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LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo expand All-Star voting leads after second fan returns

Friday 11 January 2019 05:16, UK

LeBron James initiates the Lakers' offense against Charlotte
Image: LeBron James initiates the Lakers' offense against Charlotte

The Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James and the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo have expanded their conference leads in the second fan returns of NBA All-Star Voting 2019.

Fans account for 50 per cent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 68th NBA All-Star Game, which will take place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday, February 17.

VOTE: All-Star 2019

VOTE: All-Star 2019

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All current NBA players and a media panel each account for 25 per cent of the vote, with those voters completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. Players may vote for their team-mates or themselves. Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Monday, January 21.

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LeBron injury latest

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In the second fan returns, James led all players with 2,779,812 votes to maintain the top spot in the Western Conference frontcourt. Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic (2,220,077) continued to rank second in the West frontcourt and has climbed to second among all West players.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder's Paul George (1,859,216) has moved up to third place in the West frontcourt, followed by the Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (1,717,968) in fourth place and the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis (1,564,347) in fifth place.

Golden State's Stephen Curry (2,094,158) has increased his lead among West guards, while the Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Rose (1,986,840) remains in second place. The Houston Rockets' James Harden (1,674,660) and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (1,494,382) are still in third and fourth place, respectively.

Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates a basket against the Celtics
Image: Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates a basket against the Celtics

In the Eastern Conference, Antetokounmpo (2,670,816) has strengthened his position as the leading vote-getter. The top three players in the East frontcourt are unchanged, with Antetokounmpo joined by the Toronto Raptors' Kawhi Leonard (2,092,806) in second place and the Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid (1,710,229) in third place.

The East guard group is again led by the Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving (2,381,901) and the Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (1,199,789). The Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (858,798) continues to hold third place, while Philadelphia's Ben Simmons (695,032) remains in fourth place.

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will follow last year's format in which the two team captains will draft rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their picks regardless of conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

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The NBA All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, will be revealed on Thursday, January 24. Reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, will be announced on Thursday, January 31.

After all votes are tallied, players will be ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups - fan votes, player votes and media votes. Each player's score will be calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.

The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference will be named NBA All-Star Game starters.

Fan voting will serve as the tie-breaker for players in a position group with the same score.

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