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Ulis, Bjorkgren talk buzzer beater vs. Nuggets

The 20-year old Ulis is becoming a star of the Summer League.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

If you're not yet familiar with the shot heard 'round Summer League, here's what Tyler Ulis of the Phoenix Suns did against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday:

Ulis was already creating signficant buzz at the NBA's Las Vegas showcase, and Saturday's shot is sure to encourage further conversation among Suns fans who would like to see the Kentucky guard in Phoenix to start the season. After the game, Summer Suns coach Nate Bjorkgren talked about the final play that moved the Suns to Sunday's semifinal game.

"On that last one, again, we were looking at Dragan (Bender) there as well. With Big Al (Williams) flashing, he pitched it right back there to Tyler and Tyler hit a deep one. I'll tell you what, he's a stud. He never quits. He wants the ball in crunch time. Defensively he is so aggressive and in tune in everything that he does and he just continues to prove himself out here in Vegas."

To hear Tyler tell it though, the ball wasn't going to make it to Dragan Bender.

"He drew it up for Dragan, I told him I wanted the ball. Troy (Williams) told me to stay confident, stay positive because we were really upset after the layup Jamal (Murray) got. Al came to me like 'if he's not open throw it to me, I'll pitch it back,' and that's exactly what we did."

For the first half Saturday, scoring was at a premium. Denver led 37-34, and through three quarters, Ulis had contributed just 7 points. This Summer Ulis has been encouraged to show off his scoring skills however, a role he's comfortable with. He would finish with 19 against the Nuggets.

"Coach Earl (Watson) wants me to come in and play like I played at Kentucky. That's what I'm trying to do, Devin's (Booker) out, Marquese (Chriss) is out. Devin was scoring almost 30 points a game. So I have to come in and score a little more."

Bjorkgren identified the 20-year old rookie as a leader on the floor.

"He looks at every game as a new challenge. He's leading our team, he's doing it with the other four guys on the floor around him. He's leading in huddles. He's talking to guys out there. Ball screens, pin downs, you name it, he's been great."

When it comes to asking for the ball to be in your hands in the final seconds, Ulis knows the rule.

"I was so happy. I wanted the shot, I asked coach for the shot, and you know when you ask for the ball, you got to provide."

The Summer Suns will meet the Minnesota Timberwolves in Sunday's first semifinal game. Tip off from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada is schedued for 3pm.

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