Published January 31, 2013
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez has been chosen to replace the injured Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team -- that's after being initially passed over.
Commissioner David Stern on Wednesday selected Lopez, who is averaging 18.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for the second-place Nets.
Rondo, the Boston Celtics point guard who was voted to start the Feb. 17 game in Houston, has a torn ACL. The East head coach, likely Erik Spoelstra of Miami, will decide who replaces Rondo in the starting lineup.
Lopez joins Tim Duncan, who was selected to his 14th All-Star game. Duncan's Spurs teammate Tony Parker is joining him, and the Chicago Bulls also had two reserves chosen Thursday for next month's game in Houston.
Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were picked from the Bulls, who have stayed in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race despite the season-long absence of point guard Derrick Rose. Noah is one of five first-time All-Stars for the East, along with New York's Tyson Chandler, Indiana's Paul George, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, and Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday.
Miami's Chris Bosh, picked for his eighth All-Star team, rounded out the East squad.
West forwards David Lee (Golden State), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland) and Zach Randolph (Memphis) all were picked for the second time. Houston's James Harden was chosen for the first time and joins former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook, headed to his third straight All-Star game.
Duncan wasn't chosen last year for the first time in his career but has bounced back with a terrific season at age 36, averaging 17.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots, his best statistics since 2009-10.
The co-MVP of the 2000 All-Star game joined a group that includes Michael Jordan for fifth-most selections. Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, both voted to start, and Shaquille O'Neal all were picked 15 times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the career leader as a 19-time All-Star.
The reserves were voted by the head coaches from each conference, who had to select two guards, three front court players and two players regardless of position. They were not allowed to vote for players from their own teams.
Voted as East starters by fan voting along with Garnett were Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, New York's Carmelo Anthony and Boston's Rajon Rondo.
Rondo will be replaced in the coming days.
The West starting five is Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard of the Lakers, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, and Clippers teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.
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