The Warriors kind of had to feign a postgame celebration Monday after a comeback from 19 points down led to a 130-120 victory over Minnesota that clinched the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. That's because before the game started, they were dealt a blow that could derail their playoff hopes. Andrew Bogut, the anchor of the league's third-best defense, was ruled out indefinitely after an X-ray revealed a fractured rib on his right side. The center initially was injured in the first half of Thursday's loss to Denver and then took what might have been a season-ending hit when he was sandwiched between two players in the fourth quarter of Sunday's overtime loss at Portland. Bogut said the broken rib is too close to his lung - risking a potential puncture - to consider playing through the pain. A fractured rib usually takes about six weeks to fully heal, according to WebMD.com. "Because of how hard he's worked, how much of a professional he's been and how much he means to this basketball team and our success, it certainly is disappointing," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said. After the Warriors' clinched their first 50-win season since 1993-94 and secured a probable first-round matchup with the Clippers, the players surrounded Jackson and jumped around in a marginal celebration. Los Angeles still can jump Oklahoma City for second place in the West if it beats Denver and Portland, the Thunder lose to Detroit and Memphis finishes eighth. In any case the playoff matchup probably will unfold without Bogut, who played 67 of the Warriors' first 80 games and averaged 7.3 points on 62.7 percent shooting, 10 rebounds and 1.7 assists. His true impact was seen on defense, where he ranks among the league's best at defending the rim and in overall defensive rating. Without Bogut, the Warriors most likely will start 35-year-old Jermaine O'Neal. Jackson said using power forwards David Lee, Draymond Green and Marreese Speights will work for stretches depending on matchups, and Festus Ezeli is getting closer to returning from knee surgery.
Warriors lose Andrew Bogut to broken rib
San Francisco Chronicle | Apr 15