Dampier, who can test free agency this summer by opting out of the remaining two years of his contract, might have sustained a season-ending ankle injury in Golden State’s 85-78 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Dampier had 14 rebounds before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter after rolling his left ankle on the foot of Toronto’s Jalen Rose. Dampier stayed on the floor for several minutes before being helped off the court.
“We feel for Damp. He’s had such a great year. Right know it’s premature, but they think he’s done for the year,” Golden State coach Eric Musselman said.
Dampier can opt out of his seven-year, $48 million dollar contract after this season, and some have insinuated that he’s playing for a new contract.
“He’s done a really good job of upping his value for this coming summer,” teammate Clifford Robinson said.
Anthony Johnson raved about Dampier’s season.
“He’s been playing like one of the two or three centers in the game,” Johnson said.
Jason Richardson had 25 points for the Warriors, who have won eight of nine.
Vince Carter had 22 points for the Raptors, who were booed off the court after losing their fifth straight.
Toronto remained 3 1/2 games behind Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston lost to Portland on Wednesday. The Raptors have eight games left.
“We’re not playing like we want to get to the playoffs,” Carter said.
Toronto coach Kevin O’Neill, whose future with the team is uncertain, blamed himself for the losing, but Rose insisted it’s not his fault.
“There is a lot of speculation surrounding our team,” Rose said. “I’m disappointed for our team and our fans, but I’m very disappointed for K.O., because I feel he deserved better, especially today.”
Rose’s two free throws cut Golden State’s lead to six late in the fourth, but the Warriors responded with a 10-4 run.
After Richardson made a layup with 2:30 left, Clifford Robinson’s fadeaway jumper made it 77-67 with 1:29 remaining.
Carter then missed a driving layup, and at the other end of the court, Golden State’s Adonal Foyle grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup, giving the Warriors a 79-67 lead with 1:05 left.
Richardson went 10-for-19 from the field and also grabbed nine rebounds for the Warriors, who entered the day 5 1/2 games behind Utah and Denver for eighthplace in the Western Conference.
Asked why the Raptors activated forward Robert Archibald from the injured list and placed forward Jerome Moiso on the list, O’Neill said: “I’m not sure the thinking behind that. You’d have to ask Glen.” Raptors president and CEO Richard Peddie acknowledged last Sunday that tension exists between general manager Glen Grunwald and O’Neill. … A couple of fans held up a sign that read ‘Fire Grunwald, bring in Doc Rivers - say bye bye O’Neill.’ … Golden State’s Troy Murphy left the game in the fourth after dislocating hisleft pinkie.