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Rondo, Pierce named All-Star reserves

ORLANDO, Fla. -- In the worst kept secret of the season, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is headed to his first NBA All-Star Game next month as both he and Paul Pierce were officially named Eastern Conference reserves Thursday night.

Rondo and Pierce will join teammate Kevin Garnett, who was voted a starter in fan balloting, for the midseason exhibition Feb. 14 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The full list of Eastern Conference reserves features Rondo, Pierce, Atlanta's Joe Johnson and Al Horford, Toronto's Chris Bosh, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Charlotte's Gerald Wallace.

Rondo is averaging 14.2 points, 9.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.5 steals per game in his fourth season. He will make his first All-Star appearance a week shy of his 24th birthday.

Pierce is averaging 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game in his 12th NBA season. He missed five contests in December and January because of a right knee infection, but his scoring average is up this month (20.8 points per game). Pierce will be making his eighth All-Star appearance.

Pierce is also lobbying to compete in the 3-point shootout, seeking redemption from a poor showing in his lone appearance in 2002.

The six participants will be announced on Feb. 3, while last year's winner, Miami's Daequan Cook, is an automatic qualifier. The remaining five will be chosen from the league's top 3-point shooters this season. Pierce currently ranks second in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 47 percent.

"I think I have a good chance," Pierce said earlier this month. "I've really put in the time. I've been doing a lot of shooting, more so than in the past, and I want to redeem myself for 2002 when I only made [eight] shots. I was embarrassing the franchise."