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Indiana at Boston

Marbury solid in Celtics debut as Rondo, Allen burn Pacers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Stephon Marbury had more than 13 months to imagine how it would feel when he got back into an NBA game.

"It went the way I was praying for it to go," the former Knicks castoff and newly acquired Celtics backup said Friday night, after scoring six points during a key, 9-0 fourth-quarter run that helped Boston beat the Indiana Pacers 104-99.

"The whole satisfaction of the whole night for me is that we won."

Ray Allen added 30 points and Rajon Rondo matched his career high with 17 assists for Boston. Glen "Big Baby" Davis, starting in place of the injured Kevin Garnett, scored 18, and Kendrick Perkins had 11 rebounds.

Marbury finished with eight points and two assists in under 13 minutes -- just hours after clearing waivers and signing with the Celtics for their push toward the playoffs and a try at back-to-back NBA titles. It was also the first home game for Mikki Moore since he was waived by the Sacramento Kings and signed by the Celtics on Tuesday.

"I'm just happy now that I know what I have. A week ago, we didn't," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "You can see them (the playoffs) out there, 22 games away. That's nice. We can't wait to get to them."

T.J. Ford scored 23 and Troy Murphy had 20 points and 13 assists for the Pacers, who had won three out of four.

Marbury entered the game to a standing ovation with 19.4 seconds left in the first quarter and sank his first shot early in the second for his first points since Jan. 11, 2008.

"Oh, man, I wanted to cry," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. I thought people would clap, but they showed me a lot of love tonight."

By the time he sat back down with 7:11 left in the second, though, Boston's 26-18 lead had been turned into a 30-29 deficit. But Marbury, who had about an hour of practice with the Celtics before putting on his new uniform, hit three baskets in a 9-0 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to turn a four-point game into a 92-79 lead.

"He had the boxer legs in the first half," Rivers said. "But in the second half, he was terrific. You could just see his basketball IQ. It just really worked tonight. It's going to keep getting better, you could see that."

Ray Allen scored nine points in the first two minutes of the fourth.

"You give him six inches and he puts it down," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "Most of his shots were well-guarded and he put them down."

Paul Pierce, who dislocated his right thumb on Wednesday night in Boston's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, scored 16 points on 6-for-13 shooting. He took just two foul shots as he tried to protect the thumb from hacking defenders.

"I was really hesitant to get any contact going, for the simple fact that it came out twice last game," he said. "But it's something I'm going to have to get over mentally."

Indiana scored six in a row to trim a 98-89 lead to three points, but Davis converted a three-point play. Jeff Foster's fourth-chance putback made it 101-97, then Davis made a leaner in the lane as the shot clock expired.

After Ford made a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left, Davis sank one of two to help ice it.

Notes

  • The Celtics are 31-4 against the Eastern Conference.
  • The Pacers are the only team to beat Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and the Los Angeles Lakers -- the top four teams in the NBA.
  • Murphy has broken double digits in rebounds in 41 of his last 49 games.
  • Indiana forward Mike Dunleavy missed his ninth straight game with a sore right knee. Forward Danny Granger missed his fifth game in a row with a partially torn tendon in his right foot.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Stephon Marbury plays well in his debut, scoring eight points and adding two assists.  (Getty Images)
Stephon Marbury plays well in his debut, scoring eight points and adding two assists. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Indiana (25-36) 1831262499
Boston (47-13) «26222927104
IND:T. Ford 23 Pts
IND:T. Murphy 13 Reb
IND:T. Ford 4 Ast
BOS:R. Allen 30 Pts
BOS:K. Perkins 11 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 17 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonIndiana

R. Allen

T. Murphy
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
306320133
Indiana
M. Daniels, SG383-120-07436
T. Murphy, C366-117-7133420
T. Ford, PG369-193-364023
J. Jack, PG275-114-433414
R. Hibbert, C131-51-23043
J. Foster, C333-61-27137
B. Rush, SG317-150-031117
R. Nesterovic, C132-50-04104
T. Diener, PG122-30-00225
M. Baston, SFDid Not Play
J. Tinsley, PGDid Not Play
M. Dunleavy, SGDid Not Play
D. Granger, SFDid Not Play
S. Graham, SFDid Not Play
J. McRoberts, PFDid Not Play
Totals 38-8716-1846192199
 43.7%88.9% 
Boston
R. Allen, SG4311-162-263130
P. Pierce, SG396-132-222216
R. Rondo, PG341-70-041733
K. Perkins, C273-50-011156
G. Davis, PF256-126-922318
L. Powe, PF265-74-762314
M. Moore, PF162-52-33026
E. House, SG161-30-00223
S. Marbury, PG134-60-01208
K. Garnett, PFDid Not Play
B. Scalabrine, PFDid Not Play
T. Allen, SGDid Not Play
J. Giddens, SGDid Not Play
B. Walker, SGDid Not Play
G. Pruitt, PGDid Not Play
Totals 39-7416-23353121104
 52.7%69.6% 
Other Games
Det 93 Final
Orl 85
Chi 90 Final
Wash 113
Mia 83 Final
Atl 91
Phi 108 Final
NY 103
Mil 94 Final
NO 95
Port 102 Final
Min 82
OKC 108 Final
Dal 110
LAL 79 Final
Den 90
Tor 113 Final
Pho 133
Cle 97 Final
SA 86
LAC 86 Final
Sac 98
Char 112 Final
GS 109