Giannis leads East in All-Star voting

STACY REVERE/agence france-presse GIANNIS Antetokounmpo emerges as the top vote-getter for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

NEW YORK (AFP) — Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has overtaken Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant at the top Eastern Conference vote-getter in the third fan voting returns for the National Basketball Association All-Star Game.

The results announced by the NBA on Thursday put Antetokounmpo on track to captain a team in the 19 February mid-season exhibition in Salt Lake City.

Fan voting, which continues through Saturday, counts for 50 percent of the starter voting.

A media panel and ballots of NBA players will account for 25 percent each of the final vote.

Antetokounmpo had 5,970,196 votes entering Thursday, the NBA said, while Durant, who is currently sidelined by a sprained knee, was 132,014 votes behind.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has the most votes in the West and is the overall top vote-getter with 6,506,682.

James has been a captain in all five of the editions in which the NBA has used the format appointing the players with the most votes as captains who then pick their teams from the elected starters.
James-led teams are 5-0 in the format.

Behind James in Western Conference frontcourt voting are Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Lakers forward Anthony Davis.

At guard, Golden State’s Stephen Curry leads the way ahead of Dallas star Luka Doncic.

Behind Antetokounmpo and Durant in East frontcourt voting, Boston’s Jayson Tatum increased his lead over Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.

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