The NBA announced today on TNT the starters for its All-Star game and the West squad is full of Lakers and Clippers.
The West team’s starting five, based on fan voting, are: guards Kobe Bryant (Lakers) and Chris Paul (Clippers), forwards Blake Griffin (Clippers) and Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), and center Andrew Bynum (Lakers).
This marks the first All-Star game for the 24-year-old Bynum, now in his seventh season with the Lakers, and the 14th All-Star selection for Bryant. Bynum is averaging 16.5 points and 12.1 boards a game this season, both career bests, while Bryant is leading the league in scoring with 30 points a game.
Meanwhile, Paul, in his first season with the Clippers, has led the team to the second-best record in the Western Conference. Paul was selected for his fifth consecutive All-Star squad. Griffin made the All-Star team last season as a reserve.
The East’s starters are: guards Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Dwyane Wade (Miami), forwards LeBron James (Miami) and Carmelo Anthony (New York), and center Dwight Howard (Orlando).
All-Star reserves are selected by NBA coaches and they will be announced Feb. 9. The All-Star game is in Orlando on Feb. 26.
Photo: Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul embrace before a Lakers-Clippers exhibition game in December. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times