Dribbles: LeBron, depth and enough effort do trick for Cavs

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Random dribbles on the Cavaliers' 121-114 yawner of a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

1. The Cavs cared for about five minutes, and when you're playing the Nets, that's good enough. Then again, the Nets have given the Cavs a real adventure in every meeting this season. Figure that out, then get back to me.

2. Entering Sunday, the Cavs' first-round draft pick (via the Nets) was sixth overall. But with the win, the pick is now just a game back of third overall. So the Cavs really helped their cause when it comes to the offseason.

3. I know there still has to be a lottery to determine the draft order... but imagine the Cavs getting a top-three pick. In this draft, that is expected to mean something.

4. As for the game, it was a whole lot of LeBron James (37 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a dagger of a 3-pointer) and plenty of Kevin Love (20 points and a game-high 15 boards).

5. You also have to like what the Cavs received from Jordan Clarkson (18 points), George Hill (17) and Rodney Hood (16). That's three of the four players obtained at the trade deadline, and that's what the Cavs were looking for when they made the deals. All played nice complementary roles next to the two main stars (James and Love).

6. Clarkson, by the way, has scored in double figures in 15 of his 19 games with the Cavs. Both Clarkson and Hood could be major difference-makers in the playoffs. I'm not sure either player is totally comfortable yet. Imagine how good they can be once they get there.

7. Cavs acting coach Larry Drew improved to 5-0. It is not yet known when Tyronn Lue will return. There's supposedly an outside chance it could happen Tuesday at Miami. There is still no definite answer on why Lue had to leave the bench or updates on his health.

8. Drew on the win: "This Brooklyn team has been a very tough opponent for us all year long. Bron was once again just spectacular. ... We kept grinding. I'm proud of the fact that we didn't fold. The focus is just to play these last eight or nine games and develop some rhythm."

9. As I wrote Saturday, Tristan Thompson looks incredibly out of shape -- but he did a nice job overall and was much better than Larry Nance Jr. on this day. Thompson fought for offensive rebounds and stayed active. He finished with 10 boards in all, collecting them in just 15 minutes. He made a few big defensive mistakes, but again, that could be a case of just needing to get his wind back.

10. Meanwhile, Nance Jr. compiled zeros all across the board in the first half. He was way out of sorts. Everyone deserves a clunker or two, and this was definitely one of them for Nance. Just get them out of the way before the playoffs.

11. The Cavs (44-29) are 4-0 since Love returned and have scored at least 120 points in each of them. "If we lock in, we’re a very tough team to beat," he said.

12. That's exactly it with these LeBron-led Cavs. They don't always lock in. Against teams like the Nets, they don't always need to -- and they know it.

13. Old friend Joe Harris scored a career-high 30 for the Nets (23-51). Harris would look real nice coming off the Cavs' bench, though I'm not sure where he'd fit in, especially when Kyle Korver and Cedi Osman return. Either way, Harris sure worked over J.R. Smith (four points) when they were matched up.

14. Smith played 19 minutes and Thompson played 15. Both came off the bench. That is how both players should be utilized. I can't help but wonder if it's Drew's idea, or Lue's. I guess we'll find out when Lue cames back.

15. LeBron spent the first five minutes of the fourth quarter on the bench, but the Cavs were actually a plus-one during that stretch. Then, when LeBron came back in, the Cavs went on an 14-4 run and it was basically over. That is the type of production the Cavs are looking for when LeBron sits. If it continues to happen, this team is again going places.

16. For more notes and quotes on the game, be sure to check out Colton Jones' 5 Quick Takes right here.