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ALL-STAR PUZZLE

  • Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry brings the ball up the floor in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider)

The first domino dropped Thursday in the Warriors' bid to get their first All-Star selection since 1997.

Jeremy Lin, the Houston Rockets guard with the global following, was not voted in as a starter, finishing third behind the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Clippers' Chris Paul.

Had Lin finished second, there would be one fewer spot available for the Warriors, because Paul would be a slam dunk to be named as a reserve. Lin is not likely to be named as a reserve — he's averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game — so Curry and Lee are in better position to become the first Warriors All-Star since Latrell Sprewell.

With the starters set, the coaches in each conference now will vote on the seven reserves. They received their ballots Thursday. TNT will announce the reserves on Jan. 24.

Still, the Warriors stars aren't locks. Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, Memphis forward Zach Randolph and at least one Spur (either guard Tony Parker or big man Tim Duncan) are locks to make the team. So at least three spots are taken.

That leaves a maximum of four spots available. Lee and Curry are contending with Houston's James Harden, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge (throw rookie point guard Damian Lillard in there, too), Memphis center Marc Gasol, one of the Spurs' stars and even Clippers guard Jamal Crawford.


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