Denzel Valentine hits buzzer-beater to give Bulls the Summer League title
The Chicago Bulls won the Las Vegas Summer League championship, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves despite another poor performance from recently graduated MSU alumnus Denzel Valentine. He went 3-10 shooting and finished with seven points.
He also hit two buzzer-beaters – one deep, falling three to send the game into overtime and another well-defended, somehow-sunk, pivoted turnaround that uncorked the victory celebration for the Chicago Bulls.
Valentine did not convert an attempt within the first three quarters of play, going 0-6. However, when the deciding moments of the game popped up, Valentine was assertive and demanded the opportunities that he would confidently convert.
The Bulls trailed the Timberwolves 77-74 with 3.6 seconds remaining, after former Duke standout Tyus Jones served Valentine an ugly reminder of their Final Four matchup, sniping a 30-foot three over a double as the shot clock and game clock ticked down.
With limited options, the Bulls inbounded the ball to big man Cristiano Felicio who promptly kicked it out to a frantic Denzel Valentine sprinting away from defenders and towards the hand-off spot. Valentine caught behind the three point line and quickly fired off his attempt, stumbling to the ground during his landing, before seeing the shot drop snuggly in the net.
The game typified Valentine's seven undefeated Summer League games: perplexing but effective. Although Valentine, who averaged 11.6 points on only 35 percent shooting in the tournament, was anything but his high-scoring self, he characteristically found a way to win, earning the compliment of everyone watching.
Ok Denzel Valentine I see you kid!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) July 19, 2016
And characteristically, Valentine requested the final shot and converted, reminiscent of a Feb. 14 game-winning delivery against Ohio State his junior year at MSU.
"The one on Valentine's Day was huge because it was Valentine's Day and it was in front of the Breslin (Center)," Valentine said when prompted to compare the two on ESPN. "But this one was for a championship, so probably this one (was better), but the one on Valentine's Day is coming just a little close to it."