Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant ruled out for at least two weeks


Kevin Durant ruled out for at least two weeks

OAKLAND -- The Warriors will return to their relatively normal selves sometime early next month.

That’s at the very soonest, and assuming all goes well over the next three weeks.

Add Kevin Durant to the list of All-Stars who will miss significant time. The forward underwent an MRI test Friday that revealed “an incomplete rib cartilage fracture” that will keep him out of the lineup at least two weeks.

Durant, the team’s leading scorer at 26.6 points per game, joins No. 2 scorer Stephen Curry and No. 3 scorer Klay Thompson on the sideline. Curry will be out at least another week, Thompson closer to two weeks.

The upshot: The Warriors' slim chance of overtaking the Rockets for the No. 1 overall seed are fading toward invisibility.

With the playoffs four weeks away, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will spend the rest of this month juggling lineups and rotations with the limited available options.

The first replacement starter at small forward, Friday night against Sacramento, is Andre Iguodala. Kerr over the next couple weeks likely will try several options. Omri Casspi is another possibility, as well as Draymond Green getting some minutes at small forward. The decisions will be based mostly on matchups.

Durant, however, may be the ultimate NBA mismatch insofar as there is no other 6-foot-11 small forward with his broad skills and versatility.

“They said (I’ll be out) a couple weeks,” he said prior to tipoff against the Kings. “I’m just trying to get healthy. Just trying to make sure I’m out there and able to be me on the court.

“It’s not great, timing-wise, but it’s all about feeling better when I’m out there playing.”

Durant sustained the injury last Sunday in Minnesota, after taking an elbow to the ribs from Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.

“I thought it was just a little contusion,” said Durant, who will not go on the upcoming road trip to Phoenix and San Antonio.

Durant played through the discomfort Wednesday night against the Lakers, leading the Warriors in scoring with 26 points. During that game, he went to close out and “felt something stretch and pull.”

After going through a light practice Thursday, pain intensified, leading to the MRI test and diagnosis.

“I wish we were out there hooping and using these days to get better and sharpening up our skills,” he said. “But that’s what happens when you play a contact sport. Stuff happens.

“It could have been worse for all three of us. But, luckily, it’s not.”

Kevin Durant joins Splash Brothers on Warriors' injury report

Kevin Durant joins Splash Brothers on Warriors' injury report

The list of walking wounded keeps growing for the Warriors.

Kevin Durant was added to the injury report on Thursday with right rib soreness. He's questionable for Friday's game against the Kings.

The lone Warriors All-Star to play on Wednesday against the Lakers, Durant took a shot in the ribs during the game. While the trainers checked on him, he finished the game and was seen getting up shots with the team at Oracle on Thursday.

Durant joins Stephen Curry (tweaked right ankle), Klay Thompson (fractured right thumb), Quinn Cook (right hand contusion), Jordan Bell (right ankle sprain), David West (right arm cyst) and Patrick McCaw (non-displaced fracture, left wrist) on the injury report.

Draymond Green, who missed Wednesday's game with right shoulder soreness, is no longer listed.

Kevin Durant greatly respects the Rockets, 'you hear a lot from their GM'


Kevin Durant greatly respects the Rockets, 'you hear a lot from their GM'

Back in mid-June, Daryl Morey told ESPN's Zach Lowe that the Warriors "are not unbeatable."

In late December, the Rockets GM told ESPN Radio that Houston is obsessed with thinking of ways to try to beat Golden State.

After the Blazers beat the Warriors on Feb. 14, Morey tweeted:

Houston (51-13) leads Golden State (50-14) in the race for the top seed in the West.

“We respect the hell out of them," Kevin Durant recently told Yahoo's Michael Lee. "We respect all those guys and we know -- you hear a lot from their GM -- but James, and CP and Trevor Ariza, those guys knuckle down and play.

"They leave the talking up to the GM and whoever else."

[RELATED: Kerr: It's harder for Warriors to enjoy winning, 'the danger for our guys...']

One person Durant is likely referring to when he says "whoever else," is Clint Capela.

In case you forgot...

After the Rockets beat the Warriors on Jan. 20, the center made his feelings clear:

"We know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them ... we are better than them."

Durant fired back soon thereafter:

"You hear that from guys like Capela -- who's usually catching the ball and laying it up from CP (Chris Paul) or James Harden. His job is not as hard. When your job is that hard, you know you can't come out there and just say sh*t like that. 

"I don't expect that from CP and James and Ariza and the rest of the guys because they know how hard it is to come out there and do that every night. Capela -- catch and dunk every night so it's pretty easy for him."

If you aren't rooting for a Warriors-Rockets Western Conference Finals, then something is wrong with you...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller