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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo leads first All-Star vote returns

159   //    05 Jan 2018, 18:12 IST

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics
Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken the NBA by storm

The NBA on Thursday officially released the first returns of the fan voting for the 2018 All-Star Game.

The usual suspects were among the top vote-getters with Milwaukee Bucks' star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo holding a slim lead over Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James.

Antetokoumpo is putting up a career-best campaign, ranking second in scoring with 29.1 points along with 10.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. In fact, he ranks inside the top 20 in rebounds, blocks, and steals. He is currently on pace to join Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as only the second player in Bucks' history to average at least 29.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per contest in the regular season.

The 23-year-old is second in the league behind LeBron James (27) with 17 performances of at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. The 'Greek freak' has also recorded at least 20 points and 5 rebounds in 25 consecutive games, which is the longest streak in the league since Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O'Neal had 27 such performances in the 2000-01 season.

Meanwhile, LeBron James is putting together an impressive season himself. 'King' James is ranked third in the league in terms of points per game scoring 27.5 points on 55.9 percent shooting from the field along with a career-high 9.1 assists, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.0 blocks per contest. James is the only player in the NBA this season averaging 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists.

LeBron has been an efficient scorer this season shooting at least 50 percent from the field in 31 out of 38 games played. He has also scored 20 or more points 32 times and 30 or more on 14 occasions this season.

In the new format of the All-Star Game, the two players who get the most votes in both conferences will be the captains for each team where they will pick their squad from the rest of the nominated players for the contest.

This is just the first of three voting returns prior to the 2018 All-Star Game that will take place at the Staples Center.

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