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NBA Summer League 2016 Championship score: Denzel Valentine's heroics lead Bulls over Timberwolves

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The Bulls ended Summer League with an unblemished record thanks to a game winner from Denzel Valentine in overtime.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tyus Jones hit a three with 3.6 seconds left to give the Minnesota Timberwolves a 77-74 lead over the Chicago Bulls in the Summer League finale, but Denzel Valentine wanted to be a hero. He rattled in a three with 0.2 seconds to play to send the game to overtime, then did it again in overtime, sinking a twisting fadeaway at the horn to give the Bulls a thrilling 84-82 overtime victory.

In a game full of runs -- the Timberwolves went on a 22-0 spurt while the Bulls put up a 19-2 run of their own -- the Bulls came out on top thanks to the heroic play from Valentine and some hot shooting from Bobby Portis. The Bulls finished off the Summer League with a perfect 7-0 mark.

Tyus Jones had 27 points and 10 assists to lead the Timberwolves in the loss. But on Monday night, it was all about Valentine -- who had only seven points -- and his clutch shooting:

The Bulls jumped out to a 12-4 lead behind the play of Jerian Grant and Bobby Portis, but Jones wouldn't let the Timberwolves go away quietly as they rallied to trail 18-13 at the end of one quarter. Minnesota poured it on early in the second quarter, scoring the first 19 points of the frame (it was a 22-0 run going back to the end of the first) to take a 32-18 lead thanks to some hot shooting and solid play from Adreian Payne down low. The Bulls answered with an 8-0 run of their own to keep the game close and trailed 42-32 at the half.

The Bulls fought back in the second once their core got going. Denzel Valentine was throwing dimes and Portis was hitting shots from everywhere on the court as the Bulls went on a 19-2 run to take a 55-49 lead. The Timberwolves weren't going away, however, and pulled back to trail only 59-58 at the end of three quarters.

Neither team could pull away in the fourth. Minnesota led 67-65 with under five minutes to play before a Portis three gave the Bulls a one-point lead. It looked like the 6-0 Bulls were going to put this one away, but the Timberwolves wouldn't let up. They answered with a 5-0 run to take a 72-68 lead before the Bulls fought back to tie it up at 72. Both teams failed to execute in the final two minutes, and the Timberwolves had the ball with 28 seconds left in a 74-74 game. That's when things got fun:

Valentine struck gold again at the horn in overtime, and it was over.

Here are three things we learned as the Bulls took home the Summer League Title.

Tyus Jones could help the already bright future of the Timberwolves

Jones was named the Summer League MVP before the championship, and he showed why in the finale, too. Sure he had some help from Payne during the 22-0 run in the second quarter, but Jones was the catalyst for the Timberwolves. He's not without his problems -- Spencer Dinwiddie easily blocked the shorter Jones and sprinted away for a fast break layup on one play in the second quarter -- but he's a smart, savvy player who does have the speed and handle to be a good point guard in the league. Ricky Rubio is in place as the Timberwolves point guard, but Jones should be able to give them some valuable minutes -- especially if he gets some time with the starters.

The Bulls have some young guns, too

Chicago made moves to add star power this offseason, adding Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo after the departure of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, but they also have some tools for a rebuild. How Wade and Rondo will fit in with Jimmy Butler is an interesting proposal, but in Portis, Grant -- who won the Championship game MVP -- and Valentine, the Bulls have some young players who could pick up valuable minutes. They had a group of players who showed the Bulls staff what a valuable core they have. Valentine proved that his senior season at Michigan State was no fluke -- he didn't score through the first three quarters of the championship game, but he was still making an impact by controlling the court. Portis was hitting shots from everywhere on the court, and Grant scored in bursts.

The Bulls might not rely on their summer league core during the regular season, but it has to be nice to know they have some options if the Wade-Rondo-Butler trio is struggling.

Summer League "Veterans" did their best to prove their worth

Some rookies like Valentine, Ben Simmons and Kris Dunn impressed in their Summer League debuts, but it was a batch of second-year players who turned heads in Las Vegas. For the Bulls, Portis and Grant led the way, and for the Timberwolves it was Payne. These aren't guys who are likely to be superstars in the league, but they battled for exposure here. Payne played only 9.3 minutes per game last season with the Timberwolves, but his play this past week showed he's willing to compete -- even if he does have some mental lapses and needs more work defensively. Portis, meanwhile, showed his range is increasing. He was 4-for-7 from deep after shooting only 30.8 percent from deep last season for the Bulls. Summer League doesn't necessarily mean much for the regular season, but it's a spot for players to work on weaknesses -- some young players could be ready for the big show once the regular season begins this fall.

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