NEW YORK: Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James led updated fan voting totals announced on Thursday (Friday in Manila) that will eventually decide starters for next month’s 64th NBA All-Star Game.
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, who has missed Cleveland’s past two games with a sore left knee, is averaging 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.6 assists a game. He turned 30 on Tuesday.
James owns the top spot with 775,810 votes with Golden State’s Stephen Curry second at 755,486 in balloting for berths in the elite showdown set for New York on February 15.
Voting ends on January 19 and the results will be announced by the league three days later.
James is joined in the Eastern Conference forward line by Chicago’s Spanish big man Pau Gasol, who has 372,109 votes, and New York star Carmelo Anthony, who has 365,449 votes despite the Knicks’ awful 5-29 record.
Miami’s Chris Bosh is the nearest player chasing an East forward starting spot in fourth place at 283,899.
Washington Wizards standout John Wall leads Eastern Conference guards with 439,395 votes and Miami veteran Dwyane Wade holds the other backcourt spot on 396,757.
Australian Kyrie Irving of Cleveland ranks third, 88,030 votes behind Wade.
Curry is joined in the Western Conference backcourt voting leaders by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers with 694,665. Houston’s James Harden, the NBA scoring leader, ranks third on 516,514.
The West frontline vote leaders feature Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans with 732,154, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers with 403,415 and Memphis big man Marc Gasol, Pau’s brother, with 343,587.
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan ranks fourth among West forward on 288,235 with 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant, who has missed all but 10 games for Oklahoma City this season, was fifth with 254,448.