James, Durant lead early in NBA All-Star starter voting

Jan 4, 2023, 8:25 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 10:27 am
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James peers at the American flag during the national anthem prior...

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James peers at the American flag during the national anthem prior to the start of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe)

(AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe)

              Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant reacts during the final seconds of the team's NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Chicago. The Bulls won 121-112. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
            
              Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James peers at the American flag during the national anthem prior to the start of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Emil T. Lippe)

NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets might be headed toward yet another NBA All-Star Game rematch.

James is the overall leader so far in All-Star balloting, and Durant leads all Eastern Conference players in early voting returns — putting them on track to be All-Star captains for the third consecutive year.

James had 3,168,694 votes entering Thursday, topping the list of Western Conference frontcourt players. Denver’s Nikola Jokic is second (2,237,768) and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis is third (2,063,325).

Durant leads Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 3,118,545 votes. That’s just ahead of Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (2,998,327) and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid (2,226,712).

Golden State’s Stephen Curry leads all guards in the balloting with 2,715,520 votes. Dallas’ Luka Doncic has the No. 2 spot among West guards with 2,388,502 votes.

Among East guards, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving leads with 2,071,715 votes, and Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell is second with 1,637,374.

The top three frontcourt players and top two guards in each conference will be chosen as starters, with the leading overall vote-getters from each conference serving as captains and choosing their teams.

Fan voting counts for 50% of the starters balloting, a media ballot counts for 25% and the ballots turned in by NBA players count for the other 25%.

James has been a captain in all five previous uses of that process, going 5-0 in All-Star Games. His team beat a Durant-picked team in 2020 and 2021, beat teams picked by Antetokounmpo in 2018 and 2019, and beat a team picked by Curry in 2017.

Voting continues through Jan. 21. The captains and the starters will be announced Jan. 26. Reserves — chosen by NBA coaches — will be revealed Feb. 2, and the game is Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts runs a drill during practice at the NFL football team's training f...
Associated Press

Super Bowl-bound Eagles are built around QB Jalen Hurts

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to draft Jalen Hurts in 2020 came with as much hand-wringing as intrigue regarding how to use the talented Heisman Trophy finalist. The Eagles already had quarterback Carson Wentz locked into a $128 million contract. They certainly had more pressing needs at the time on all sides of […]
1 day ago
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the f...
Associated Press

Young scores 27 to lead Hawks past Jazz, 115-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trae Young had 27 points and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points for the Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 13 points and eight assists. Atlanta […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots a three point basket as Houston Rockets forward Jae...
Associated Press

VanVleet has 32 as Raptors get 117-111 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 32 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Raptors took a commanding lead in the third quarter and were up by double-digits for most of the fourth. But five straight […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Monte Morr...
Associated Press

Blazers rally from 20 down to end Wizards’ win streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 20-point deficit, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak Friday night with a 124-116 victory over the Wizards. Simons made six of Portland’s nine 3-pointers in the third, and the Trail Blazers finally caught and […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled as he drives to the basket against San Antonio...
Associated Press

Embiid’s double-double keys 76ers as Spurs drop 8th straight

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat San Antonio 137-125 on Friday night, sending the scuffling Spurs to their eighth straight loss. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and James Harden added 16 for Philadelphia, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. “Tonight was […]
1 day ago
A scrum breaks out between Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic players during the second half ...
Associated Press

Fight between Magic, Timberwolves leads to 5 players ejected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fight broke out and punches were thrown during the game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Five players were ejected following the brawl, which started in front of the Orlando bench late in the third quarter. Minnesota guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba were the […]
1 day ago
James, Durant lead early in NBA All-Star starter voting