George named NBA All-Star reserve, but Leonard, Davis left off

NBA coaches voted Clippers wing Paul George an All-Star, with Thursday’s announcement marking George’s eighth career selection for the league’s midseason showcase.

His Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard and Lakers center Anthony Davis were not among the chosen few.

Coaches’ votes, due earlier this week, determined the seven reserves for the Western and Eastern Conferences.

The western reserves also included Memphis’ Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Portland’s Damian Lillard and Utah’s Lauri Markkanen.

Eastern Conference reservists included Jrue Holiday of Milwaukee, Julius Randle of New York, DeMar DeRozan of Chicago, Tyrese Haliburton of Indiana, Bam Adebayo of Miami, Joel Embiid of Philadelphia, and Jaylen Brown of Boston.

George wasn’t ready to make the Feb. 19 game in Salt Lake City because he missed games through injury. But in his 37 games, he averaged 23.3 points at 52% inside arc — his best accuracy on two-pointers since his 2010-11 rookie season — and 38% on three-pointers while averaging 6.1 rebounds, Added 5.4 assists and 1.5 steals.

It’s George’s second All-Star nod since joining the Clippers and first since 2021.

“I’m happy for PG, it’s a great achievement to be one of the best players in the league at this point in the season and he deserves it,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said ahead of Thursday’s game in Milwaukee. “[George has] Because he’s been through a lot through injury, he’s also had to switch positions mid-season and play in the point guard position, but I’m just happy for him – a two-way player who guards the best player every night, what he brings to us offensively and how he shoots for us every night.”

After knee surgery that sidelined him all of last season, Leonard returned to the form that made him an All-NBA player and has averaged 24.3 points, 66 rebounds and 5.2 assists while he’s scored nearly 40% of his three-pointers since December. 5 when he made his final return after knee and ankle injuries that kept him sidelined for most of the first month of the season. Despite that hot stretch — his 11 straight games with at least 24 points is the longest of his career — the missed time likely cost him an All-Star reserve spot, as he’s only played 28 games.

The lost time also undermined the Davis case. After averaging 27.4 points and 12.1 rebounds in his first 25 games, he was only able to play three more games through Thursday due to injuries. George named NBA All-Star reserve, but Leonard, Davis left off

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