OAKLAND -- The Warriors reach the regular season halfway point Friday night in Oklahoma City in pretty good shape. In the case of Andrew Bogut, one would have to say more than pretty good shape.

Bogut has started 39 of the Warriors' 40 games, and the only game he missed was the result of a suspension, not an injury. Considering his dicey health history, that might be a more remarkable development than the team's 25-15 record to this point or the 10-game winning streak that helped get them there.

Bogut, iron man? So far, so remarkable. The 7-foot center's durability has been a pleasant surprise for Golden State, and it's been particularly critical with second-year backup Festus Ezeli still out after offseason knee surgery and veteran Jermaine O'Neal sidelined with a wrist problem that required surgery.

"It was a goal to get to this point with no injuries, first and foremost, and also have a winning record," Bogut said. "We've accomplished that."

Bogut already has played more regular-season games in 2013-14 than all of last season, when he appeared in just 32 games. He played in just 12 games the year before with the Milwaukee Bucks. Statistically, he already has surpassed his rebound total for those two seasons combined, and he's shooting a career-high 62.6 percent from the field while averaging 8.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

Coach Mark Jackson also has carefully managed Bogut's minutes -- he's averaging a modest 27.0 per game -- which has also helped keep him upright and productive.


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After a serious right elbow dislocation in April 2010 and a fractured left ankle in January 2012, there were doubts Bogut, 29, could ever get back to this level of consistent play, particularly with back issues also cropping up in recent seasons.

But since coming to the Warriors, Bogut has religiously followed a rehab and conditioning program that continues even now, even though he is generally healthy beyond the usual bumps and bruises.

"I stay on top of it myself," he said. "I think it's the responsibility of a professional athlete to make sure you come in and do what you're supposed to do. A lot of media and fans only see you when you step out onto the court under the lights. But I'm here long before the lights come on. I'm in the training doing my ankle rehab just like I did last season. I make sure I get ice, massage, chiropractic work."

Bogut's spends extended time with his left foot in an ice bucket after every game but said it's just a matter of maintenance. He doesn't want to get careless. He said he feels better now than at any point since suffering the injury just short of two years ago.

"I had a bad 18 months, much like guys who've had major knee surgeries," he said. "It just took so long to get it right, but it feels great now."

As for the elbow, Bogut may never regain full range of motion, but he continues to work at it. Even though he is shooting just 38.3 percent from the free throw line (18 for 47), he works relentlessly at it after practice. He also has started to show more confidence taking shots away from the basket.

"It's a work in progress," he said. "My elbow is what it is. I lost a lot of touch with the injury, and a lot of it is mental now. Teams are going to hack me at times when we're in the bonus, so I have to knock them down. It's been frustrating at times, but I'm working on it."

Even though they lost swingman Andre Iguodala for 12 games because of a hamstring strain, the Warriors as a whole have been reasonably fortunate injury-wise. Four players have played in every game -- David Lee, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Marreese Speights. Stephen Curry has avoided a major ankle injury and has played in 37 of the 40 contests. Harrison Barnes missed the first four games with a foot injury but has played in every game since.

As the Warriors move forward into the second half, Jackson said that kind of good fortune will be critical to continued success in a competitive race. Several teams have been without significant players for long periods, and that includes the next opponent, the Thunder, who will be without point guard Russell Westbrook until mid-February after knee surgery.

"The most important thing when you look around, not just the Western Conference but this league, is health," Jackson said. "Some of these teams are going through injuries with star players or key players. That affects the race. We've been there, and you have to be able to withstand injuries. We've done that so far."

  • New Warriors acquisitions Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks are expected to join the club in Oklahoma City and be in uniform for the game.

    Follow Carl Steward on Twitter at twitter.com/stewardsfolly.

    Friday's game
    Warriors (25-15) at Oklahoma City
    (29-10), 6:30 p.m. ESPN, CSNBA