Antetokounmpo passed Durant to lead the East All-Star voting

PARIS (AP) — Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo has passed Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant for the lead in voting for the Eastern Conference All-Star…

PARIS (AP) — Milwaukee’s Giannis Antecumpo has passed Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant for the Eastern Conference All-Star voting lead, making him the captain for the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City.

Antetokounmpo had 5,970,196 votes Thursday, the NBA said in its third All-Star voting update. Durant is 132,014 votes out of 5,838,182.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers remains the leader in the overall vote with 6,506,682 votes. James has been a captain in all five of the NBA’s previous uses of the format, where the top vote-getters in the Eastern and Western Conferences pick their rosters from other picks.

James’ teams are 5-0 in All-Star games when he is captain.

Durant, who was the East’s voting leader in each of the first two voting updates this year but was sidelined recently with a sprained knee ligament, has been the captain as the East’s voting leader in each of the last two years. Antetokounmpo was in the previous two years, 2019 and 2020.

The top three frontcourt players and top two guards in each conference will be selected as starting teams, and the top vote-getters in each conference will serve as captains and select their teams.

James leads the list of frontcourt players in the West. Denver’s Nikola Jokic remained in second place (4,718,218), while the Lakers’ Anthony Davis remained third (3,838,171).

Antetokounmpo passed Durant among the East’s frontcourt votes, while Boston’s Jayson Tatum extended his lead over Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid for third place among those players. Tatum has 4,521,414 votes, Embiid has 4,318,035 votes. A week ago, Tatum was just over 32,000 votes ahead of Embiid in the third-place race.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry still leads the voting with 5,151,822 votes. Dallas’ Luka Doncic remained No. 2 behind Curry among Western guards with 4,905,655 votes.

The two leaders in terms of votes among the guards of the East also did not change. Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving still leads with 3,968,041 votes, while Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell is second with 3,851,233.

Fan voting counts for 50% of the starter vote, media voting for 25%, and ballots cast by NBA players for the remaining 25%.

Fan voting continues through Saturday. Captains and starters will be announced on January 26. Reserves selected by NBA coaches will be announced on February 2. The All-Star captains will then make their teams, possibly in the second week of February.

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