Dec 22, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) talks to Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) after hitting a 3 point shot during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

NBA All-Star Voting: Kevin Durant closing in on LeBron as top vote-getter

The second returns for the NBA All-Star voting have been released and Kevin Durant is closing in on LeBron James as the top vote-getter.

Durant has now tallied 850,728 votes, which slots him right behind LeBron, the leading vote-getter overall with 854,105 votes.

It really comes down to who is leaving off either KD or LeBron on their ballots. Of course, no one should and that’s why these two are the top vote-getters so far. There is a little bit more competition out in the Western Conference, which has made it easier for LeBron to take the lead overall.

If voting ended today, the starters in the West would be KD, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. Kobe is currently injured and may not be ready to come back by the All-Star Game. If he can’t give it a go, Russell Westbrook, currently 6th among backcourt players in the West, may get a chance to start over him if he keeps playing the way that he is.

In the Eastern Conference, the starters would be LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving. There is no center position any more on the ballots so it looks like the East may be very small unless Roy Hibbert can somehow catch Anthony.

Serge Ibaka remains outside the top 15 frontcourt players in votes. He certainly will not start, the only thing determined by the fans. Ibaka may have an outside shot of making the team though, especially if the Thunder crush it record-wise and he continues to improve.

Balloting will conclude Jan. 20. The starters for the game will be announced live on TNT Jan. 23.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder

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