Ulis hits buzzer-beater, Suns advance in Summer League tournament


Guard Tyler UIis and Guard Jamal Murray of the Kentucky Wildcats high fives after a foul during the NCAA Tournament second round game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Kentucky fell to Indiana 73-67. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff.

Kevin Erpenbeck

Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray dazzled Kentucky fans when they shared the court at Rupp Arena last year. Now, they’re dazzling NBA fans while squaring off against each other.

Saturday’s Las Vegas NBA Summer League quarter finals match between the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets needed overtime and a buzzer-beater to decide a winner. It just so happened that Ulis and Murray were the ones to help provide both.

After Murray hit the game-tying jumper with just over 20 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, Murray dazzled some more by hitting a layup with 1.8 seconds left in overtime, seemingly winning the game for the Nuggets.

But Ulis wasn’t about to let his UK brother show him up in spectacle. So Ulis inbounded the ball from midcourt, got it back and took a long three at the buzzer.

Swish. Game over, Suns advance, and millions of UK fans rejoice over what they just saw. 

With the win, Phoenix advanced to the semifinals in Las Vegas and will face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

But Ulis’ and Murray’s night highlighted what has been an excellent Summer League for the former Wildcat teammates. Along with the game-winner, Ulis finished with 19 points and four assists on just one turnover. Murray had a game-high 29 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Both players have averaged over 15 points over the course of five games, and Ulis has averaged more than six assists a game.

Both players took to Instagram after the game to congratulate the other for their respective spectacular performances.

UK head coach John Calipari also got in on the action, stating how proud he was of his former players on Twitter.

If Saturday’s finish was any indication of how good Ulis and Murray will be in the short future, then UK fans should keep an eye out on the Nuggets’ and Suns’ seasons and circle the days the two teams play each other.