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LeBron James, Kyrie Irving lead first returns of NBA All-Star voting

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As this season’s NBA All-Star festivities draw near, votes are beginning to pour in for both conferences. The first returns have been tallied, and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have two players leading the count.

LeBron James, who received 595,288 votes, currently leads all players. James is having one of the best statistical years of his illustrious career. So far this season, the 12-time NBA All-Star is averaging 25.8 points, 8.5 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers star point guard, received 543,030 votes, placing him just behind his teammate in the race. Irving is also having a great statistical year, averaging 23.9 points, 6.0 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.

In the Eastern Conference back-court, Dwyane Wade, a 12-time All-Star, received 278,052 votes, followed by Toronto Raptors guard, DeMar DeRozan (253,340).

Milwaukee Bucks forward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, received 500,663 votes, placing him third amongst Eastern Conference candidates. Cavaliers stretch forward, Kevin Love (250,347 votes), and Philadelphia rookie big man, Joel Embiid (221,984), round out the Eastern Conference front-court.

Looking at the Western Conference vote-getters, there are several names who NBA fans will recognize.

Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors forward and keeper of the highest scoring average in All-Star game history (25.6 points per game), leads all Western Conference players with 541,209 votes. Durant’s teammate, Stephen Curry, trails just behind in the Western Conference vote tally with 523,597.

Other notable Western Conference backcourt candidates are Houston Rockets guard, James Harden (519,446), and two-time reigning All-Star Game MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder (501,652).

The Western Conference frontcourt race is currently rounded off by Golden State’s Zaza Pachulia (439,675), San Antonio Spurs star, Kawhi Leonard (341,240), and New Orleans Pelicans big man, Anthony Davis (318,144).

This year’s All-Star game will be played on February 19th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. EST. Per www.NBA.com, voting for fans, players, and media will conclude on Monday, Jan. 16 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Starters will be announced live on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 19 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. EST.

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