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Carmelo Anthony Voted All-Star Game Starter; Kobe Bryant Top Vote-Getter

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Carmelo Anthony is headed back to the NBA All-Star Game.

The Knicks forward has been voted a starter in the Feb. 14 in Toronto, the NBA announced Thursday night. It will be Anthony's ninth appearance in the showcase.

Anthony is averaging 21.7 points per game this season. On Wednesday night, he passed Larry Bird for 31st place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

Anthony posted on Twitter on Thursday night: "Humbled to be back. Thx for voting."

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is the leading vote-getter for his final All-Star Game, and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Raptors guard Kyle Lowry made late moves to join him in the starting lineup.

Leonard will start in his first All-Star Game, and Lowry will start on his home court after both made up ground in the final days of voting.

Nobody was catching Bryant, who had 1.9 million votes and was selected an All-Star for the 18th time.

MVP Stephen Curry of Golden State was next with 1.6 million and they will be joined in the Western Conference lineup by Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Leonard, who was more than 12,000 votes behind Golden State's Draymond Green for the last frontcourt spot after the most recent returns.

Cleveland's LeBron James and Indiana's Paul George will start in the East frontcourt with Anthony, who held off Chicago's Pau Gasol by 360 votes.

Miami's Dwyane Wade starts at guard with Lowry, who overcame a 32,000-vote deficit to Cleveland's Kyrie Irving after the last update.

The reserves will be voted by the head coaches in each conference and be announced next Thursday.

Bryant, who is retiring after the season, will finish one behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most All-Star selections. He is a four-time All-Star Game MVP and the career leader with 280 points in the game — though James is just two points behind.

He was atop the voting from the start, but Leonard had to come from behind and finish 14,000 votes ahead of Dallas center Zaza Pachulia for the final West frontcourt spot. Leonard joins Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to be selected an All-Star, NBA Finals MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Lowry surged past Wade last year and this time his late charge put him alongside Wade to give the Raptors a starter in the first All-Star Game held outside the U.S.

"It is an honor to be voted as a starter for the All-Star Game, especially for one in my home arena," Lowry said in a statement. "I am thankful to all the great Raptors fans across Canada and throughout the NBA."

James led East players with 1.1 million votes and is an All-Star for the 12th time in 13 seasons.


Eastern Conference
LeBron James, Cleveland
Paul George, Indiana
Carmelo Anthony, Knicks
Dwayne Wade, Miami
Kyle Lowry, Toronto

Western Conference
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio
Stephen Curry, Golden State
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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