NEW YORK -- Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and LeBron James of the Miami Heat top the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference after the first returns of 2012 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. Howard, the Kia Defensive Player of the Year each of the past three seasons, is the overall leader with 754,737 votes.
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at Amway Center in Orlando -- on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.
Howard paces centers in the East, followed by the Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah (75,038). James leads Eastern Conference forwards with 640,789 votes, followed by Carmelo Anthony (496,351) of the New York Knicks. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls leads Eastern Conference guards with 640,476 votes, followed by Miami's Dwyane Wade (637,912).
Bryant's 690,613 votes leads Western Conference guards, with the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul placing second (540,173). Durant's 633,538 votes lead forwards in the West, with Blake Griffin of the Clippers next in line with 394,264 votes. The Lakers' Andrew Bynum paces Western Conference centers with 496,597 votes, followed by the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan (134,961).
The leaders of both the Eastern and Western Conference players for the first returns of 2012 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint are below:
All-Star Balloting Presented By Sprint | Eastern Conference
Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 640,789; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 496,351; Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK) 178,797; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 173,161; Chris Bosh (Mia) 140,601; Paul Pierce (Bos) 94,071; Luol Deng (Chi) 85,086; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 54,739; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 53,477; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 43,154.
Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 640,476; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 637,912; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 253,969; Ray Allen (Bos) 174,934; Deron Williams (NJN) 89,128; Jose Calderon (Tor) 42,929; John Wall (Was) 38,025; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 36,418; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 27,713; Joe Johnson (Atl) 23,384.
Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 754,737; Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,038; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 61,774; Joel Anthony (Mia) 41,832; JaVale McGee (Was) 24,713; Al Horford (Atl) 23,546.
All-Star Balloting Presented By Sprint | Western Conference
Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 633,538; Blake Griffin (LAC) 394,264; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 231,832; Pau Gasol (LAL) 185,428; Kevin Love (Min) 143,814; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 118,268; Tim Duncan (SA) 81,783; Lamar Odom (Dal) 59,686; Metta World Peace (LAL) 39,006; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 34,438.
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 690,613; Chris Paul (LAC) 540,173; Ricky Rubio (Min) 133,520; Steve Nash (Pho) 118,922; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 107,197; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 90,725; Monta Ellis (GS) 63,696; Manu Ginobili (SA) 50,765; Jason Kidd (Dal) 49,596; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 42,657.
Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 496,597; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 134,961; Marc Gasol (Mem) 102,116; Nenê (Den) 94,167; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 62,631; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 41,579.