Lin was running third among Western Conference guards behind Bryant (639,419 votes) and Chris Paul (353,603) when the NBA released the first All-Star balloting update of the season on Thursday. Lin was a little more than 55,000 votes behind Paul as he tries to gain a starting spot for the Feb. 17 game in his home arena in Houston.
Lin, an Asian-American who became a worldwide phenom last season while playing for the New York Knicks, has struggled in his first season with the Rockets but remains popular in Asia and figures to benefit from this being the first time fans can vote via social media.
James had 641,348 votes. Carmelo Anthony was second among East frontcourt players and Kevin Garnett was about 7,500 votes ahead of Chris Bosh for the remaining starting slot. Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo led East guards.
Voting continues through Jan. 14, and starters will be announced Jan. 17.