NEW YORK (AP) -Chris Paul and David West were picked for their first All-Star game Thursday night, giving the hometown Hornets a pair of players for the event New Orleans will host next month.
Detroit, Phoenix and Washington also had multiple players chosen as reserves for the Feb. 17 game. Boston will only send two of its Big Three to the Big Easy. Paul Pierce was voted in by Eastern Conference head coaches to join starter Kevin Garnett, but Ray Allen fell short.
The Pistons' Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton are headed back for the third straight year, while the Suns will be represented by Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison also were recognized for their strong play, which has kept the Wizards in the middle of the playoff race despite the absence of injured guard Gilbert Arenas.
Toronto's Chris Bosh and Atlanta guard Joe Johnson were the other players picked for the East, which will be coached by Boston's Doc Rivers. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, the reigning NBA MVP, Utah's Carlos Boozer and Portland guard Brandon Roy were selected from the West.
Paul, Nash and Roy emerged from a crowded group of West guards to beat out the likes of Golden State's Baron Davis, Utah point guard Deron Williams, and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili from the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.
Also missing out during the worst season of his career was Shaquille O'Neal, ending his streak of 14 consecutive All-Star selections. That tied the record held by Jerry West and Karl Malone.
Paul, the 2006 Rookie of the Year, and West have helped the Hornets to a 32-13 record, which led the Southwest Division entering the night. New Orleans could still get another representative, as Byron Scott will coach the West if the Hornets win their next game, or Dallas loses either of its next two.
Paul is averaging 20.8 points, 10.7 assists and a league-leading 2.6 steals. He has just one fewer steal (110) than turnover for the season. David West averages 19.6 points and 9.4 rebounds.
Garnett, LeBron James, Orlando's Dwight Howard, New Jersey's Jason Kidd and Miami's Dwyane Wade were voted by fans to start for the East. The West starters are Denver's Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan and Houston center Yao Ming.
Coaches were then required to vote for two guards, two forwards, a center and two players regardless of position. East coaches bypassed a natural center, picking Bosh, a power forward, at that spot.
Allen, averaging 18 points for a Boston team that began the night with an NBA-best 35-8 record, was perhaps the most noticeable omission in the East. Orlando was hoping for a spot for Hedo Turkoglu, averaging a career-best 19.4 points.
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