NEW YORK – The Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets each had two players picked as reserves for the NBA All-Star game, while the Indiana Pacers had to settle for just Roy Hibbert despite the league’s best record.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard made it from the Trail Blazers, who have been among the Western Conference leaders all season.
Dwight Howard, who was passed late in fan voting for a starting spot, was chosen Thursday along with Houston teammate James Harden.
Old reliables Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitzki round out the West reserves for the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans.
Nowitzki earned his 12th selection, tying him for sixth all-time with nine players.
The rest of the East reserves are: Miami’s Chris Bosh, Washington’s John Wall, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Chicago’s Joakim Noah and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap.
The Pacers hoped Lance Stephenson, who leads the NBA in triple-doubles, would also be selected to join Hibbert and Paul George, who was voted to start.
The reserves were chosen by the coaches from each conference, who had to vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two regardless of position. They were not allowed to vote for their own players.
The West ones went for veterans with their choices at guard in Paul, last year’s All-Star game MVP from the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Spurs’ Parker. That left first-time hopefuls Goran Dragic of Phoenix and Mike Conley Jr. of Memphis home.
The starters were announced last week: Miami’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, New York’s Carmelo Anthony and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving were voted to start along with George.
The fans voted for NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Minnesota’s Kevin Love and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin.
Bryant is injured and not expected to play. Adam Silver, who will become commissioner Saturday, will choose replacements for Bryant and any other injured players.
Indiana’s Frank Vogel and Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks will coach the game. Brooks would determine who replaces Bryant in the starting lineup.