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2012 NBA All-Star Game: Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant Lead First Returns

The first wave of fan balloting for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game was announced Thursday. Dwight Howard paced the East, garnering 754,737 votes. Kobe Bryant led the west with 690,613 votes.

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The results from the first wave of voting for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game have been released, with familiar names appearing at the top of the lists. Dwight Howard was the leading overall vote getter, earning 754,737 and outpacing the second highest Eastern Conference center, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, by nearly 700,000 votes.

Kobe Bryant (690,613 votes) received the most votes in the Western Conference, edging out Kevin Durant (633,538) and fellow LA superstar Chris Paul (540,173). Fans are allowed to place their vote for two guards, two forwards, and one center from each conference per ballot by going on or via text message.

Another update will be released on Jan. 19, with voting closing on Jan. 31. Starters will be revealed on Feb. 2 while the full squads will be issued on Feb. 9. The All-Star game is set to tip off on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Check out the full results below.

Eastern Conference Balloting:

Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 640,789; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 496,351; Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK) 178,797; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 173,161; Chris Bosh (Mia) 140,601;Paul Pierce (Bos) 94,071; Luol Deng (Chi) 85,086; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 54,739; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 53,477; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 43,154.

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 640,476; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 637,912; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 253,969; Ray Allen (Bos) 174,934; Deron Williams (NJN) 89,128; Jose Calderon (Tor) 42,929; John Wall (Was) 38,025; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 36,418; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 27,713; Joe Johnson (Atl) 23,384.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 754,737; Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,038; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 61,774; Joel Anthony (Mia) 41,832; JaVale McGee (Was) 24,713; Al Horford (Atl) 23,546.

Western Conference Balloting:

Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 633,538; Blake Griffin (LAC) 394,264; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 231,832; Pau Gasol (LAL) 185,428; Kevin Love (Min) 143,814; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 118,268; Tim Duncan (SA) 81,783; Lamar Odom (Dal) 59,686; Metta World Peace (LAL) 39,006; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 34,438.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 690,613; Chris Paul (LAC) 540,173; Ricky Rubio (Min) 133,520; Steve Nash (Pho) 118,922; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 107,197; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 90,725; Monta Ellis (GS) 63,696; Manu Ginobili (SA) 50,765; Jason Kidd (Dal) 49,596; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 42,657.

Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 496,597; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 134,961; Marc Gasol (Mem) 102,116; Nenê (Den) 94,167; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 62,631; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 41,579.