Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo lead 1st round of NBA All-Star voting

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Rising star Luka Doncic and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo led the first round of voting for the 2020 All-Star Game, the league announced Thursday.

Doncic, the second-year guard from the Dallas Mavericks, leads all players with 1,703,957 votes — 599 more than second-place Antetokounmpo, who is the top vote-getter in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James is the only other player to have more than one million votes through the initial round.

Fan voting accounts for 50 percent of the vote for the five starters — two backcourt and three frontcourt players — from each conference. The other 50 percent is split evenly among voting by media members and the players themselves.

Doncic holds the top spot among Western Conference guards, followed by Houston Rockets star James Harden, who has 749,080 votes. Harden was more than half a million votes ahead of Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who was third, and injured Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. Harden’s teammate Russell Westbrook checked in fifth.

James and Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis (955,246) are tops among West frontcourt players, followed by Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (740,657). His teammate, Paul George, is a distant fourth with 280,894 votes, while Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns (173,129) rounds out the top five.

Antetokounmpo leads all East frontcourt players, followed by Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (606,534) and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (544,302). Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (431,483) is fourth, and Boston Celtics teammates Jayson Tatum (364,137) and Tacko Fall (110,269) are fifth and sixth, respectively.

Fall, a 7-foot-6 rookie free agent from Senegal, has played in only three NBA games, averaging 4.3 points and 3.7 minutes. He is a fan favorite, though he spends most of his time playing for the Celtics’ G League team, the Maine Red Claws.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young leads all East backcourt players with 443,412 votes, followed closely by Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (432,481), who has been out since late November with a shoulder injury. Kemba Walker, the man who replaced Irving with the Celtics, checked in third, just 450 votes behind Irving.

Detroit Pistons veteran Derrick Rose was fourth (233,669), and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls (174,991) was fifth.

The NBA will update the voting totals on both Jan. 9 and Jan. 16, and voting will close on Jan. 20. The All-Star starters, along with the two team captains — the starter to receive the most fan votes from each conference — on Jan. 23 on TNT. The league will announce the reserves, chosen by the league’s head coaches, on Jan. 30.

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