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NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James and Kevin Durant named captains as starting line-ups announced

NBA's All-Star Game takes place live on Sky Sports on February 20; LeBron James and Kevin Durant captain the two line-ups for the second successive season; Ja Morant and Andrew Wiggins to both make their debuts in the contest

Kevin Durant poured in 39 points as the Brooklyn Nets, who featured Kyrie Irving for the first time this season, beat the Indiana Pacers 129-121.
Image: Kevin Durant will captain the Eastern Conference line-up in the NBA All-Stars Game in February

LeBron James and Kevin Durant have once again been confirmed as the two captains for the NBA's All-Star Game, with two first-timers named among the 10 starters announced for next month's contest.

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant and Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins will both make their first appearance in the mid-season showcase, held in Cleveland on February 20.

The pair were selected as starters from the Western Conference, led by James of the Los Angeles Lakers, with Wiggins' Warriors team-mate Steph Curry and Denver Nuggets player Nikola Jokic completing that line-up.

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks and DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls were Eastern Conference players chosen to be starters alongside Durant.

Durant and James were designated the teams' captains because they led their respective conferences in fan votes, while the 10 starters were chosen by a mixture of votes from fans (50 percent), fellow players (25 percent) and the media (25 percent).

A draft will be held on February 10 to determine which players are on Team LeBron and which ones are on Team Durant, while the All-Star reserves will be announced on February 3.

Morant's rise to All-Stars debut

Morant has become one of the game's stars in his third NBA season. The 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year is averaging 24.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per game for the surprising Grizzlies.

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Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) shoots the ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn.
Image: Ja Morant has impressed for the Grizzlies this season

Wiggins, 26, earned his first All-Star nod in his eighth NBA season. He's shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 40.4 percent from three-point range, both career bests, through 44 games while averaging 18.1 points and 4.2 rebounds.

James is now tied with Kobe Bryant for the second-most career All-Star selections with 18. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more, with 19. Curry will appear in his eighth All-Star game and Jokic earned his fourth bid.

In the East, it marks Durant's 12th All-Star selection, the sixth for Antetokounmpo, the fifth for Embiid and DeRozan and the second for Young.

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