Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-112 Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

1. If the Cavaliers go on to win their second NBA championship, the past six days may define their season and the moves general manager Koby Altman made on Thursday will have been the turning point.

2. The Cavs shed six players in three trades involving four teams. Gone were those who couldn’t be trusted, who didn’t fit in, or dreamt of a homecoming. Perhaps Altman’s only twinge of remorse came with the departure of center/forward Channing Frye, a popular locker room leader considered a joy to play with by his teammates.

3. As the clock ticked down, the Cavs reshaped their roster, acquiring a veteran point guard and three 25-year-olds, two who can drive, pass or shoot, one a relentless rebounder and inside presence who may be coming into his own on offense.

4. Then in just their second game as Cavaliers, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue left ex-Lakers Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. on the court down the stretch in a tight game against the Thunder, and they delivered.

5. Revere High School product Nance scored nine points in the fourth quarter, seven in the final 4:08. He scored on a cutting layup off after a J.R. Smith steal and assist with 2:02 left that put the Cavs up by nine. He made two free throws with 34 seconds remaining to boost the Cavs’ lead to eight. Then after a Smith rebound and touchdown pass to Nance running downcourt, Nance’s dunk with 11.6 seconds left cemented the victory.

6. “It was a great pass. I don’t know if he saw me or what, just trying to waste time,” Nance said. “He hit me in stride and it was easy from that point.”

7. Nance finished with 13 points, going 5 of 10 from the field, with nine rebounds (eight offensive), two assists, a steal and three blocked shots in 25 minutes. His plus/minus was plus 14, tied with Jeff Green for second-best on the night.

8. Clarkson hit a huge 3-pointer after a Nance rebound tap-out that gave the Cavs a 111-100 lead with 3:22 to go.

9. Asked if he figured a teammate was going to get the tap, Nance said, “Wen the shot goes up, the defensive team sucks in to get a rebound, so I assume if I bat it out one of my guys is gotta be out there.”

10. Clarkson finished with 14 points, seven in the fourth quarter. He hit 6 of 10 field goals, 1 of 3 from long range, along with three rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. His plus/minus was a game-high plus 16.

11. “All it is is just playing hard and making the right plays,” Nance said of the mindset for himself and Clarkson. “If you do those things, you can go play with any team in the league and fit right in. I know for myself that’s what I wanted to focus on. Just come in and make sure I’m just out there making winning plays. Whether it shows up in the stat book, I don’t care. Just deflections, offensive rebounds, charges, blocks, whatever it may be. Whatever the team needs, that’s what I’m doing.”

12. Clarkson doesn’t seem to care that he’s exceeding expectations.

13. “For me, I didn’t really have none,” he said. “I know they’re here to win games. I’m trying to figure out what my part is, play my part, help them win, impact the game when I’m on the floor.”

14. Lue admitted he was surprised at what Clarkson and Nance have been able to do in just two games as Cavs.

15. “Everybody I talked to in the Lakers organization, (Brian) Shaw, Luke Walton, Ryan West, Jerry West, they all just said, ‘Those are two great kids and they’re fearless and they play hard and they play well.’ Clarkson taking that big 3 at the end of the game, making that big shot. In Boston the same way, making two big 3s to open up the game. Just for those young guys to come in, an atmosphere like this and play well, it’s amazing. Used those guys down the stretch and they produced. Just seeing that, it’s going to go a lot this year.”

16. The pair were in the crunch time rotation with LeBron James, Smith and Green.

17. To start the fourth quarter, Thunder coach Billy Donovan went with starters Steven Adams and Paul George, while Lue stuck with his second unit of Clarkson, Nance, Jeff Green, Kyle Korver and Rodney Hood.

18. “It was important. They did the same thing in the first half,” Lue said. “I thought Larry was very good with Adams, he was active. He had eight offensive rebounds himself. I know Adams had 12, which kinda kept them in the game having 18 offensive rebounds (as a team). I thought Larry did some great things, just rolling to the basket, making the right pass, offensive rebounds, great defensively, was able to switch a lot with him. We’ve got to keep working, it’s going to be a process, but I like what I see so far.”

19. Nance called Thunder center Adams, 7-foot and 255 pounds, the “strongest player in the league and it’s not close.”

20. “With a guy like that, you just gotta be active,” Nance said. “It’s almost like if a heavyweight gets their hands on you, it’s a problem. But if you keep dancing around them and staying on the outside, you can do some damage. That’s all I was trying to do, just dance around and be more active with him.”

21. The four new Cavs combined for 48 points, with Hood also scoring 14 and George Hill seven (with four assists). In their debut in Sunday’s rout of the East-leading Celtics, they totaled 49.

22. Lue said he wasn’t worried that their performance Sunday was a fluke, the rest of emotion and not talent.

23. “I didn’t think so. I thought that we’ve got guys that can shoot, dribble and pass and they can make plays,” Lue said. “It’s changed our team, and we’re a lot faster. Now I think we’ve got a chance to switch a lot of things with our size and our length, we can switch stuff defensively.

24. “I thought it would be a process, it’s still going to be a process. But the first two games I didn’t think they would not be decent. But they exceeded my expectations.”

25. With Hill the only starter of the new four, the Cavs bench outscored the Thunder bench 51-20. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 31-point differential is the largest by a James team in his career, including playoffs. Clarkson, Nance and Hood had 41 of the 51.

26. James said he wasn’t surprised at the new players’ contributions.

27. “No, I think they played with a lot of poise with the Lakers as well,” he said of Clarkson and Nance. “Obviously they’re very talented and the change of scenery, I think they just tried to take advantage of it.

28. “And for us, with the guys that’s here, we’re just trying to make them as comfortable as possible. Jordan, Larry, Rodney and George, just try to make the transition as seamless as possible. We’re going to have some bumps obviously along this road because we’re all new together, but we’re trying to make it as seamless as possible for the transition.”

29. Making them comfortable seems to included finding the joy of the game that has been lost for most of the season.

30. Early in the year the Cavs spoke about how they had a target on their backs after reaching three consecutive NBA Finals. With the four newcomers, it appears they can get back on the attack.

31. “I think so. I think we’ve got to get back to being the hunters and not the hunted,” Lue said. “These young guys we have, able to shoot, drive or pass it, adds a different element to our team. They’re playing free, having fun. The biggest thing is Clarkson finished the game. George Hill during the timeout was talking to him and happy. Tristan (Thompson) was happy for Larry Nance. That’s what we’ve got to have.

32. “If you want to win you’ve got to sacrifice. With our team, whoever’s playing well is going to finish the game. They understand that and it’s all about winning with this group.”

33. James was hoarse after the game, but didn’t seem to mind.

34. “I think Koby did a heck of a job of understanding what our team needed,” James said. “It just wasn’t working out for us and he felt like he made the changes that he felt best fits our team. Then it’s on me to make sure the new guys that come in, I make sure they fit in and make it as seamless as possible. That’s my job.

35. “This is the third game in a row my voice is gone. And so, I’m just trying to have the communication at an all-time high for us, for the new guys and for the rest of the guys as well.”

36. Nance couldn't miss James’ yelling.

37. “It’s easy,” he said of playing with James. “It’s hard to miss a defensive coverage when you’ve got somebody behind you yelling it for you. He sees everything on the court, offensively and defensively. Offensively he can tell where to go, no matter what position. So, he’s been integral to my joining the team, but he’s not probably the best player of this era. He is.”

38. James’ voice will get a break as he said he headed to his house in Cabo San Lucas with his family before going to Los Angeles for Sunday’s All-Star Game. But he’ll likely be raspy for the rest of the month until his new teammates get up to speed.

39. “I’m just trying to fast-track it,” he said. “So my voice has to be heard. Some things we could do on the fly with the guys that we had to start the season or in the past because we kind of knew the system. Right now I’m trying make sure that the new guys are always hearing me behind them on the defensive end and offensively they know where to go. So I’m just trying to do my part and lead them the best way I can.”

40. Lue was in a jovial mood as he left for the break. In the past four games, the Cavs beat the Timberwolves by two in overtime after losing to them by 28 on Jan. 8, drilled Boston by 22 after losing the previous meeting by 14, and avenged a 24-point loss to the Thunder, as well as beating Atlanta. Since the trade deadline the Cavs are 3-0, although the new players’ deals hadn’t formally gone through and they had to sit out vs. the Hawks.

41. Asked the best of the past six days, Lue said, “Winning. Going through a tough stretch this late in the season, these last few weeks have been tough for us. But I think bringing some new bodies, some fresh bodies kinda rejuvenated us. To come out and beat Minnesota, beat Boston, beat OKC, three teams that beat us pretty bad last time we played ‘em, it’s a huge stepping stone. We’ve got to continue to keep working, it’s a process. We’ve just got to keep playing well, keep getting better and hitting our stride in April.”