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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets Guard James Harden Voted as Starter for 2020 NBA All-Star Game

Posted: January 23, 2020 -- 6:50 p.m. CT

Tonight, the NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden was voted a starter for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, which takes place in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by TNT. It is the fourth straight year that Harden has been voted a starter. He also replaced Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup in both 2014 and 2015.

Harden has been named an All-Star in each of his eight seasons as a Rocket. Harden is tied with Yao Ming for the second-most All-Star selections in franchise history, trailing Hakeem Olajuwon’s 12.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote, while current players and a panel of basketball media accounted for 25 percent each. Harden finished second among Western Conference guards in voting in each of those categories.

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All-Star reserves, as selected by head coaches, will be announced on Thursday, Jan. 30 during TNT's pre-game show. The 2020 NBA All-Star Draft will be televised by TNT on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. CT.

Harden leads the NBA in scoring this season with 36.7 ppg, while also averaging 7.4 apg, 6.2 rpg and 1.64 spg. He led the league with a career-high 36.1 ppg in 2018-19 and is looking to become the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to have averaged at least 36.0 ppg in consecutive seasons. Michael Jordan (37.1 ppg in 1986-87) is the only other player to have averaged at least 36.0 ppg in a season since Chamberlain last did so in 1963-64.

This would be the third straight season Harden will have led the league in scoring. He would join Kevin Durant (2009-10 through 2011-12) as the only players to accomplish that feat since Jordan did so from 1995-96 through 1997-98.

Even if Harden was held scoreless over the final 39 games of the season, he still will have averaged 19.0 ppg, which would rank top-40 in the league among current qualifiers. Harden has scored 40-plus points 44 times dating back to last season, with Houston winning nearly 80% of those games. No other player has more than 43 40-point games dating back to 2011-12.

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