Windy City Bulls fall short in Showcase championship

The Windy City Bulls played short-handed, then came up short in the G League's Showcase Cup championship game, losing to the Ontario Clippers 99-97 on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Dalen Terry and Malcolm Hill both played for Windy City in Tuesday's semifinal game, then were summoned to join the NBA Bulls in Atlanta. With Alex Caruso going out with a shoulder injury against the Hawks, the Bulls didn't want to risk not having Terry or Hill on Friday in New York, so both players were unavailable in Las Vegas.

Still, the game came down to a "next basket wins" scenario, with the target score set at 99 and the teams tied at 97-97.

First, Windy City needed a defensive stop and didn't get it. Guard Xavier Moon, a 27-year-old G League veteran, buried a jumper to give the Clippers the victory and the $100,000 prize, which is split among the winning players.

The Bulls took a 94-93 lead on Daniel Oturu's putback basket. After a steal by Carlik Jones, Javon Freeman-Liberty was fouled and split a pair of free throws to make it 95-93.

Moon tied it with a jumper, then Windy City missed a chance to take control. Ethan Thompson missed a driving attempt and another Moon jumper put the Clippers within winning distance at 97-95.

The Bulls tied it on another Oturu putback and Ontario stuck with what was working. A screen was set to get Moon matched up against Oturu, who got a nice contest, but Moon dropped in his third-straight shot, this one a 19-footer.

Jones, who shifted to a two-way contract last week, led the Bulls with 22 points and 7 assists. Thompson and Oturu scored 15 points each, with Oturu adding 12 rebounds. Marko Simonovic finished with 8 points and 11 boards.

Windy City returns to Now Arena in Hoffman Estates on Friday, Jan. 6, against the Lakeland Magic.

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