Blake Griffin Named All-Star Game Starter

Rowan Kavner

LOS ANGELES – Clippers forward Blake Griffin will start in the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth straight year.

It also marks the fifth straight All-Star appearance overall for Griffin, who was named tonight on TNT’s live show as a Western Conference starter, along with Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol.

“It is a great honor to make the All-Star team,” Griffin said. “I want to thank all of the fans who voted for me as a starter. I am excited to represent the Clippers and Los Angeles in New York City next month.”

Griffin said earlier this week that All-Star weekend is for the fans, and he said even then it was an honor to be leading the vote and be slated to start.

Griffin’s averaging 23 points, 7.6 rebounds and a career-high five assists per game this season. He scored 38 points in last year’s All-Star game, setting a franchise record and marking the third most points in All-Star Game history.

He could still be joined by other Clippers teammates as All-Star reserves, as he was last year by Chris Paul.

Paul, who’s been named an All-Star for seven straight seasons, finished fourth in the Western Conference All-Star voting for guards this year. He got in on the coaches’ vote last season and was the All-Star MVP as a starter the year prior.

“I’ve actually had the opportunity to do both,” Paul said of being voted in by fans and by coaches, “to be a starter which is cool when the fans vote you in, because it means they want to see you; then it’s also a very big honor when the coaches do it, because those are your peers. It’s always a huge honor to be an All-Star. We’ll see what happens.”

Paul doesn’t know what it’s like to have that weekend off with family, but he also doesn’t want to find out. He said it’s always cool to be able to be a part of the festivities.

“The year I won MVP my wife actually didn’t come because she said she was tired of going and not getting a chance to see me. I told her that’s on her,” Paul joked earlier this week.

While Paul finished in the top 10 in voting among guards, DeAndre Jordan finished in the top 15 in voting among frontcourt players. Paul’s averaging 17.6 points and 9.6 assists per game this season.

Jordan, who’s never been to the All-Star Game, is averaging 10 points per game on a league-high 72.1 percent shooting, while also leading the NBA with 13.4 rebounds per game.

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