Garnett leads James as overall All-Star vote-getter; Kobe leads West

NEW YORK -- Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics are off to a fast start, and fans are taking notice.

Garnett was the leading vote-getter for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game with 1,186,690 votes when the second set of returns were released Thursday. Celtics forward Paul Pierce and guard Ray Allen were fourth at their positions in the Eastern Conference.

Boston acquired Garnett, a 10-time All-Star, from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Allen, a seven-time All-Star, from the Seattle SuperSonics in the offseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, the leading vote-getter last year, had the second-highest total in the NBA with 1,005,733 votes. Guards Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard were also in position to start for the East in the Feb. 11 game in New Orleans.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was the leading Western Conference vote-getter with 941,716, followed by Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (813,305) and Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (767,722). San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and Houston guard Tracy McGrady were also among the West leaders.

Bryant had 31 points, six assists and six steals to lead the West to a 153-132 victory over the East in last year's game in Las Vegas, winning his second All-Star MVP award.

Voting will continue through Jan. 20 and the All-Star starters will be announced on Jan. 24.