Denzel Valentine put a thrilling finish on the NBA Summer League.
Valentine hit the tying 3-pointer with the final second of regulation, then made a jumper at the buzzer in overtime to give the Chicago Bulls an 84-82 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Valentine was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting through three quarters, but he proved that fortunes change quickly in Las Vegas. His 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds forced the extra period after Tyus Jones had just given Minnesota a 77-74 lead on a 3 with 3.6 seconds to go.
It was tied again on Xavier Silas’ 3 with 11.7 seconds remaining in OT, but Valentine, the college player of the year from Michigan State, worked the clock down before making his spinning jumper in the lane as the Bulls finished 7-0.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard Tyus Jones won Summer League MVP honors and finished with 27 points in leading the 24th-seeded Wolves to the championship game. He won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player award
after leaving Duke past Wisconsin for the 2015 national championship.
That ended the NBA portion of summer basketball after leagues in Orlando, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas over the last two weeks. Rookies got their first looks, some veterans got their last shots, and it ended with a play that had Twitter buzzing like a game that took place in June instead of July.
And just as the NBA stops, USA Basketball starts. Right on the same UNLV campus just hours before the summer league championship game, the U.S. Olympic team held its first training camp practice. The Olympics start on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro and the Americans will hope to be playing for a third straight gold medal on Aug. 21.
Then, finally, the ”offseason” will finally start.