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Marbury contributes in debut with Celtics

The Knicks may have not seen the last of Stephon Marbury.

Two days after reaching a buyout agreement with the Knicks, Marbury was back on the basketball court Friday night with the Boston Celtics. Marbury, who hadn't played in more than a year, scored eight points on 4-for-6 shooting with two assists and a steal in 13 minutes of a 104-99 win over the Pacers.

Marbury's emergence in Boston was an expected though interesting twist in the saga of the Brooklyn-born point guard. Though the Knicks do not play the Celtics again this season, they could face them in the first round of the playoffs if they manage to eke their way into the No. 8 or No. 7 spot.

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni had little reaction to the signing other than to say it was a good move by the Celtics.

"A guy that talented coming off the bench -- it's not a bad chance to take," D'Antoni said before Friday night's game against the 76ers.

Marbury missed the end of last season after having left ankle surgery on Jan. 22, 2008. He did not play a single game for the Knicks this season after D'Antoni took over as coach.

The Marbury who appeared in a televised pregame news conference in Boston Friday night was all smiles. "I'm so happy to just be able to play basketball again," Marbury said. "I don't care what my role is. I'm excited about just playing."

Marbury said he spoke with several other teams but said he picked the Celtics "because they wanted me." He also talked about how sitting home this season and watching basketball games wasn't fun, and called the whole situation with the Knicks "a humbling experience."

There were a lot of questions about team chemistry at the introductory news conference, given the fact that Marbury has had several ugly departures from teams in the course of his NBA career. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, however, said he was not concerned about having any problems with Marbury.

"That was in New York and wherever else," Rivers said. "That has nothing to do with today or tomorrow. Our locker room is very strong. We just have good people."

Marbury's new teammates also seemed excited about his signing and believe he will provide a solid weapon off the bench.

"Stephon is a guy that can score in this league," Rajon Rondo said. "I think he's averaging like almost 20 points in this league in his career, so he can definitely score off the bench."

New York Sports