Pre-gamesmanship: B. While Brooks played it straight in pregame, Nugget coach George Karl was his usual comedic self. When asked if Danilo Gallinari could become a star, Karl noticed that Gallinari was walking past the media group. “Hey, Gollo, can you be a star in this series like Melo (Carmelo Anthony)?” Karl asked. Responded the Italian Gallinari, “I don't speak English.” When Perkins walked past, Karl said, “There goes the guy who causes me so many problems. Hey, Perk, I love ya.” Perkins just smiled. Or was it a sneer?
Ball security: B. The Thunder committed just four second-half turnovers (11 total), which Brooks termed “critical.” But the latter could have been a killer; Russell Westbrook threw a pass straight to the Nuggets' Nene with 1:41 left and Denver leading 101-100.