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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Andrew Greif

Paul George named NBA All-Star reserve, but Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis left off

NBA coaches voted Los Angeles Clippers wing Paul George as an All-Star, with the announcement Thursday marking the eighth selection of George’s career to the league’s midseason showcase.

His Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles Lakers center Anthony Davis were not among those selected.

The coaches’ votes, which were due earlier this week, determined the seven reserves for the Western and Eastern conferences.

West reserves also included Memphis’ Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Utah’s Lauri Markkanen.

Eastern Conference reserves included Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday, New York’s Julius Randle, Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan, Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton, Miami’s Bam Adebayo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

George was not a lock to make the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City because of missed games because of injury. But in his 37 games, he averaged 23.3 points on 52% inside the arc — his best accuracy on two-pointers since his rookie season in 2010-11 — and 38% on three-pointers while adding 6.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals.

It’s George’s second All-Star nod since joining the Clippers, and first since 2021.

“I’m happy for PG, a great accomplishment to be one of the best players in the league at this juncture of the season and he deserves it,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said before Thursday’s game in Milwaukee. “(George has) been playing through a lot injury-wise, he’s also had to change positions in the middle of the season and play the point guard position but I’m just happy for him -- a two-way player that guards the best player every single night, what he brings to us offensively and how he creates shots every single night for us.”

Following knee surgery that sidelined him all of last season, Leonard returned to the form that made him an all-NBA player, and has averaged 24.3 points, 66, rebounds and 5.2 assists while making nearly 40% of his three-pointers since Dec. 5, when he returned for good from knee and ankle injuries that kept him sidelined for much of the season’s first month. Despite that torrid stretch — his 11 consecutive games of at least 24 points is the longest of his career — the time missed likely cost him an All-Star reserve spot, as he has played only 28 games.

Time lost also undercut the case of Davis. After averaging 27.4 points and 12.1 rebounds through his first 25 games, injuries since have allowed him to play only three more games entering Thursday.

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