The NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard James Harden was voted a starter for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, which takes place in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by TNT. It is the fourth straight year that Harden has been voted a starter. He also replaced Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup in both 2014 and 2015.
Harden has been named an All-Star in each of his eight seasons as a Rocket. He is tied with Yao Ming for the second-most All-Star selections in franchise history, trailing Hakeem Olajuwon’s 12.
Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote, while current players and a panel of basketball media accounted for 25 percent each. Harden finished second among Western Conference guards in voting in each of those categories.
The 2020 NBA All-Star Draft will be televised by TNT on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. CT.
Harden leads the NBA in scoring this season with 36.7 ppg, while also averaging 7.4 apg, 6.2 rpg and 1.64 spg. He led the league with a career-high 36.1 ppg in 2018-19 and is looking to become the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to have averaged at least 36.0 ppg in consecutive seasons. Michael Jordan (37.1 ppg in 1986-87) is the only other player to have averaged at least 36.0 ppg in a season since Chamberlain last did so in 1963-64.
This would be the third straight season Harden will have led the league in scoring. He would join Kevin Durant (2009-10 through 2011-12) as the only players to accomplish that feat since Jordan did so from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
Even if Harden was held scoreless over the final 39 games of the season, he still will have averaged 19.0 ppg, which would rank top-40 in the league among current qualifiers. Harden has scored 40-plus points 44 times dating back to last season, with Houston winning nearly 80% of those games. No other player has more than 43 40-point games dating back to 2011-12.
Rockets Guard Russell Westbrook Named to Ninth NBA All-Star Game
The NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was named a reserve for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, which takes place in Chicago on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. CT and will be televised by TNT. The reserves were chosen by head coaches from their respective conference. The 2020 NBA All-Star Draft will be televised by TNT on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. CT.
Westbrook has now been an All-Star in nine of the past 10 seasons, only missing selection in 2013-14 when he was limited to 46 games played. Last week, James Harden was voted a starter for the All-Star Game, giving Houston two representatives for the first time since 2013-14.
In his first season as a Rocket, Westbrook is averaging 26.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.61 steals. He is on pace for his fourth season averaging at least 25.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg, and 7.0 apg. Only LeBron James (9 times; on pace for 10th) and Oscar Robertson (6 times) have accomplished that feat more times in NBA history.
Westbrook has scored at least 20 points in each of his past 21 games played while averaging 30.5 ppg on 49.8% shooting over that span. That is the longest streak by a Rocket besides Harden since a 24-game span by Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994-95. Westbrook has scored 30-plus points in eight of his past nine games played and 13 times overall this season. Since Harden joined the Rockets in 2012-13, no other teammate has scored 30-plus points more than 10 times and not more than five times in a single season.
Earlier this season, Westbrook surpassed Magic Johnson for the second-most triple-doubles in NBA history. Westbrook needs 88 more points to become the 46th player in NBA history to have reached 20,000 career points; Harden became the 45th player earlier this month. Westbrook is looking to join James and Robertson as the only players in NBA history with at least 20,000 points, 7,000 assists, and 6,000 rebounds.