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Raptors kick off season-ending road trip vs. Nets on TSN

Immanuel Quickley Dennis Schroder Toronto Raptors Brooklyn Nets Immanuel Quickley Dennis Schroder - The Canadian Press

The end of a difficult season for the Toronto Raptors is in sight as the team kicks off a season-ending three-game road trip against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Watch the Raptors vs. Nets LIVE tonight at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT on TSN1, the TSN App, and

Toronto (25-54) looks to get back in the win column after falling 140-123 to the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night. The Raptors had won two straight games on the heels of a 15-game losing streak and hope to finish the season strong.

"It's been a difficult season," said Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic before Tuesday’s game. "Everybody in this organization is working really, really hard to turn this around.

"They're all excited about the summer and opportunities that we have ahead of us, and we're really focusing on us getting better and winning much more games in the future."

Point guard Javon Freeman-Liberty scored a career-high 20 points on Tuesday, adding eight rebounds and two assists in the loss. 

"That’s not a position that he’s used to playing a lot, so he’s playing out of his position," said Rajakovic. "He’s doing a really good job trying to get us organized and communication and learning on the fly.”

"Just go out there and play my game, be aggressive," said Freeman-Liberty on his approach. "Don't try to go out of the ordinary or do too much. Just take what the defence gave me, honestly."

The 24-year-old signed a two-way contract with the Raptors in July before having the deal converted to a multi-year NBA contract on March 1. He is averaging 6.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 19 games with the Raptors this season.

Mississauga, Ont., native R.J. Barrett scored 23 points in Tuesday’s loss and has now reached the 20-point threshold in six straight games and in 10 of his past 11 games. The 23-year-old has averaged 21.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.1 assists since being acquired via trade from the New York Knicks in late December.

The Raptors sit 12th in the Eastern Conference and hold the sixth-worst record in the league and will need to maintain its current spot in the standings to increase the odds of retaining this summer's first-round pick.

The conditional pick was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs last season in exchange for centre Jakob Poeltl. However, the Raptors will keep the pick if it lands in the top six following the draft lottery. If the Raptors finish the season with the sixth-worst record, there is a 45.8 per cent chance that the pick will stay in the top six. The Raptors are six games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers (21-58) and two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (27-52).

The Raptors will once again be without Scottie Barnes, Jakob Poeltl, Chris Boucher, and Jontay Porter. Barrett (injury management) and Kelly Olynyk (rest) will not play. Guard Immanuel Quickley (rest) did not play on Tuesday but is not listed on the injury report for tonight.

Guard Gradey Dick (groin) is questionable for Wednesday after missing Tuesday's game. Bruce Brown (knee) and Gary Trent (back spasms) are also listed as questionable. 

The Nets (31-48) are coming off a 107-77 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday. The Nets currently have the ninth-worst record in the league but do not have a first-round pick, as their 2024 first rounder was moved to the Houston Rockets in exchange for James Harden

“We just (have to) keep building,” Brooklyn swingman Mikal Bridges said. “Just keep playing the right way, keep playing hard.”

After tonight’s game in Brooklyn, the Raptors will finish the season with back-to-back games in Miami on Friday and Sunday.