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Warriors' Gary Payton II out for at least 3 weeks with elbow injury


Warriors guard Gary Payton II will miss at least three weeks with a fractured left elbow, sources told The Athletic on Wednesday. An MRI showed Payton also has slight ligament damage, according to sources.


Payton injured his elbow in the first quarter of Tuesday's Game 2 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals. The injury came as a result of Memphis' Dillon Brooks winding up and making contact with Payton's head on a transition layup attempt, causing a hard fall. Brooks was issued a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected from the game.


Despite the injury, Payton has not ruled out a return in the NBA Finals if the Warriors advance that far, according to sources. Golden State has split its second-round series with the Grizzlies 1-1.


Jordan Poole is expected to replace him in the starting lineup. That leaves the Warriors leaning deeper into an all-offense approach. They will be more difficult to guard for longer stretches of the game, but don't have their perimeter defensive ace to guard Ja Morant and (for other brief stretches) Tyus Jones.

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