Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant lead All-Star game voting
Holiday shoppers stuffing Christmas stockings found time to fill ballot boxes for Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, dpa reported.
Howard, the Orlando Magic centre, and reigning league MVP Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers top the Eastern Conference and Western Conference, respectively, in the latest NBA All-Star voting results released Thursday.
Howard, pulling down an NBA-best 13.9 rebounds, has collected the most votes overall at 1,421,882. Bryant, who has led the Lakers to a Western Conference-best 23-5 record, accumulated 1,280,912 votes.
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James, who earned MVP honours in last year's All-Star game, is the third overall vote-getter (1,259,764). Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett (905,506) of the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics holds down the other forward spot.
Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade, the NBA's leading scorer (29.0) heads all Eastern Conference guards with 1,229,858 votes, followed by Detroit Pistons Allen Iverson (858,469).
Rounding out the Western Conference were China's Yao Ming (1,114,709) at centre, while Houston Rockets' teammate Tracy McGrady (746,098) joins Bryant in the backcourt. San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan (903,311) and Phoenix Suns Amare Stoudemire (626,796) top the forwards.
Voting will continue through January 11 for paper balloting and January 19 for online and wireless balloting, leading to the All-Star game, scheduled for February 15 in Phoenix, Arizona.