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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 10, 2024 8:44 am

Nets chase third win this season over Raptors in home finale

cam thomas

The Brooklyn Nets will put a bow on their home season on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.

Both teams are already looking ahead to the future. Neither is within reach of the 2024 playoffs as the regular season comes to a close.

The Nets (31-48) have won two of three games against with the Raptors (25-54) this season as they prepare for their final meeting of the 2023-24 campaign. Brooklyn defeated Toronto, 115-103, on Nov. 28, and in their most recent matchup on March 25, 96-88.

The Raptors defeated the Nets at home, 121-93, on Feb. 22.

After suffering a lopsided 107-77 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, the Nets are hoping to give the home fans a better sendoff to end the season.

Brooklyn’s 77 points marked a tie for the third-lowest scoring output by an NBA team this season.

“They just gotta continue to learn, play through these situations and learn from each other,” Brooklyn interim coach Kevin Ollie said. “These minutes are crucial for their learning and growth, so they can have some great experiences coming back for next year.”

Cam Thomas has led the Nets in scoring in each of the past seven games, but their depleted frontcourt struggled to keep up with Domantas Sabonis (18 points, 20 rebounds) and the Kings.

Brooklyn shot just 30 of 86 (34.9 percent) in the loss, which broke a two-game winning streak.

The Nets potentially could have a better offensive showing against the Raptors, who allow an average of 118.9 points per game and rank 25th in the NBA for scoring defense.

Toronto has lost 16 of its past 18 games, including a 140-123 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

Despite inconsistencies on defense, the Raptors have been scoring at a high rate in recent outings. Toronto is averaging 123.3 points over its last three contests.

On Tuesday, the Raptors got to enjoy a career performance from Javon Freeman-Liberty, who tallied 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with eight assists, against the Pacers.

It was a promising step forward for Freeman-Liberty, who is transitioning to a point guard role after mostly playing off-guard throughout his career.

“That’s not an easy one, there’s a long road,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said of Freeman-Liberty’s development as a point guard. “You have to learn how to manage your team, how to run an offense, how to communicate with your teammates. It’s a long process, but he’s showing really good signs of willingness to be exposed, to learn, to grow, to fail and grow through that process. It’s just a question about a lot of repetition. He’s going to have an amazing summer and opportunities ahead of him.”

Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett’s return to Toronto’s lineup has bolstered the Raptors. The former Knick tandem rejoined the team last week after taking a leave of absence throughout late-March for bereavement.

Quickley missed six games to grieve his uncle, and Barrett was on leave for nine games after his brother’s death.

Over the last four games, since returning to action, Quickley is averaging 23.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.8 assists. Meanwhile, Barrett is averaging 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in that same span.

–Field Level Media

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