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Source: James Harden to start NBA All-Star Game in place of injured Kobe Bryant

Marc J. Spears
Yahoo Sports

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Houston shooting guard James Harden will start in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. (USA TODAY Sports)

NEW ORLEANS – Injured Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will be replaced as a Western Conference All-Star starter by Houston Rockets guard James Harden, a source told Yahoo Sports.

Bryant (988,884) and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (1,047,281) earned the right to start in the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday after securing the top two vote totals for West guards in the fan balloting. Bryant, however, will miss the game due to a knee injury and has not played since Dec. 17. Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, who is coaching the West All-Stars, chose Harden as a starter.

Harden is making his second All-Star appearance and his first as a starter. He is averaging 23.9 points, 5.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds for the Rockets this season. Brooks coached Harden with the Thunder from 2009-12.

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