Friday, January 25, 2008


Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James have been named as starters for the Eastern Conference team in next month's NBA All-Star Game, the league announced on Thursday.

Garnett, the Eastern Conference's leading vote getter, will be making his 11th straight appearance in the mid-season event.

The 13-year veteran has averaged 19.5 points and 9.8 rebounds this season to help the Celtics to the best record in the league at 33-7, one year after they finished with the second-worst record.

Garnett will be joined in the frontcourt by James, who leads the league with 29.5 points per game and will be making his fourth straight All-Star appearance.

There is a changing of the guard at centre as Orlando's Dwight Howard earned his second straight appearance and first start.

Howard was a reserve last year behind Miami Heat centre Shaquille O'Neal, who has started in the last five All-Star Games but could miss out this season after an injury-plagued year.

O'Neal's Miami team mate, guard Dwyane Wade, will make his fourth straight appearance in the backcourt alongside Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets, who appear at his ninth All-Star Game.

On the Western Conference team, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will make his 10th straight appearance.

Bryant is second in the league in scoring behind James at 27.4 points.

Denver Nuggets guard Allen Iverson will make his ninth straight appearance, while his Denver teammate, forward Carmelo Anthony, makes his second straight appearance and first as a starter.

San Antonio Spurs centre Tim Duncan and Houston Rockets centre Yao Ming will fill out the rest of the frontcourt for the Western Conference. Duncan will be making his 10th straight appearance, while Yao will be headed to his sixth straight All-Star game.

The All-Star Game will be played on February 17 in New Orleans.

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