The angst on Otto Porter's face couldn't be hidden in the third quarter as he struggled to get up the court to defend Kawhi Leonard in the Wizards' 114-95 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. His left thigh was too badly bruised to do anything tangible and had to be pulled.
"With Otto going out, another body down we just kept fighting," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said after he pulled Porter with 6:17 left in the third. "We just didn't have enough tonight."
When Leonard stole a pass from Wall and ran down the court for an uncontested layup, Porter appeared hesitant to step in front of him in fear of a collision. Porter winced as he switched onto David West and then watched Leonard drain a jumper over his contest. It was uncharacteristic of a player who is known for his hustle.
Porter made a pass and cut down the baseline on an offensive set to get the ball from Marcin Gortat, and his left leg appeared to buckle underneath him. He was gimpy the next time down the floor trying to defend Leonard, who made yet another jumper. His legs were unsteady.
"Having O.P. with his injuries right now, you saw him try to grind out right there," Jared Dudley said of Porter. "It's tough for him to move laterally to have to guard and to have to make plays."
Porter left with the score 71-60 and never returned. It was the second game in a row that he scored only two points. He'd scored a career-high 28 points over the weekend vs. the Dallas Mavericks.
The Wizards already have a litany of injuries: Nene (calf), Drew Gooden (calf), Alan Anderson (ankle) and Bradley Beal (leg).
John Wall revealed last week that when he was struggling in November, it was because of a right ankle sprain. He had to be carried off the court on Dec. 6 with a knee bruise but didn't miss any games.
The Wizards (10-14) probably will be off Thursday and return to practice Friday. Then it'll be clearer if Porter has any chance of playing in Saturday's home game vs. the Charlotte Hornets.
MORE: Wizards beset by injury in 114-95 loss to Spurs: Five takeaways
The Wizards head to the West Coast to open a road swing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Wizards (0-2) are looking for their first win when the head into Portland to face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers (2-0).
After this game, the Wizards have a tough stretch ahead of them before playing in D.C. again, playing at: Golden State, Sacramento, LA (Lakers) and Memphis.
WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Wizards vs. Miami Heat, 2018 NBA regular season Game 3
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
When: 10:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Trail Blazers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Trail Blazers on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM
WIZARDS vs. TRAIL BLAZERS TV SCHEDULE
8:30 PM: D.C. Sports Live (LIVE)
9:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
9:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
10:00 PM: Wizards @ Portland Trail Blazers (LIVE)
WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS INJURY REPORT:
Wizards: Dwight Howard remains day-to-day with a back injury.
Trail Blazers: None
WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bradley Beal, Wizards: After becoming the Wizards franchise leader in 3 points on Saturday, it is likely Beal will have a lot to prove to help the team get its first win.
Otto Porter, Jr., Wizards: Porter has had a slow start, so will he take more shots in Portland?
Damian Lillard, Portland: The Blazers' star is leading the way this season averaging 28.5 ppg and 6.5 assists per game.
WIZARDS vs. BLAZERS SERIES HISTORY
Number of all-time Meetings: 111 games
Regular Season Record: Blazers lead 57-54
Last Meeting: Wizards won 106-92 in December 2017
Due to an ongoing buttocks injury, Dwight Howard is listed as "out" for the Wizards' Monday night game in Portland against the Trail Blazers. Howard did not travel out west with the team for the five-game trip, according to NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller.
The news comes just four days after Wizards head coach Scott Brooks told the media that Howard would "definitely" make the trip.
The veteran power forward was signed to the Wizards on a two-year free-agent deal in July worth $11 million, but has missed the Wizards' first two games of the regular season and all five of the team's preseason games.
In Howard's absence, Brooks has turned to Ian Mahinmi, but his foul trouble has proved worrisome for the Wizards' lineup so far.
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