Brooklyn Nets star duo Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are the leading fan vote-getters in the Eastern Conference, even as Nic Claxton made it to the top 10 in the initial returns of the NBA All-Star voting.
Durant is a lock to make his 13th NBA All-Star appearance after initially amassing 3,118,545 votes, more than 100,000 ahead of Giannis Antetokounmpo among Eastern Conference frontcourt players. Claxton is at the ninth spot, with 160,407 votes, and he’s well ahead of former Nets center and last season’s All-Star replacement Jarrett Allen (121,561).
On the other hand, Irving is leading by a mile among Eastern Conference guards, collecting 2,071,715 votes. Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell, who is having an MVP season highlighted by a 71-point performance against the Chicago Bulls last Monday, came in a distant second with 1,637,374 votes.
Durant is no. 6 in scoring this season, averaging 29.9 points, and is the best mid-range shooter in the NBA, hitting a ridiculous 59.1 percent clip. The 34-year-old superstar is also shooting a career-best 93.3 percent from the free throw line.
Despite missing eight games due to an imposed team suspension for his involvement in an anti-semitic controversy, Irving is still playing at an All-Star level. The 30-year-old guard, playing on an expiring contract, is averaging 26.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists for the 25-13 Nets.
Claxton is leading the league in field goal percentage and effective field goal percentage with a career-best 73.3 percent shooting clip. The Nets fourth-year center is enjoying a career season.
Claxton’s $17.2 million, two-year deal proves to be a bargain for the Nets, with the skinny but athletic big man producing career highs in scoring (11.9), rebounds (8.2) and blocks (2.5).
The next fan update is on Jan. 12. Votes for tomorrow (Friday), 13, 16 and 20 will be counted three times. Fans can vote through the NBA app.
The All-Star starters will be chosen based on fan votes (50%), NBA players (25%) and media panel (25%). The reserves will be selected by the NBA coaches, while roster replacements in case of injuries will be chosen by the league.
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