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First-Timers Voted to Start All-Star Game

New York — Stephen Curry, Kevin Love, Paul George and Kyrie Irving were voted NBA All-Stars Thursday, putting four first-time starters in the Feb. 16 game in New Orleans.

Kobe Bryant was elected by fans to his 16th All-Star game, second-most in NBA history, but this one is shaping up as a kids’ game.

Curry, perhaps the biggest snub last season, will join him in the Western Conference backcourt. Love passed Dwight Howard in the final days of voting and will start in the frontcourt along with Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin.

LeBron James was the leading vote-getter with 1.4 million and Miami teammate Dwyane Wade also was voted in Thursday. George, who has led Indiana to the league’s best record, and New York’s Carmelo Anthony are the other East forwards, and Irving will start at guard.

Bryant has been limited to just six games this season because of injuries and will be out until at least early next month, but remains one of the league’s most popular players with fans. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with 19, was selected to more All-Star games.

Head coaches in each conference will vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two players regardless of position.

Thursday’s Game

Heat 109, Lakers 102

Miami — Chris Bosh scored 31 points, LeBron James added 27 points and 13 rebounds and Miami never trailed in a victory over Los Angeles.

Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole each finished with 11 points to help the Heat beat the Lakers for the eighth time in their last nine meetings. Ray Allen added 10, and Miami shot 58 percent and outrebounded the Lakers 48-35.

Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol each scored 22 points for the Lakers, who lost for the 14th time in their last 17 outings.

Nick Young added 19 points — needing 20 shots to do it — for Los Angeles, which nearly came all the way back from a 16-point second-half deficit.