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IN BRIEF: Bulls' three-point shooting has turned into a strong point


Outside shooting was a big issue for the Bulls last season, but this preseason it has been a strength. The Bulls have made 34 of 90 three-point attempts (nearly 38 percent) in their first five games.

Sharpshooter Kyle Korver is 5-for-13 (.384) after Friday night's loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but he isn't the Bulls' top shooter. That distinction goes to Keith Bogans, who's 10-for-17 (.588). Luol Deng, who has been encouraged by coach Tom Thibodeau to attempt more threes, went 5-for-7 on Friday night and is 11-for-20 (.550).

''We're shooting a good percentage, and I think we're taking the right ones,'' Thibodeau said. ''The open three in transition is a good shot for Kyle, but what we want to do is play inside-out. The ball's gotta hit the paint, whether it's a post-up or dribble penetration. Once the defense collapses, we can make that pass and take that shot.''

The Bulls, though, didn't wait to move the ball into the paint before firing from behind the arc against the Mavericks. The Bulls were 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from three-point range in the first quarter in racing out to a 38-27 lead.

Dallas played a lot of zone defense early, and the Bulls didn't hesitate to take advantage. Deng went 3-for-3, and Bogans went 2-for-3.

The Bulls, though, cooled off considerably in the second quarter, going only 1-for-7 from behind the arc. They finished 11-for-31 (35.5 percent) from three-point range.Welcome to the club

Thibodeau picked up his first technical as a head coach Friday night. Veteran referee Joe Crawford did the honors, assessing the technical with 6:41 left in the second quarter.

Of course, there's probably not an NBA coach with any tenure that hasn't been T'ed up by Crawford, who once ejected Tim Duncan for excessive smiling on the bench.

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