Warriors

Kevin Durant ruled out for at least two weeks

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USATSI

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.”

Mark your calendars because 'China Klay' will be making his triumphant return

Mark your calendars because 'China Klay' will be making his triumphant return

Editor's note: The above video is from last September at Warriors Media Day.

JaVale McGee broke some news after practice on Monday.

The Warriors big man is hosting his fifth annual Water For Life charity softball game on June 23 at the Oakland Coliseium.

Who will be in attendance?

[RELATED: Klay makes it crystal clear -- the Warriors do not want to fly back to San Antonio]

"Most of the players -- the only person who's definitely not coming is Klay just because he has things to do in China."

Wait. Hold up. Hang on.

That means that...

China Klay will be back!

It all began last summer with this...

... and the rest is history.

Klay's trip to China is through his shoe deal with Anta.

Last June, the four-time All-Star's representatives negotiated a new contract with Anta that could be worth as much as $80 million through 2016, according to ESPN's Nick DePaula.

In case you forgot how legendary Klay's trip to China was last June, watch this:

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

Klay makes it crystal clear -- the Warriors do not want to fly back to San Antonio

Klay makes it crystal clear -- the Warriors do not want to fly back to San Antonio

The Warriors missed out on the opportunity to sweep the Spurs.

They were sloppy with the ball in Game 4 and not focused from the opening tip.

So what needs to change in Game 5?

[PODCAST: Player-by-player breakdown of Game 4 loss to Spurs]

"Do everything we did, but opposite," Klay Thompson told reporters on Monday. "So win the game and move the ball better."

See -- it's that simple!

After scoring 27, 31 and 19 points in Games 1 through 3 respectively, Klay struggled on Sunday to the tune of 12 points on 4-for-16 from the field.

He's confident that he will bounce back.

"I don't know if I'm gonna get 60, but if I get half that I'll be happy," Klay said.

If the Warriors lose on Tuesday night, Game 6 would be in Texas on Thursday.

Klay doesn't even want to think about that scenario.

"Beautiful opportunity for us to close it out at home and that's the goal because we do not want to make that flight back to San Antonio," Klay declared. "It's no fun...

"We're a championship team and we'll repond like one."

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