jonathan Kuminga with 5:04 remaining in the fourth quarter, Porter immediately provided a spark with a 3-pointer on his first possession back on the floor.


The Suns rallied and cut the lead to two points before the Warriors took a timeout with 2:47 to play. After that, it was all Porter for the Warriors' offense.

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Porter hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers and forced a timeout from Suns coach Monty Williams at the 1:40 mark. Porter then hit the dagger 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining, which was the final basket of the day for either team.

Over his last three games since not playing in the Warriors' loss to the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 18, Porter is averaging 13.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks on 43.8 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Porter came to the Warriors on a minimum contract after stints with the Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic. A former No. 3 overall draft pick, Porter never made the impact that was expected of him in Washington and Chicago, and also dealt with several injuries early in his career.

After finishing last season with Orlando, Porter Jr. left money on the table to join a Warriors team he saw as a potential title contender. So far in 2021-22, the 6-foot-8 wing has been an integral part of making Golden State the best team in the NBA.

Clearly, he's got the full support of the Warriors' top players and leaders.

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