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Troy Story: Murphy aids Laker triumph

2/10/2012

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

Troy Murphy aided the Lakers' win Thursday vs. Boston.BOSTON -- The Celtics could have used that Troy Murphy last season.

Murphy, who spent three unproductive months with the Celtics at the end of the 2010-11 campaign, was back in town Thursday night with the Los Angeles Lakers and, despite missing four of the five shots he put up, chipped in nine rebounds, two points, two steals, and a blocked shot over 24 minutes off the bench to aid the Lakers in a 88-87 overtime triumph at TD Garden.

The Celtics signed Murphy off the buyout scrapheap last March, but never lived up to the expectations bestowed upon him given his previous NBA resume. In 17 games with the Celtics, Murphy averaged just 2.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game, and shot a mere 10 percent from 3-point nation.

Murphy reflected on his brief stint in Boston prior to Thursday's game, including why he was unable to live up to the expectations that were set.

"I mean, I think just coming in here, I hadn't played in a long time," said Murphy, who had a falling out with the New Jersey Nets in the opening months of last season that kept him out of game action for an extended period. "And then coming in here, it was towards the end [of the season]. I didn't perform the way I feel like I could have and I think not being healthy and everything like that had a lot to do with it."

Murphy sprained his right ankle just three weeks into his tenure with Boston, which kept him out of six consecutive games and further derailed his entire acclimation process.

"I look back on it because I look at a team that I really wanted to [play well for] when I was there," said Murphy. "I wanted to really contribute, and physically, I wasn't right and I wasn't able to do it, and there wasn't enough time to kind of get there. It's like a missed opportunity. It's a great organization, and there's really nothing you can do about it. It is kind of what it is."

Murphy was open to returning to the Celtics, but, as a result of the NBA's lockout, the league was forced to deal with a frantic free agency period, and ultimately Boston pursued other options. Murphy, though, has so far enjoyed his time in Los Angeles. As one of the Lakers' key reserve big men, he's averaging over 17 minutes per game and is shooting better than 40 percent from beyond the arc.

"I'm enjoying [being a Laker]," Murphy said. "It's good, just the way the season's going, everything is so bunched up. With a shortened training camp, a bunch of new guys, a new system for the Lakers and everything, we're slowly getting better, and hopefully we get better as time goes on.

"It's good to kind of get back there and play and just be healthy, to be honest."

Despite things not working out in Boston as he had hoped, Murphy harbors nothing but respect for his former club.

"These are class acts, these guys, the way they welcomed me," Murphy said of his former teammates in Boston. "Coming in, with six weeks left in the [regular] season, the way those guys welcomed me, they're a special group, from the players to the front office -- everybody in the place. It's a special group."