Antetokounmpo, James lead early returns in NBA All-Star Game fan voting

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Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James are the early leaders in fan voting for next month’s All-Star Game, the NBA said Thursday.

Antetokounmpo had 2,171,812 votes to lead all Eastern Conference frontcourt players, and James had 2,008,645 votes to lead all Western Conference frontcourt players.

James is looking for a record 20th All-Star selection; he is currently tied with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in league history with 19. He and Antetokounmpo were the leaders in fan voting last season as well.

Fan voting counts for 50% of the formula used to select the All-Star starters. Media voting counts for another 25% and voting by NBA players determines the other 25% of the formula. The league is reverting to the classic East vs. West format for the All-Star Game this year, with three frontcourt players and two guards in each starting lineup.

The West frontcourt leaders are James, Phoenix’s Kevin Durant and Denver’s Nikola Jokic. The East frontcourt leaders are Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.

The West guard leaders are Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Golden State’s Stephen Curry, and the East guard leaders are Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton and Milwaukee’s Damian Lillard.

The All-Star Game is Feb. 18 in Indianapolis. Fan voting continues through Jan. 20. Coaches will choose the reserves for both rosters.

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