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Nets' Kevin Durant leads Lakers' LeBron James in early All-Star voting

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (L), who missed all of last season while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, led all players with 2,302,705 votes. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (L), who missed all of last season while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, led all players with 2,302,705 votes. File Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James topped the first round of fan voting for this year's NBA All-Star Game.

The league released the first wave of voting results Thursday.

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Durant, who missed all of last season while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, led all players with 2,302,705 votes. He was slightly ahead of James, who paced the Western Conference with 2,288,676 votes.

Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry (2.11 million) was the only player besides Durant and James to surpass two million votes. He sat in front of Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (1.39 million) and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (998,853) as the top vote-getter among Western Conference guards.

Durant was followed by Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (1.75 million votes) and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (1.58 million) in the Eastern Conference's frontcourt. The Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum was in fourth with 822,151 votes.

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who is the NBA's leading scorer this season, led all East backcourt players with almost 1.3 million votes. He was followed by the Nets' duo of James Harden (1,093,611) and Kyrie Irving (1,014,763).

In the West, James was followed in the frontcourt by Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic (1.47 million), Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (1.28 million) and Lakers teammate Anthony Davis (1.19 million).

NBA All-Star voting started on Jan. 28, with fans able to vote either through the league's website or on social media. Voting will continue through Feb. 16.

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