CLEVELAND — D.J. Augustin scored 27 points in a start for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson matched a career high with 26 filling in for Carlos Boozer as the Chicago Bulls improved to 7-2 since trading Luol Deng with a 98-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
Augustin and Mike Dunleavy hit 3-pointers down the stretch to pace the Bulls, who at 21-20 moved over .500 for the first time since Nov. 22.
Deng went 2 of 11 from the field in his first game against Chicago.
The Bulls dealt the two-time all-star forward to Cleveland on Jan. 6 for future draft picks.
Joakim Noah had 18 rebounds for the Bulls, who appeared to be looking toward the future when they traded Deng after losing superstar Derrick Rose to a season-ending injury.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 to lead Cleveland, which has dropped the first two games of a five-game homestand.
Deng spent nearly 20 minutes after the shootaround discussing his days in Chicago, which ended shortly after he rejected a three-year, $30 million contract extension, an offer and pay cut that he and his agents didn't find adequate.
Asked if he would consider returning to the Bulls, Deng took a swipe at Chicago's front office.
"Maybe they'll offer me three years, $30 million," he cracked. "That might be an option to take."
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