BOSTON — Thabo Sefolosha caught the ball on the left wing with nine seconds showing on the shot clock. His Oklahoma City Thunder teammates, needing to nurse a tenuous seven-point lead in the final minute, had just spent the previous 15 seconds scrambling to milk every millisecond possible.
But when Sefolosha hauled in a bullet pass from Kevin Durant on a drive and kick, he immediately let it fly. It probably wasn't the greatest decision. It didn't matter.
Sefolosha's surprising 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to play put the Thunder ahead by 10 and sealed Oklahoma City's 97-88 victory over Boston on Monday night inside TD Garden.
“I caught it, and I had an open look,” Sefolosha explained. “I had confidence in that shot. I felt like if I let it go it would go in and it did. I didn't even think about it, really.”
When you're hot, you're hot.
And Oklahoma City, these days, is scorching.
The win was the Thunder's seventh straight, bumping OKC's league-best record to 12-2. And nothing illustrated how good things happen to a team that's rolling quite like Sefolosha's hoist.
Need we remind anyone that Sefolosha is a career 31.4 percent shooter who just came off a career-worst 27.5 percent accuracy rate from beyond the arc?
But when the game was in the balance, Sefolosha squeezed the trigger with sureness in himself.
“Thabo's just a winner,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “The guy just makes winning basketball plays for us all the time. We don't ask for a lot of scoring out of him, but he made big shots…He made shots all game long.”
When Sefolosha's dagger dropped through the net, it capped a barrage of long-range bombs by the Thunder that extended the Celtics' current misery of a five-game skid. Oklahoma City hit five 3-pointers in the final five minutes. The Thunder walked into the final frame having missed nine of 11 3-point tries. Three more clanged off the rim early in the fourth.