NEW YORK — LeBron James is the early vote-getter for the NBA All-Star game, edging Kevin Durant.
The Miami Heat star has 609,336 votes, while the Oklahoma City’s Durant trails by about 2,000 votes in the first returns announced by the league on Thursday.
The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (501,215) and the Clippers’ Chris Paul (393,313) pace the Western Conference backcourt players. The Heat’s Dwyane Wade (396,279) is the East’s top vote-getter in the backcourt, followed by the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (365,712).
Paul George of the Indiana Pacers (489,335) and the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony (424,211) are next in the Eastern Conference.
The Rockets’ Dwight Howard (295,120) and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin (292,925) lead the West frontcourt.
The All-Star game will be held in New Orleans Arena on Feb. 16.
Lakers lose yet
LOS ANGELES — Steve Blake will be out at least six weeks with a torn ligament in his right elbow, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers without all three of their injured point guards.
Blake was hurt Nov. 26 in Washington, but kept playing until the Lakers’ team doctors diagnosed the tear this week. He has been starting in the absence of Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar, averaging 9.8 points and 7.7 assists in a strong season.
“It’s still a little bit in shock right now that I’m having another injury and having to sit out,” Blake said Thursday before the Lakers’ flight to Oklahoma City to open a four-game trip. “I was really enjoying the way things were going, so it is tough.”
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