But each time Boston made a charge, the Thunder answered with back-breaking 3-balls. Durant started the flurry by hitting a cold-blooded step-back 3 after Paul Pierce had just drained one at the other end to pull the Celtics within 78-76. After reserve forward Mickael Pietrus canned another trey to cut the Thunder's lead to three, Sefolosha responded with the same off a feed from Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook then hit two 3s of his own, both of which bumped the Thunder's lead to seven after consecutive baskets by the Celtics and set up Sefolosha's gutsiest shot of the season.
“We were able to stay tough,” said Sefolosha, whose 19 points were three shy of his career high.
The Thunder gutted out a win in what was at best an ugly contest. Offensively, the Thunder was not crisp for much of the night, characterized by its paltry 13 assists against 13 turnovers. Super sub James Harden also struggled with his shot, going 2-for-8 and finishing with a season-low five points.
Sefolosha picked up the slack when the Thunder needed it most, helping Durant and Westbrook with the heavy lifting after they combined to score 54 points on 18-for-38 shooting.
“At times, it didn't look good,” said Brooks. “But we still battled and played with a competitive spirit and gave ourselves a chance to win.”