Luol Deng’s reunion with the Bulls (21-20) ended up being a significant moment for more than just the only chance to match up with the two-time All-Star, as Wednesday’s 98-87 win over the Cavaliers (15-27) at Quicken Loans Arena also marked the first time the red-hot team was above .500 since November.

Used to being undermanned—starters Carlos Boozer (strained left calf) and Kirk Hinrich (right hamstring) missed this one, with the point guard remaining in Chicago for treatment and the power forward day-to-day with a less severe ailment—the Bulls jumped to a quick start. D.J. Augustin (27 points) led the way with his usual blend of scoring and playmaking, while Taj Gibson (26 points), starting Boozer’s place, also made an impact in the opening period.

Matched up with Deng (11 points), a fellow Duke product, veteran sharpshooter Mike Dunleavy Jr. (22 points) was also effective in the early going and after a quarter of play, the Bulls led their former teammate’s new squad, 23-17.

Gibson’s solid play carried over to the next frame and the Bulls built a double-digit lead over Cleveland. It was short-lived, however, as the Cavs fought back to make it a close-knit affair behind reserve forward Earl Clark, who energized the crowd with his dunk over Bulls backup center Nazr Mohammed.