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Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin named NBA All-Star starters

Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Clippers' Blake Griffin named starters for NBA All-Star game on Feb. 15

On Thursday, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Clippers forward Blake Griffin were named as NBA All-Star starters, as voted in by fan balloting.

Bryant, who received preliminary results of an MRI exam that showed a torn rotator cuff, seems likely to miss the game.

Bryant made his 17th All-Star team in 19 years, dating back to his first All-Star appearance in his second NBA season.  The one missing year was in 1999, with the game canceled during the lockout-shortened season.

Griffin is now a five-time All-Star, receiving the honor for each of his seasons in the league -- save his initial rookie year that saw him sit out with a knee injury.

Bryant and Griffin will join Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) and Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies) on the Western Conference squad.

The East will be represented by LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors).

Curry was the leading vote-getter with 1,513,324 votes.  Bryant was fourth at 1,152,402 behind James (1,470,483) and Davis (1,369,911).  Griffin was third among Western Conference frontcourt players with 700,615 votes.

Clippers point guard Chris Paul came in behind Curry, Bryant, Houston Rockets guard James Harden (1,069,368) with 551,167 votes.

Jeremy Lin (216,246) was ninth among guards in the West.

Paul, a seven-time All-Star, will presumably be named as a reserve.  The coaches of each conference will add seven players to their respective teams.  If Bryant is unable to play, Commissioner Adam Silver will designate a replacement

Steve Kerr (Warriors) will coach the West, while Mike Budenholzer (Atlanta Hawks) will man the bench for the East.

The game will be played in New York at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

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