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Marbury Will Finish Season

April 2, 2000

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Even with the New Jersey Nets’ playoff hopes all but dead, Stephon Marbury said Sunday that tendinitis in his left knee will not cause him to end the season early.

``Never,″ Marbury said after the Nets’ postseason bid took its second major hit in three days with a 113-92 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The loss was the Nets’ second straight and left them six games behind Orlando in the race for final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The latest setback came 48 hours after Orlando beat the Nets 103-98.

With nine games left in the regular season, the Nets (31-42) are assured of a losing record.

Marbury appeared to be in pain several times during Sunday’s game. He was averaging 22.5 points entering the game, but he was held to 10 points against the Pistons. That performance came after he had a season-low seven points on Friday.

In the Nets’ first two games against the Pistons earlier this season, he scored 35 and 34 points.

``When Stephon doesn’t get off to the good flow and labors a bit, we seem to labor a bit,″ Nets coach Don Casey said.

Marbury refused to blame his problems on his knee, which he first injured at Milwaukee on March 10.

``It’s just tender, that’s all it is,″ Marbury said. ``I just have a bad case of it (tendinitis). That’s why I know it is going to get better.″

Marbury said the Nets loss on Sunday was not related to their loss to Orlando on Friday night.

`I don’t think it had anything to do with us getting up for them,″ Marbury said. ``They were just up. They just kicked our butts.″

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