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James Leads NBA pick

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

NEW YORK - LeBron James, who won his fourth NBA Most Valuable Player Award in five seasons this year, was the only unanimous choice on the All-NBA First Team all-star squad announced by the league on Thursday.

The Miami Heat superstar was joined on the lineup chosen by a media panel by NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, Tim Duncan of Aan Antonio and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

It was the 11th first-team nod for Bryant, matching the record set by Utah Jazz Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone.

James powered the Heat to a league-best 66-16 record and was the only player to lead his team in scoring, rebounds and assists — pouring in 26.8 points, grabbing 8.0 rebounds and passing off 7.3 assists a game.

James also had career-best accuracy rates of 56.5 per cent from the field and 40.6 per cent from 3-point range and at age 28 became the youngest player to reach 20,000 career points.

Bryant, on the team for the eighth year in a row despite the Lakers barely struggling into the playoffs, averaged 27.3 points. The 34-year-old playmaker moved past legendary Laker big man Wilt Chamberlain into fourth on the NBA all-time points list.

Duncan, 37, collected his 10th All-NBA First team selection but his first since 2007. In his 16th NBA season, Duncan averaged 17.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.65 blocked shots while hitting a career-best 81.7 per cent of his free throws.

Durant, on the team for the fourth time, averaged 28.1 points while hitting 51.0 per cent from the field and 90.5 per cent from the free throw line, both career bests.

Paul, an All-NBA First Team selection for the third time, had a league-best 4.26 assist-to-turnover ratio. In 13 games, he had 11 or more assists while making no more than one turnover.


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