The Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin, left, and James Harden, right, are third and fourth, respectively, in voting for starters in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, which comes to Houston on Feb. 17. (Photo : Reuters)
The third round of votes in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game balloting show that Jeremy Lin and James Harden are still in the mix to start for the West when the game comes to Houston in February.
Lin, vying for his first-ever All-Star appearance, is only 46,269 votes behind Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul for the starting point guard spot for the Western Conference, according to the official third round of ballots released Thursday.
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Lin, with 605,624 votes overall, is third among Western Conference backcourt nominees behind Paul and the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, who leads all players in fan voting with 1,117,456.
Harden, who ranks fifth in the league in scoring with 26.3 points per game, ranks No. 4 in Western guard votes with 337,585, behind Lin, Bryant and Paul, but ahead of luminaries such as OKC's Russell Westbrook (268,558) and San Antonio's Tony Parker (128,966) and Manu Ginobili (84,568).
Meanwhile, Lin, who has had his share of highlight reel moments this year, including a 38-point night against San Antonio and a triumphant return to New York against his former team, the New York Knicks on Dec. 17, is well ahead of his point guard contemporaries, including the Lakers' Steve Nash, at 202,274 votes, Minnesota's Ricky Rubio, who has 112,352 votes, and Golden State's Stephen Curry, with 97,761 ballots.
On an interesting sidenote, both Lin and Harden, who start regularly for the Rockets, have the highest combined All-Star voting totals of any NBA starting point guard-shooting guard tandem at 943,209. Only the Miami Heat's Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen have a higher team vote total among guards at 997,518, but Allen is a reserve on the Heat's bench, not a starter.
But for fans of Lin, Harden and the Rockets, time is running out to cast their ballots and make sure that their favorite players get to start.
To cast your votes for who you want to start when the NBA All-Star Game comes to Houston on Feb. 17, click here. Voting is also available on Twitter by using the "#NBABALLOT" tag, followed by your favorite player's name.
Voting closes on Jan. 14, with the starters being announced on Jan. 17.