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Rockets Harden 2nd in all-star voting among west guards

Teammate Russell Westbrook is fifth among western conference guards

Houston Rockets guard James Harden shoots a free throw during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden shoots a free throw during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The first set of returns for NBA All-Star voting for the 2020 NBA All-star game were announced and Houston Rockets guard James Harden is second among western conference guards.

Teammate Russell Westbrook is fifth among western conference guards.

Fans account for 50 percent of the vote to determine the 10 starters for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, which will take place at the United Center in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT. All current NBA players and a media panel each account for 25 percent of the vote, with every voter completing one full ballot featuring two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. Voting for fans, players and media will conclude on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 20 at 10:59 p.m. CT.

Mavericks guard Luka Dončić leads all NBA players with 1,073,957 fan votes to earn the top spot among Western Conference guards. Harden has received 749,080 votes. LeBron James, a 15-time NBA All-Star, has 1,020,851 votes to earn the top spot in the Western Conference frontcourt. James’ Lakers teammate Anthony Davis ranks second in the West frontcourt with 955,246 votes, followed by the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard with 740,657 votes.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, an NBA All-Star starter in each of the previous three seasons, is the top vote-getter among all Eastern Conference players, receiving 1,073,358 votes in the frontcourt group. Joining Antetokounmpo at the top of the East frontcourt are second-place Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers (606,534) and third-place Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors (544,302).

In the East guard group, the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young leads with 443,412 votes. The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving is the second-leading guard with 432,481 votes, putting him 450 votes ahead of third-place Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics (432,031).

The NBA All-Star 2020 team rosters will be drafted by the two captains. They will choose from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference, making their selections regardless of conference affiliation. The captains will be the All-Star starter from each conference who receives the most fan votes in his conference.

TNT will reveal the NBA All-Star Game starters, including the two team captains, on Thursday, Jan. 23. The network will also announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Thursday, Jan. 30 during TNT NBA Tip-Off.

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 tiebreaker for players in a position group with the same score.