James Edging Durant After First All-Star Ballot Returns

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LeBron James of the Miami Heat and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers top the Eastern Conference, while Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Western Conference after the first returns of the NBA All-Star balloting.

James, the reigning NBA MVP and finals MVP, is the overall leader with 609,336 votes, while Durant is second with 607,407 votes.

The 63rd NBA All-Star Game will be in New Orleans on Sunday, Feb. 16.

James, George (489,335) and the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony (424,211) pace the Eastern Conference's frontcourt players. The Heat's Dwyane Wade (396,279) is the East's leading vote-getter in the backcourt, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (365,712).

Durant, the NBA's leading scorer at 28.4 points per game, is joined in the frontcourt in the West by the Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard (295,120) and the Los Angeles Clippers' Blake Griffin (292,925). Bryant (501,215) and the Clippers' Chris Paul (393,313) pace all Western Conference backcourt players.

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