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Machine Gun Funk: Steph Curry, John Wall, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Go Hardcore

You can't really define funky, you just know it when you see it.

You can’t really define funky, you just know it when you see it. I’m not talking about the musty odoriferousness of a Flatbush Avenue dollar van, but that unquantifiable quality of cool, magnetic, hypnotizing brilliance that only a true artist can conjure.

The funk drips from a Pete Rock beat, a Rick James cut or a James Brown drum riff, as it does on a Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins rim-wrecker, a Rod Strickland lay-in off the glass with some cue ball English or a Kenny Anderson boom-bap that leaves defenders weak in the knees.

You simply know it when you see it, and Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, John Wall and Russell Westbrook offered up some serious Machine Gun Funk with their performances last night.

In case you missed it, Curry got busier than a horny rabbit in Washington, DC, cashing in 11 three-pointers en route to a majestic 51-point performance to help deliver Golden State’s eighth straight victory.


He tied the Verzon Center record for most points scored in a single game, an honor he now shares with MJ and Gilbert Arenas. In the midst of his own remarkable individual season, the Warriors are now 45-4, matching the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76’ers for the best 49-game start in NBA history.


The Chef cooked up some mouth-watery vittles with the most outstanding first half of his career while connecting on 13 of his 14 shot attempts en route to accumulating 36 points by halftime. 

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John Wall took advantage of the national spotlight that was shining brightly on the matchup between two of the league’s most dynamic floor generals, as he scored 41 points and dished out 10 assists, along with his two steals. 

The Warriors play the Thunder on Saturday in a game that’s a certifiable can’t-miss for anyone who has simply a passing interest in the game of basketball. And that’s because Curry will be matched up against the alien life form of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.


In last night’s thrilling 117-114 win over the Orlando Magic, Kevin Durant hit the game-winning shot, a three-pointer with less than a second remaining on the clock, capping of a 37-point night for the Easy Money Sniper. The Thunder have won won five straight games and 12 of its last 13.

As phenomenal as KD’s performance was, his co-conspirator, the aforementioned Westbrook, dropped his fifth triple-double in the last 11 games, and his third in a row, with his bizarro stat line of 24 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists. The last player to have at least 24 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists in a game was the incomparable Larry Bird, who had a 28-19-15 jammy back in 1982. 


This stretch is also the third time this year that he’s had back-to-back triple-doubles, something no one has done since Magic Johnson in 1990-91. Now put that in your pipe and smoke on it for a little bit. 

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Russ now has 27 career triple-doubles. The only active player with more is LeBron James, who has 39.

Over his last 15 games, Russ is practically averaging a triple-double with 21.0 points on 46.1 percent shooting, 11.4 assists and 9.7 rebounds. 

His 19 boards, a career high, were the most by an NBA point guard since Jason Kidd did it in 2007.

When asked after the game to shed some light on his rebounding techniques, he said, “I go get the ball, man. I don’t have a method. I just try to work harder than the next guy and go out and compete at a high level every night. That’s it.” 



Ali

Alejandro “Ali” Danois is the Editor-in-Chief of The Shadow League. His features “Humble Beginnings”, and “Rocky Flop” were mentioned in the Best American Sports Writing Anthology as among the country’s most notable stories of 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Ali is the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Boys of Dunbar, A Story of Love, Hope and Basketball, and he served as a Producer on the ESPN Films 30-for-30 documentary “Baltimore Boys”.

Follow him on twitter @alidanois