NBA

Team captains James and Durant headline NBA All-Star selections

By Sports Desk February 18, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant have been named as team captains for the 70th NBA All-Star game on March 7.

Serving as a team captain for the fourth straight year, James received the most votes to earn his 17th All-Star appearance, and is joined in the Western Conference starters pool by Golden State Warriors’ three-point specialist Stephen Curry, who is selected as an All-Star for the seventh time.

Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers is named an All-Star for the fifth time, while Denver Nuggets centre Nikola Jokic makes a third appearance, and the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic is called up for a second time to round off the starters pool from the west.

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    He dominated against Rudy Gobert, in a duel between two players likely to be fighting for end-of-season honours, and was quick to aim a jibe at a local reporter.

    Keith Pompey, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, recently noted how Embiid had missed a number of head-to-heads with top-class centers.

    Embiid showed he was fearless up against Gobert, a fellow Defensive Player of the Year contender.

    "First of all, according to Keith Pompey I'm scared of [Gobert] and I'm afraid of top centers," Embiid said in a post-game news conference.

    "Man, as we saw tonight it looks like I was very, very scared of them, so yeah, keep talking.

    "But going up against them, one of my goals is to also be Defensive Player of the Year."

    Embiid is now averaging 11.6 rebounds and 30.2 points per game this season, while the Eastern Conference-leading Sixers improved to 24-12 for the season.

    Gobert had nine rebounds and 12 points.

    "When you go against those type of guys, he's a great player, he does a lot of things that don't show up on his stat-sheet," Embiid said.

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